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Dartmouth is really incredible. Less than a week after ending an undefeated season and before all the post-season honors have been claimed, the boys at Hanover issued an emergency statement: "Bucknell Threatens Dartmouth Winning Streak in '63."
Further on in the communique we find that the football situation in Hanover in extremely grim. Coach Bob Blackman, who reported at the beginning of this season that he had practically no one worthy of wearing shoulder pads, apparently will face a similar dilemma next Fall. Every coach should have such problems.
Blackman claims that he will lose the four boys responsible for the Ivy championship this year. He supposedly has little faith in the 24 returning lettermen, most of them on the line.
Dartmouth's concern for next year, although absurd, perhaps, has prompted some discussion about the future, and that discussion has revealed a confusing and unpredictable picture.
Every team in the Ivy League will be tougher next season; for the first time in years there is no obvious candidate for last place. In fact, many of the coaches are already certain that the League will be better balanced than at any time in its history.
Crimson Should Improve
Harvard is one team that should be improved, but the question is whether the Crimson can add enough strength to maintain or improve its second place status.
The Crimson will start next year with something they lacked for the first part of the past campaign--an experienced offensive and defensive line. In September Coach John Yovicsin told everyone that his squad would win just as soon as his line jelled. This coagulation process took five games, and after that Harvard was unstoppable. Had it occurred a week earlier Dartmouth might have been forced to share its Ivy laurels.
Yovicsin began the season with only five lettermen in the line, and injuries quickly began impairing the efficiency of the sophomores and JV hopefuls. But despite these difficulties, Harvard eventually built a wall capable of protecting its excellent backfield, and the coaching staff and the team deserve applause for that feat alone.
The reconstruction next season will be less severe than last September, but numerous jobs are available for eager candidates. Dick Diehl and Ed Smith vacate their posts at tackle, and it may take several games before anyone is ready to completely replace them. Smith, who should with All-Ivy honors, was the best offensive tackle in the League, according to line coach Jim Feula. Diehl, while not quite so spectacular, was well respected by the opposition, particularly towards the end of the year.
Ernie Ziesis departs at guard, but a whole swarm of people led by captain Bill Southmayd are eager to step up. The replacement problem is a little greater at end, where All-Ivy candidate Dave Hudepohl and Pat Young have played their final games.
Center may be the prime strength of the '63 Crimson, as Dick Lozeau will return to try to win his job back from Brad Stephens. Stephens was one of the best, if underrated centers in the League, and Lozeau as a sophomore was quite sensational.
At this stage of the game it is hard to say much about the backfield except that it should be the best in the League. Bill Taylor will be missed, of course, but not desperately. Hobie Armstrong and Hank Hatch also leave, creating the need for another fast back.
Bassett to Quarterback Team
On the other side of the picture, Yovicsin will once again have the services of Mike Bassett at his disposal. Bassett next year will probably be second only to Gary Wood of Cornell in consistency and team contribution. If he can avoid the early-injury fate of Charlie Ravenel and Ted Halaby the Crimson will have experienced, dependable leadership. Bill Grana returns at fullback, giving Harvard at least one superb runner and blocker. Stan Yastrzemski should be an adequate replacement for senior fullback Fred Barti on the second team.
In addition, Scott Harshbarger and Tom Bilodeau, both proven performers, will be on hand. Henry Lamar has been heard to say that no sophomore back on the varsity could have made the first three backfields on his undefeated freshman team this year, so the supply of talented backs seems unlimited.
Harvard, therefore, will be darn good, but maybe not good enough for the championship. Dartmouth, for all its crying, hasn't lost all that much; Cornell still has Gary Wood; Archie Roberts will make the Columbia Lions roar, and Brown will be able to beat anybody. No one should escape undefeated.
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