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Columbia to Field Veteran Squad Today

Little's Reconstruction Program Reaches Fruition This Fall After Three Years' Ripening

By Hiller B. Zobel

Football teams are always rebuilding. Herman Hickman is busy reviving the New Haven bulldog; Lloyd Jordan is "bringing back" Harvard football; Alva Kelley is resuscitating the moribund Bruin. These gentlemen, and, of course, numerous others, are striving to return their employee's teams to pedestals of former glory; they are all rebuilding.

Lou Little has built.

The bespectacled Maestro of Morning-side has labored through three years, and now his opus is complete. The official, if delayed, unveiling starts at 2 p.m. today. Before the season's exhibitions are done, the rejuvenated Lions should win considerably more games than they lose.

Newest Quarterback Star

Little, the man who developed such brilliant quarterbacks as Sid Luckman, Paul Governall, and Gene Rossides, has built a baffing and powerful attack around Mitch Price, a junior from Utak who appears fit to carry on the tradition.

A deceptive T-formation such as the Lions use requires a smooth ball handler who can pass accurately. Price--holder of the highest passing percentage (.538) in Columbia history--fills the bill nicely.

Another necessity for successful T brewing is a hard running fullback who is enough of an inside threat to keep the defense "honest"-- that is, not spread out in anticipation of the pass.

The Lions possess one of the top deep men of the Ivy League in Captain Hovard Hansen. Not only is the stocky Hansen hard to stop a: the line--he gained 571 yards last year--but he is a good man in the open field, too. He led the Lion scoring with 56 points, and gained 161 yards on the 12 passes he caught.

No T-formation means anything without a fast pair of halfbacks to advance the ball consistently on wide plays. Frank Toner and that man with the interrogative surname, Vern Wynott, are both good and fast. Wynott is the Belmont boy who returned a Crimson kickoff for a 90-yard touchdown in the 1949 game, which the Lions won, 14 to 7.

Three-Year Plan

Hansen, Wynott, and Toner are all seniors, outstanding products of Little's three-year plan. Another senior who would have been in the first backfield is Kermit Tracy. He's a talented quarterback, but does not rank with Price. His mere presence, however, assures the Lions of reserve passing strength.

Ordinarily, the sort of line Columbia has shouldn't worry anybody but the opposition. The Lions have such capable ends as Gerard Cozzi, Wes (Boom) Bomm, and the Ward boys, Al and Leo. They have massive tackles on the order of George Vitone and Bill Wallace. They have Don Trevisano and Gerry Audette, powerful guards. And they have three lettermen at center.

But Little, champion of the crying-towel league, bemoans his lack of depth. It is true that not many experienced men line up behind the first-stringers. Those starters, though, are all veterans, and all outstanding players.

Further, the reserves are also good, and should gain enough experience, through this season so that the Little building program will leave a permanent structure. It will not need reconstruction in the near future.

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