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January 01, 1948 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-01-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Triii MICJw14GN )AHX'oo

Keen Lauds Lightweigbhts

Cliff Keen, head coach of Mich-F
igan's new 150-pound football
team is full of Entl-musiasm for the
Western Conference's new venture
in intercollegiate athletics.
"It's a great thing for these big
midwestern colleges where so
many boys get squeezed out of
varsity competition merely be-
cause they're too small.'
Keen who has been head
wrestling coach and assistant on
the Wolverine grid staff for 22
,years, rates his lightweight
squad among his top teams.
"They're wonderful," said the

letic staff, "I've never had a team
that put out like this one has, and
they really enjoyecd themselves
every minute."
It's a great sport from the
spector angle too," added Keen.
"It's fast and deceptive and the
caliber of play is first class."
Cliff Keen is one of, the vet-
erans of the Michigan coaching
staff having come to Ann Arbor
in 1925 after a successful high
school coaching career in Okla-
Heia was national intercollegiate
wrestling champ at 158 pounds
while actctnding Oklahoma A & M.

,
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-h, r; ;

--- __ _
, . ...

CONFERENCE CHAMPS-ThiC 150-pound team, which, in their first year, tied far the Western Confearence crown. Tap row (left to
right) TOP: Nelson, Nahabedian, Hicks, Strong, McKee, Costa, Olson, Sipp, Kiddon, O'Connell, Wicks, THIRD: Breakey, Marshall,
Parshall, Bradley, IMurrell, Hinz, Free'd, Smith, Clark, Englander, Morey, Rosatti. SECOND: Bra dbury, Sakai, Buster, Rogers, Allen
Coach, Kitterer, Captain; Keen Coach; Mandeville, Singer, Whitehouse. BOTTOM: Wilcox, Shaw, Schnider, Budick, Enierling.
1j: * r ,*** *

150-Pound Football Is

Very Successful

By BUD WEIDENTHAL
When the lid of the first 150-
pound football season in Western
Conference history }slew skyward
on Ann Arbor's Ferrer Field early
last November it was the begin-
ning of football's "big experiment"
for 1947. The success of that ex-

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pel iment has now been acclaimed
not only by Big Nine Commis-
sioner Kenneth L. "Tug" Wilson
but by many thousands of enthu-
siastic fans who followed the sea-
,-,n as it progressed.
it was Michigan's athletic staff
licaded by Ffritz Crisler which had
long advocated lightweight foot-
ball for the Big Nine, but it was
,not until this season that four
members of the league - Ohio
State, Wisconsin, Illinois and the
Wolverines decided to take the big
step) andfield teams.
At ]Michigan, Cliff ]Keen, an
eld-fa, thful on the athletic staff,
for years head wrestling mentor
and assistant on the gridiron,
was given the position as coach.
Late in September Coach Keen
announced the first practice and
approximately 75 lightweight as-
pirants responded to his call.
yn a matter of only a few weeks
score semblance of an organ-
ized, coordinated team was begin-
nin ; to take shape. A remarkable
achieveii~ent considering the fact
thhat cualy 14 of members of the
cquad had ever participated. in or-
, Iisized football, and of that num-
hert only fouir had ear'ned any kind
ofvars<,ity letters.
'ih 'rcate.st diffic ulty en-
C oiteedihowever, was that of'
tF. anioriing well over half of
tbe -quad from backfield posi-
tions to the line. It seemed

strange converting 140 pounders
into tackles. The process was
necessarily slow and tedious.
Particularly brilliant in pre-sea-
son warm-ups and scrimmages,
which were parctically daily oc-
currances, was Charlie Ketterer,
a senior who had been a standout
for the Wolverines on the basket-
ball court and the baseball dia-
mond.
His adept ball-handling and
sharp passing was just the medi-
cine Doctor Keen had ordered and
he jiust natur'ally stepped into the
lightweight's quarterback slot.'
Aroiund Ketterer the Wolver-
ine mentor built an offense
based exclusively on the "'T" for-
mation, a complete departure
from the traditional Michigan
single wing.
The schedule found the "little
Wolverines," as they came to
be called, opening their season
against Illinois in Ann Arbor on
November 1, followed by a contest
with Wisconsin and a home and
home series with Ohio State.
The week preceding the opener
Ketterer was elect~i captain by
his teammates and was named to
the starting qua rter'back position
from wheire he would direct the
team.
On Noember' 1 sever'al thousaiad
fans wer'e on hand to view the sea-
son lid-lifter against the Uniersity
of Illinois.

After a slow start the "little
Wolverines" s ud decnl1y found
themselves and raced to three
spectacular scores in the first
half on a pass from Ketterer to
John Wilcox, a sneak by Ketter-
er and a short dash by Ross
Marshall.
The Wolveirines added two more
touchdowns to their 20-0 halftime
lead, on a 74 yard run by Doug
Wicks and a short aerial fr'om
Charlie Ketter'er's right arma into
the hands of Johnny Wilcox.
The final score read Michigan
33, Illinois 0, a fitting inaugural
to lightweight football at Ann
Arbor.
Next came Ohio State, again
at Ferry Field. This time over-
cast skies and a driving rain
greeted the grid ders as they took
their positions for the kickoff.
Although Michigan started fast
and was able to assume a two
point lead on a safety early in the
(Coninued on Page 8)

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