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September 16, 1948 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-09-16

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aspects Look Bright for

19 48

W olverine Gridiron Seaso

(Daily Sports Editor)
Benny Oosterbaan faces one of the most difficult assignments that
can be handed a first year coach as he accepts the reigns of the 1948
He'll be trying to improve a record that was unsurpassed by ony-
one last year. He'll be trying to improve a team that was ranked num-
ber one in the country. He'll be trying to fill the shoes of H. O. "Fritz"
Crisler, who during his ten year tenure as head coach amassed a
record to be envied He'll be trying vo ind replacements for 13 out-
standing gridiron sta'warts, who in graduating, deprived Michigan of
at least one complete unit. And to top it all off he'll be facing a hostile
Western Conference, whose war-cry will be "Beat Michigan."
Each team will prime themselves for the Wolverine battle and
Coach Oosterbaan must have his charges "up" for every contest if
they hope to retain their Western Conference title. From out of
the spring football camps came the cry to "Watch Purdue and
Minnesota " but teams like Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State
and Illinois cannot be discounted. Come right down to it the foot-
ball masterminds rank the Western Conference tops in upsetting
the dope sheet and you can't discount any of the teams including
Iowa and Indiana.
Another strong factor against Michigan's repeating as Conference
champs is the terricic toll taken by graduation. Ends Len Ford, Bob
Mann; tackles Bruce Hilkene. George Johnson, Bill Pritula, centers
JT. White; and Jim Brieske are gone frc.m the line. But the backfield
was even harder hit as Bob Chappuis, Jack Weisenburger, Howie Yer-
ges, Hank Fonde and George Kiesel all played their last games for the
Maize and Blue in the memorable Rose Bowl debacle.
And then came the crowning blow to the Wolverines. The Western
Conference ruled that Chalmers "Bump" Elliott, Michigan's leading
scorer and an All-American, had played two seasons at Purdue before
transferring to Michigan.
The commission ruled that Elliott in playing from November 1,
44 to the end of the season and then playing from the beginning of
he season of 1946 until November constituted two seasons and there-
fore the tow-headed Wolverine star was no longer eligible for compe-
tition. A questionable ruling to say the least and it leads one to wonder

what might have happened had the player been John Doe instead of
Bump Elliott,
The loss of these thirteen men is one that cannot easily be made
up, and Coach Oosterbaan faces a Herculean task in keeping Michigan
in the ranks of the super-colossal.
But the prospect is not as bleak as one might first surmise.
The line will again be strong; the backfield still fast and the de-
ception still the best in the country. Oosterbaan, in deciding to
retain Crisler's system of a single wing with a slight mixture of
the T, will still present the widest and most dazzling array of
formations and plays that any team can be expected to face.
In the line, under the able guidance of Jack Blott, the guard posi-
tions seem to have sucered the least. Led by Captain Dom Tomasi,
Blott will be able to call on Joe Soboleski, Quent Sickels, Stu Wilkins,
and Lloyd Heneveld to lead the interference and the downfield block-
ing. This quintet of fast moving and agile guards, along with big Al
Johnson, will enable Oosterbaan to employ much of the fast-opening
attack the Wolverine- showed last season.
At the tackles Blott faces a problem of replacing Hilkene, Pritula
and Johnson. Only regular returning will be the "Big Moose," Al Wis-
tert, but Dick McWilliams, huge 6' 5" sophomore looks like an able re-
placement. Around these two men must be built a strong and deep
group of reserves. Soboleski may be moved over from guard. And back
from service will come an outstanding star of 1945, Al Wahl, who
should help plenty.
The loss of the two great pass catching ends, Bob Mann and Len
Ford, will surely be felt. But the new erd coach, Bill Orwig, will not
find his task too dismal to behold. He'll have ocensive first stringer
Dik Rifenburg and defensive first stringer Ed McNeill back in addi-
tion to Don Hershberger, Irv Wisniewski and Bob Hollway. Another
bright ray on the flanker horizon comes in the guise of Ozzie Clark,
fresh back from the Army and a transfer from Notre Dame, while
John Hess and George Sutherland are up from the frosh. Harry Allis,
a jayvee stalwart, looked impressive in spying drills.
At center only Dan Dworsky returns, but Don Erben got some
varsity experience last year and John Padjen and Don Nihols
played some outstanding ball for the jayvees. Up from the list of

ineligibles will come Byron Lasky, who two years ago was doing a
mighty good jiob at Albion and Carl Kregar from the freshman
In the backfield, things aren't as bad as they might appear either.
Even though the Mastermind, Howie Yerges, is gone, he leaves his able
assistance Pete Elliott behind to carry on the signal calling chores.
ete, the younger brother of Bump, will have quite a bit of competi-
tion for the number one slot in the person of Bill Bartlett, late of the
Naval Academy and more recently, the guy who led many able ob-
servers of spring practice to exclaim, "Michigan is still the team to
beat." Another pair of quarterback prospects is diminutive Irv Small,
who sparkplugged the jayvees last season and Walt Young, who gained
his basic training with Wally Weber's freshmen.
Gene Derricote, understudy to Chappuis last year, will step into
his own this season at the right half slot and make many forget the
antics of All-American Chappuis. Derriecte should blossom forth this
year into one of the best halfbacks ever to wear the Maize and Blue.
At the left half post will be Wally Teninga of 1945 fame, ably
assisted by Lou Kooeski, who captured the Meyer Morton Trophy
for the "football player showing the most improvement during
spring practice." Two additional halfbacks of note are Bob Van
Summern, a teammate of Bartlett's at Navy, and a fast and de-
ceptive runner and Charles Ortmann, no novice when it comes to
passing the pigskin.
At fullback will be Tom Peterson and Dick Kempthorn from last
year's champions and between the two, the shoes of Jack Weisenburger
should be adequately filled. Kempthorn, who earned his nickname of
"Killer" last year, came to Michigan touted as the find of the decade
and this year should see him come into his own., Making it three deep
at fullback is George Chiames, who played under Crisler in '45.
Michigan must be strong, possibly even stronger than last sea-
on, if they are to retain the Western Conference title, for their sched-
ule looks like something devised by a disgruntled Californian who gave
Michigan and a touchdown in the Rose Bowl game.
Starting with the dedicatory game at Michigan State's new stad-
ium the Wolverines go through nine successive Saturdays which axe

COACH-Filling an awfully big
pair of shoes will be the job of
Michigan's new head football
coach, Bennie Oosterbaan. A
former Wolverine All-American
end, Oosterbaan served as end
coach for many years under the
man he succeeded, 'Fritz' Cris-
ler. Last year he very ably di-
rected the Michigan backfield
anct upon Crisler's retirement at
the} beginning of this year, he
became head coach. Previously
he also served as Wolverine bas-
ketball coach, retiring from that
Ozzie to make way to Cowles.

Speedy Wol'erine Halfback
Gene Derricottc who will be pac-
ing the Michigan running at-
tack for the 1948 grid season.
Derricotte was usedmostly on
defense last year, but in the
timesswhen he handled the ball,,
he showed himself to be a dan-
gerous man and hard for the op-
ponents to stop. His passing is
also above average.



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Latest Deadline in the State


Michigan Athletic
Teams Take Six

1948 Rose Bowl Game
Climaxes Great Season
For Wolverine Gridders




National Football, Swimming, Puck
Crowis Also Taken by Wolverines

To the 1926-27 and the 1943-44
seasons, this past year must go
down in Michigan athletic annals
as one of the greatest in the sports
history of the school.
Wolverine squads captured six
Western Conference titles and took
top national honors in three dur-
ing the course of the 1947-48
school year.
After a fof-., year famine,
Michigan gridders came through
with an undefeated season to
grab top Big Nine honors and,
after a lot of controversy, the
mythical national crown. It was
the first time since 1932 that a
Wolverine football team had
gone through a season unbeaten
and untied.
The Wolverines also marked the
end of a long wait in basketball as
the cagers, under the brilliant
leadership of Ozzie Cowles took 10
of their 12 games and their first
title since 1927. In the National
Collegiate Athletic Association
tournamcnt, the Wolverines drop-
p,,d their 'opening contest to the
Crusaders of Holy Cross, but came
tlrough in the consolation game
to dump Columbia and wind up
third among schools east of the
Two more winter sports saw the
Wolverines swing into the national
sportlight, as the hockey and
swimming captured both. the Con-
ference and NCAA titles.
The M' pucksters defeated a
strong Minnesota sextet three
times during the season to take
the Big Nine title and gain the
regional NCAA berth. In the
tournament, the first one for
hockey in the history of the As-
sociation. the Wolverines played
their best hockey of the year
to down Boston College in the
semi-finals and then whipped a
favored Dartmouth sextet for
the crown.
Not to be outdone by their
frozen water" rivals, the swim-
ining team went through their
dual meet season undefeated and
then upset a favored Ohio State
squad in both the Conference and
NCAA meets. After taking the:
Conference crown by a narrow
three point margin, the Wolver-
ines made second and third places
count as they splashed their way
to the National title, taking only
one first place, while Buckeye
swimmers were taking top honors
in four events.
The Wolverines took their last
I major title in the string as the

cision prevented the Wolverines
from adding a seventh crown to
their list of laurels, as wrestling
Captain Bob Betzig was penalized
for the use of his famous "cradle
held," losing his final match be-
cause of this. Michigan finished
second, one point behind Purdue,
and a victory for Betzig would
have put the grapplers on top of
the heap.
Although they were favored to
take jhe Big Nine title, Michigan's
tennis team ran into a stumbling
block in .the form of a strong
Northwestern squad and were
forced to settle for second honors.
Individual glory, however, went to
two Wolverines, as Andy Paton
took the singles championship
and then teamed with Fred Otto
for the doubles crown.
After two rather disappoint-
ing seasons, Michigan's track
squad moved closer to the top
during the 1947-48 year, as they
took second in the indoor meet
and moved up one notch to cap-
ture second in the outdoor meet.
Losing only one of their dual
meets and establishing a string of
10 straight victories, Michigan's
golfers were top heavy favorites to
take their second Big Nine title in
as many years, but in the Confer-
C'mon Over!
Like sports? Like to write
about them?
If you are a second semes-
ter freshman or higher, male or
female with or without experi-
ence in sports writing, drop
over to the Student Publica-
tions Building, 420 Maynaird
and ask to see Murray Grant,
Sports Editor. If you can't make
it over here, look for a notice
in The Daily about the first
tryout meeting.
Here's what's in it for you:
Instruction in writing, copy
desk procedure, and page make-
up; assignment to a "beat,"
where you will cover Michigan
sports events and write news
stories and features; and a
hance to work up to paid edit-
orships ion the sports staff.
It will only take a little of
your time, so why not come
over and look around? It may
be worth your while.
ence meet at Northwestern, the

rector Herbert O. "Fritd" Crisler, who wound up his last season as
head football coach with his best team, national, Big Nine and
Rose Bowl champions. Crisler was named coach of the year for his
superb work in directing the Wolverines.
Criser Sleced rr 19471
'Cochof heYear' Award

' Runs Wild
To Smother
They were just plain Michigan
at 2 p.m. on New Year's Day 1948,
a fast tricky outfit that looked like
a two touchdown winner over
Southern California, but a scant
two hours and 49 points later the
Maize and Blue had become the
"Mad Magicians of Michigan,"
and maybe the greatest team ever
to appear in the Rose Bowl.
From coast to coast dyed in the
wool Notre Dame supporters, like
Gene Kessler of the Chicago Sun
and Times, were hopping off the
Irish onto the Mich'igan bond
Whether the Wolverines play-
ed their best game of the year
or not is an argument with as
little chance for a solution as
the "who's better Michigan or
Notre Dame" squabble, but best
or not the Maize and Blue were
a great football team.
Thirteen times general Howard
Yerges took command to direct
the offense. Seven times Michigan
The line functioned like a pre-
cision perfect instrument. Up
front guards Dom Tomasi and Stu
Wilkens mowed down the huge
Trojans. Their blocking was a
thing of beauty.
And behind that line Yerges,
with Bob Chappuis, Bump El-
liotit and Jack Weisenburger
made up what will undoubtedly
go down in history as one of the
greatest backfields in the annals
of football,
Chappuis established a new to-
tal offense record for a Rose Bowl
performer. Elliott, who carried the
ball only five times, was highly
effective as a decoy and highly
destructive as a blocker.
And Weisenburger seemed to
run with added power against the
Trojans. His magnificent spinning
and faking split the Southern Cal-
ifornia line as efficiently as if he
used an ax.
In all, Fritz Crisler's Wolverines
estaolishcd nine modern Rose
Bowl records:
1. Largest point total 49,
equalling own 1902 mark.
2 Greatest margin of victory,
49 points.
3. 491 yards total offense,
eclipsing Southern Cal's 427 of

Herbert Orrin "Fritz" Crisler,
suave master strategist of last
years unbeaten untied Michigan
football team, ended his coach-
ing career in- a blaze of glory as
he received the Coach of the Year
award for 1947.
The grey-thatched ex-coach,
who piloted the Wolverines most
point hungry grid machine since
1905, thus became the 13th winner
of the New York World Tele-
grain's annual Coach-of-the-Year,
succeeding Earl "Red" Blaik as
the top man in football.
A total of 2 coaces cast
secret ballots in the 1947 con-
test to select their own Coach of
the Year, rated by many as the
most realistic award of the foot-
ball season.
Receiving 68 firt place votes,
Crisler was followed by Matty
Bell of Southern MIthodist, Lynn
Waldorf of California, Frank
Leahy, Notre Dame, Lou Little,
Columbia, Stu Holcomb, Purdue
and Bob Higgins of Penn State.
One of the outstanding figures
in football for the past two dec-
ades, Crisler has always been a
ln~ nzy nnsdr for Coli o

failed to poll a
number of votes.
Foi r principles
were laid dlown by
mitten. (1) Record

of selection
the poll com-
for 1947 (not

necessarily unbeaten); (2) sched-
le (strength of opposition); (3)
material available; (4) sports-.
manship and influence on players.
Crisler's brilianr t direction in
each of his teamn's nine victories
covers every rate.ory to the full-
W'l mn informed o lio e great
11,)O.,; bestowed pOfl n hirn, Cris-
ler r.aid he was "very pleased in
being selected" but he added,
"There are others more deserving
of the honor-the major credit
for it goes to my assistants and
the boys themselves. Bennie Oos-
terbaun, Art Valpey and Jack
B ulot, d clhr the, coaching and de-
semrv the p I i 1 just stood
arou ld tryi ng to look impressive."
Crislr, wh couldn't make his
hig, school football team, is one
of the game's most conspicu-
ous successes. He has made a
career of football triumphs since

PACES ATTACK-Stellar half-
back Bob Chappuis, who clim-
axed his last season of colleg-
iate football with winning All-
American honors on practically
every team named throughout
the country. He was the spark
plug of the Wolverines and led
them to their first undefeated,
untied season since 1933.
Hugh Morrow, Alabama and
Don Maechie, Iilinois.
8, Brieske tied record for
points made by kicking, held by
Ambrose of the Mare Island
Marines, 1918.
9. Weisenburger tied Elmer
Layden's 18 point scoring total. '
Defensively, they stood like the
Rock of Gibralter. Led by Len Ford
and Al Wistert, who smashed into
the Troy backfield, and Ed Mc-
Neil who drifted, turned plays in
and stiipped away the blockers,
the defensive unit permitted only
one sustained SC drive.
* * *
Great, Year
(Sports Feature Editor)
For the mighty men of Michl'
gan, the 1948 football campaign
was a masterpiece of strategy.
They called their shots and
made them, rolling ruthlessly
over six Conference opponents and
three outsiders, who found it im-
possible to match strides with 'the
nation's number one gridders.
With all the necessary material
at his fingertips, Fritz Crisler plied
the Maize and Blue striplings into
powerful offensive and defensive
units. well rooted in the basic fun-
damentals and pruned on timing.
Breezing through the first
four encounters, played on
shirt-sleeve days, the Wolver-

The Wolverines learned from
bitter experience not to play
last week's game again on the
following Saturday. It cost
them the Big Nine title in 19,46.
Last year, they were on an even
keel, looking only at the pres-1
ent, not worrying about future
or past tilts.
Thus they were able to get rid'
of Illinois the week after the Min-
nesota battle. Indiana provided a
breather before the decisive game
against Wisconsin.
Chappuis, Elliott, Derricotte,
Weisenburger, and company
romped through Wisconsin
mud, and through and over the
Wisconsin line to an easy 40-6
victory, giving them the Big
Nine championship and a round
trip ticket to the Rose Bowl
But the season wasn't over. Ohio
State refused to roll over and
play dead as they had the year
before. The Wolverines fought for
every yard in the season's finale.
They won, 21-0, completed an un-
defeated campaign and wound up
leading in almost. every statistical
department in Big Nine books.
Rg-s- u-rge
To-T ake Steps
For Faci'litiles
A recommendation tha "t'hti'
Boar d of Regents take steps to
finance badly needed athletic fa-
cilities was made late last spring
by the Board in Control of Inter-
collegiate Athletics.
The Board said that it could not
make the necessary improvements
without supplementary funds be -
cause of increased operating costs
and higher construction prices.
They advanced the possibility
that students might be charged
admission for football games
and other University athletic
events in their annual report to
the Regents.
Saying that they did not favor
charging such admissions unless
other means of increasing income
could not be found, they contin-
ued by stating, "We believe firml
in the principle that all students
should have the privilege of at-
tending athletic events without
No new additions to the ath-
letic plant have been made in the
last twenty. years and at present
the University is attempting to
-r n l

*-Home Contests.
will mark the inauguration of the
Spartans new enlarged stadium.
Seek Revenge
State will be out to avenge heavy
drubbings uulaffere~d these last two
years. The"Wolverines took the
Spartans into camp 55-7 in 1946
and then trimmed them 55-0 last
season. This will be MSC's game
of the year and Coach Biggie
Munn will have his boys "up" for
Oregon provides the opposition
for the Wolverine home opener a
week later nd the "M" eleven
will attempt to continue its mas-
tery over teams from the West
Coast which they began last year
with a 49-13 victory over Stanford
during the regular season and a
solid 49-0 thumping of USC in
the Rose Bowl.
Purdue Next
Michigan's Big Nine opener is
also scheduled for the road, as the
Wolverines tackle the potentially
powerful Purdue outfit led by ex-
Army coach Stu Holcomb. Last
season, the Boilermakers wound
up tied for third place in the Con-
ference standings, giving the defi-
nite impression that they were go-
ing places during the 1948 year.
Michigan and Purdue were not
scheduled last year.
From there it's back home for
the Maize and Blue gridders with
Northwestern opening the Wol-
verine home Conference season on
the 16th of October. The Wildcat,
gave Michigan a little trouble last
year although the 49-21 score
doesn't' indicate that. Northwest-
ern scored more points against
the Wolverines than did the rest

Face Tough
Grid Games
Nine Tilts on Tap
For '4 ''_quad
The road to another Weste
Conference for Michigan's g:
squad will not be an easy one, w
m wo Lu I (.e4'es appearing
a power laden Minnesota elev
and a Purdue team that may si
prise the fan on the street.
For the first time in many yes
the Wolverines, open their sche
ule on the road, meeting the Sp,
tans of Michigan State in E
Lansing on September 25. The t
I'Tin't as


25-Michigan State.
I 3-Indianka*
20-Ohio State.


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