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The Sporting Scene

White Is Right

By Hiller B. Zobel

If every man who has been labelled a natural athlete were drafted tomorrow, none of the rest of us would ever have to worry about induction. Sports publicists --as opposed to sportswriters--love to work on a football player, for example, who also plays a bit of ping pong, and build him into the greatest all-superlative on two feet. (See a college football program for further particulars.)

The truth of the mater is that genuine natural athletes just don't grow behind every ivy cluster. There are, granted, numerous individuals who excel at one sport and dabble in others.

Only in exceptional cases do you find a man who truly stars in more than one sport, and further, leads you to believe he would shine in anything. Jim Thorpe, of course, is Olympian in this respect, but here have been others, too. People like Bob Mathias and Glenn Davis. People like John White.

White, a senior, had never played one minute of organized hockey until this year. His activity on ice had been confined to frozen-pond shinny, and a few workouts with last year's varsity. Notwithstanding this abysmal lack of experience, White showed enough this fall to play second-line center. By the mid-year, he was fourth high scorer.

The best, though was yet to come. With three-quarters of the season gone, Coach Cooney Weiland abruptly shifted White to defense, which meant learning a totally new position. But White played so well in those last eight games five of them Pentagonal League contests--that he was named first-string defenseman on the all-League team, and, quite appropriately, the circuit's most improved player. In addition, he won a second-string position on the all-New England sextet.

White is perhaps even better known for his other athletic activities. He is captain of the baseball team, having earned that post, characteristically, after only one season of baseball here: he did not play in either his freshman or sophomore years. And he is also a fine wingback, although he did not play football last fall.

According to White, two things delayed his entrance into hockey. Weston High doesn't have a team for one, and besides. white was too busy with other sports. He was an all-scholastic center on Weston's championship basketball team, besides captaining the football team and playing, at one time or another, "almost every position in baseball."

White wanted to start hockey last year, but a football back injury prevented him.

Welland, says White, was "tops in my book." He took time to explain the tricks of the new game, and, as White says, "made it all seem so simple." Weiland drilled White in position play and helped convince him he could successfully switch from forward to defense.

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