Last year, the Harvard football team performed a magic trick. Picked to finish among the league low-lifes, the Crimson captured the Ivy League title.
This year the kids in the front row--make that press row--are asking, no, expecting, Harvard to do it again.
With expectations high, can the Crimson repeat?
Running back Tony Hinz, the optimist: "Go 10-0? That's one of my goals, and I hope that everyone else thinks we can do it too."
Coach Joe Restic, the conservative: "We will start from day one as if we were struggling to enter the picture."
Captain Don Peterson, the philospher: "We'll take them one at a time."
In 1986, the Crimson finished 3-7. Last year, Harvard finished 8-2, including a title-clinching victory over Yale in New Haven, Conn.
The Crimson had only six returning starters going into last year. Harvard has 11 returning starters this year, including quarterback Tom Yohe, who last year broke nearly all of Harvard's single-season passing records.
The 1988 prospectus looks a lot brighter than last year's did. So Hinz's assessment, that the Crimson should not only repeat as champion but possibly turn in a perfect campaign, seems fair.
Consider the returing starters:
Yohe. Last year, Yohe, who became the starter at the end of the 1986 season, threw for more than 200 yards six times and finished with 2134 yards passing and 17 TD passes.
Hinz. In last year's game against Yale, Hinz rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the year with a team-leading 789 yards rushing and was selected first-team All-Ivy.
Maurice Frilot. If Yohe is king, Frilot is the castle. Frilot, a 6-ft., 1-in., 265-lb. All-Ivy tackle, gave Yohe good protection all year.
John Bartholomew. Tony Consigli. Shawn Sensky. Bartholomew is the Crimson's other tackle. Consigli is the center. ("I'm always happy to have an experienced center when I have a quarterback coming back," Restic said. "You have to have someone up front in that position to give you consistency.")
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