THE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29,1967
.AE....TH IC IG N DA-
TUESDvAY ,i~AUGUST 29ya . 1967v
Y By BOB LEES
April is normally a slow month
for followers of winter sports.
Basketball has had its finals,
gymnastics is done, swimming and
indoor track are finishing up, and
sports editors are hard-pressed to
- find interesting tidbits to inform
So why, on the night of April 8
last spring, was The Daily's sports
desk flooded with calls about an
obscure meet being held in the un-
likely location of Stillwater, Okla-
The answer is that the "obscure"
mee was the East-West All-Star
dual wrestling meet, and the call-
ers were just a part of the amazing
number of followers of one of
Michigan's most exciting - and
consistently winning - winter
Ever since Clifford P. Keen took
over as coach ofWolverine wres-
tlers in the 1924-25 season, his
squads have maintained one of
the most successful won-loss rec-
ords in sports history. Going into
last season, his teams had amassed
245 victories against only 87 losses
and 11 ties in dual meet competi-
tion, while gaining the Big Ten
conference crown nine times since
official championships began in
And last year's squad was no ex-
ception. Following a four-year
skein which saw Wolverine grap-
plers lose only one meet, while at
one time winning 34 straight,
1966-67 edition breezed thri
eleven meets without a loss,
cluding a thrilling come-from
hind victory over '67 NCAA ch
Though this same State si
went on to cop both the Big
and NCAA crowns, Michigan s
ed right behind, the Spartan
both tourneys, gaining se(
places in each, as the two Big
arch-rivals ended the Oklahc
Oklahoma State domination o:
And the '67 team gained n
individual honors in additio:
their team laurels. Bob Fehrs,
pound captain of the '67 ag
gation, copped first place ir
weight division at the Wi
Barre Invitational, then wen-
to grab his third Big Ten cli
pionship as well as runner-u
the NCAA for the third time
Fellow seniors on that sc
145-pounder Burt Merical
160-pounder Jim Kamman, g
bed a first and a second, res
tively, in the Midlands Invita-
al at LaGrange, Illinois. They
lowed this with a second ar
first, respectively, in the Big 7
Kamman, wrestling at 152-po
in the nationals, took the c.
in that division.
But these men have gradu
and glory should now focus or
"youngsters" from last y
squad, who are properly expo
Tennis Team Paced
By Sophomore Stars
to lead the way for this year's
"Yet, we have a lot of good guys
coming up from the freshman
team, too," says assistant grap-
pling coach Rick Bay, beginning
his second year as Keen's assis-
tant. "Though the returnees will
show the way for awhile, we expect
good fights at all positions."
The returning letterman are
led by Lansing's Dave Porter 'at
heavyweight. Two years ago Por-
ter capped an undefeated season
by winning both the conference
and national championships, and
last year was named "Outstanding
Wrestler" in the Big Ten tourney
by winning his crown on three
Though upset in the semi-finals
of the nationals, this year's cap-
tain avenged his loss by pinning
the NCAA champ at the East-West
And other holdovers brighten
the scene. Senior Fred Stehman,
also of Lansing, starting off with
a third at the Midlands in the 152
division, went all the way in that
weight to grab the Big Ten crown,
and moved up to 160 to take third
Among this year's juniors Geoff
Henson and Pete Cornell also re-
turn. Geoff, from Arlington, Va.,
tok a fourth at both the Wilkes-
Barre and the Big Ten in the 130
range, while Cornell, according to
Keen, "lost a close one at 177" at
"But Pete really improved as the
season progressed," remembers
Bay, and the records bear him1
out. Finishing up a fine rookie
season with a ,sensational victory
in the State meet, the Lansing
graduate was edged out in the
Western Conference finals, then
dropped down to 167 to take a
third in the NCAA's.
Although, as Bay says, "you're
always hurting when you lose a
lot of experience through grad-
uation," the freshman squad "was
a good one."
In the Michigan Freshman
Tourney, held last winter with five
other area frosh squads, the Baby-
Wolverines amassed 83 points to
for outdistance the pack. Second-
place MSU had 48 points, while
Bowling Greens 45, Central Michi-
gan's 39, Toledo's 27, and Eastern
Michigan with 10 rounded out the
And according to Bay, the out-
standing member of that squad
was 130-pounder Lou Hudson.
"He worked out with Fehrs a lot
last year," recalls Bay, "and he al-
ways gave him a rough time. He's
a tough competitor."
The Hixon, Tennessee, graduate
was a national champ in the Le-
high Prep School Championships,
being named Outstanding Wrestler
his senior year. He also won his
weight in the frosh tourney on two won his weight in the invitational 0I
first-period pins, yet the coaches by pinning his Bowling Green op-
fear he won't be too much of a ponent in 45 seconds flat. By PHILLIP BURSLEY
help at 130. "He's still a growing When it comes to the 167-pound This year's tennis season al-
boy," laughs Bay. "We'll probably division, Bay is firm. "We need though frustrating weather-wise,
have to put him in the 137-pound help here," he says, "and Steve turned out to be a better year for
division." Eldridge will provide it." the Michigan netters than had
But o t h e r- lower-weighters From Grosse Isle, Eldridge came been expected. "I was surprised
brightened the tourney picture. here last year "not knowing too at how well we did," said Michi-
Ron Sheer, 123 pounds, of Cleve- much about tactics, but he's an gan coach Bill Murphy. "My
land took his weight class in two aggressive type and just may prove hopes went up as the dual meet
matches, but had to work to make a sleeper." He took fourth in the season progressed."
the lineup, as Perrysburg, Ohio's tourney. Another of the "inex- Highlights of the year were
Mike Smith gave him a fine chal- perienced but aggressive "types is meets against Indiana, Michigan
177-pounder Bevan Alvey of Lin- State and Notre Dame. Murphy
coln, Illinois, who grabbed second said that the toughest was a loss
at the tournament. (t re n
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lenge. And Frank Lucido, another
Lansing product, survived a shaky
start which led to a first-match
loss by wrestling back for third
place at 137.
While Geoff Henson has those
"upstarts' to contend with in
maintaining his starting role, Fred
Stehman expects some challenges,
in the middle weights, too. His'
152-pound division, in fact, was
filled on the ,freshman squad by a
familiar name-Lane Headrick.
Headrick, from Chattanooga,
has a brother who lettered for'
Michigan, and in high school lost
only one match-to Lou Hudson.
He proved his ability in the north-
land, too, by taking the frosh
crown on three match victories,
two by pins.
The 145-pound slot was filled by
Walled Lake's John Hellner.
Though he was edged out 4-3 in
the finals of his weight, Bay "ex-
pects good things from him. He
was third in the state in high
school, and always gave Kamman
and Stehman good workouts."
As if they weren't enough, 160-
pounder Jim Sanger from Madi-
son, Wisconsin, was termed by
the coaches "the most improved
freshman." Only fourth in Wis-
coisin's state tournaments, Sanger,
The last starter, and another'
second-place winner at the in-
vitational, was heavyweight Bill
Warne of Sante Anna, California.
He had the dubious honor of being
tossed around the wrestling room
in practice by Dave Porter, and
Bay claims that "he learned a lot
from it. He's quite a competitor,"
says the assistant mentor rue-
Another newcomer to this year's
squad is Steve Rubin from Cleve-
land, a transfer student from Ohio
State. Though he wasn't eligible
for competition last year, he is ex-
pected to help out in the 137-145
Also challenging will be Bob
Seegar from Westbury, New York,
at 123; Arnold Segal from Hart-
ford, Connecticut, who sat out
most of last year with mono but
will give the lower weights a
tussle; and Mike Touma from Port
Huron, whom Bay describes as "a
hard worker and second to Sanger
Bob Noel, who started several
matches at 123 last year, will also
return to make that weight a
The team overall may find it
hard to regroup after losing so
many top stars, but Bay is op-
timistic, especially after watching
the frosh in action. "It was posi-
tively enlightening the way they
took that MSU bunch," he be'ams.
"State had' better credentials, but
our kids were hungry. As enthu-
siastic as they were in that tour-
nament, we expect battles at all
positions, and no pushovers when
the season starts."
In the Big Ten, though, Michi-
gan State lost few starters, and
will probably by the favorite. Bay
agrees, but says that "Michigan
also has to be a team to beat,"
with Northwestern and Minne-
sota a pair of strong darkhorses.
Having the first two positions in
the nationals in this conference
is an honor to be sure, but Wol-
verine followers would like to see
With the numbers reversed.
Michigan was led this year by
sophomore ace Dick Dell, from
Betheshda, Md, and captain Brian
Marcus. These two stars led
Michigan to a second place finish
in the Big Ten (behind Michigan
At the season's end in the
NCAA finals at Carbondale, Illi-
nois, the Wolverines finished
tenth nationally as a team,
"With luck we might have
made it to the seventh position,"
said Murphy. He added, "There
were some really fine and out-
standing teams in that tourna-
ment, Michigan was certainly one
of them. I thought we held our
own very well against the best
,collegiate tennis has to offer in
The dual meet loss to Notre
Dame was highlighted by Marcus'
loss to the Fighting Irish's Hindu
standout, JasJit Singh, following
Dick Dell's defeat. Marcus came
back the next day to put away
Indiana's Mike Baer 12-10, 6-1,
Del kept his Big Ten conference
dual meet record unblemished
with a 6-2, 6-0 basting of the
Hoosiers' Dave Brown.
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Murphy cited "the doubles com-
bination of Pete Fishback and
Dell as the toughest match of the
Indiana meet." Falling behind in
the first set, the duo came back
to win, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and cinch
the Wolverines' important 8-1 vic-
tory . that knocked Indiana out of
first place by taking sole posses-
sion of the top spot
In the last meet of the season,
Michigan easily defeated the Il-
linois team 9-0. Dell, by virtue of
his 6-4, 11-9 victory, ended the
dual meet season with an un-
beaten record, one of three in the
conference. Thanks to the shut-
out win, the Wolverines were able
to retain possession of first place
by one point over fast-rising
Fine performances were put in
by the entire team. Notable were
Pete Fishbach who defeated Mike
Elbi 6-1, 6-4; Ron Teeguarden,
downing Steve Leveson, 6-1, 9-7;
and Bob Pritula over Rich Berk-
holder, 6-2, 7-5.
The all-important Big Ten
Meet shaped up as a show-down
between Michigan and Michigan
State before the first bail was
lobbed. Both teams were experi-
enced and strong finishers. The
pre-title dual meet season was a
virtual deadlock and the title
figured to go down to the wire.
Murphy pointed out that the
Spartans had "a well-balanced
team and their scores with other
schools were similar to ours."
Michigan, the winner of the Big
Ten crown for the past three
years, was thus set against an
equally tough and formidable foe,
not to mention. individual strong-
men from other teams who would
try to dent the Wolverines' drive.
At the end of the first day, the
Spartans paced the meet by only
a point, 98 to Michigan's 97. A
distant third, Northwestern was
23 points back. The stage was
cleared for the tension of the final
playoffs where victory might be
measured in teaspoonfuls.
During that first day, Michigan
doubles team of Marcus and Tee-
guai'den had been eliminated. It
was vital that Michigan win the
No. 3 match competition. Ed Waits
and Pritula did just that by team-
Ing up against Indiana's Bob Gray
and Dave Shumacher, 3-6, 7-5, 8-
6. The win was a satisfying one
because the Hossiers had turned
the tables on the Wolverine pair
just a month earlier.
The outlook for Michigan ap-
peared to brighten as they battled
back on the second day of the
tournamnent to take a 1% point
lead over MSU, 119-117. How-
ever, the Wolverines were sorely
wounded by Dell's defeat at the
hands of Wisconsin's Dan Bleck-
inger. Ironically, Dell had beaten
him earlier in the season.
The loss of Dell in the.No. 1
singles proved to be the decisive
blow as the Wolverines faltered
and finished second behind the
Spartans. The Spartans' margin
was only 4% points, 134% to 130.
Michigan had outdistanced all
other comers, leaving third place
Indiana behind at 84 points.
The long season of dual confer-
ence meets and three days of rug-
ged competition boiled down to
the No. 3 doubles match where
Waits and Pritula were called
upon to perform another miracle.
They faced MSU's Jim Phillips
and Vic Dhooge, whom they had
defeated in East Lansing earlier
6-8, 7-5, 9-7.
In an extremely close match,
the Spartans walked away with
the championship, 5-7, 6-3, 8-6.
Murphy commented after the
tournament, "I have been asso-
ciated with the Big Ten tennis for
20 years as a player and coach and
this is the closest tournament I
can remember. We gave them
quite a fight for it."
Michigan wound up with three
individual conference champions.
Sophomore Brian Marcus claimed
the number 2 singles; Pete Fish-
back dealt a 6-1, 6-4 defeat to
Northwestern's Tom Mansfield in
the finals of the No. 3 singles;
and Ed Waits kept his No. 4 crown
by defeating Hoosier Mike Meis,
6-2, 6-3. So ended a thrilling Big
Ten meet, with Michigan eagerly
awaiting next year's tournament
with revenge in mind.
The Wolverines went on to the
NCAA national tournament. In
close and tough matches, the
Michigan netters tied for 10th.
Commenting on the past season,
Murphy said, "This was a frustra-
ting year. We were continually
fighting the elements; the weather
was terrible for tennis. I am also
disappointed in the second place
finish in the Big Ten.
"However, I am extremely hap-
py we made it that far. Dick Dell
was obviously a fine player for us,
but seemed to go a little wrong
in the tournament."
Dell will be back this year with
another season to go beyond that.
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