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September 21, 1949 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1949-09-21

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PAGE

SIX

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 21, 1949

iamlond

Sqa d

Paillies

To

Become

Go- Champs

* * * *

4

Wolverines Have Captured Five Crowns
In Last Six Years of Big Nine Competition

Mat Sport One Man Affair

Just as winning games is Mich-
igan tradition, winning Big Nine
championships has become a hab-
it for Ray Fisher, Wolverine dia-
inond mentor.
Wolverine nines, under the guid-
ance of Fisher since 1921, have
annexed solely or tied for 13 con-
ference crowns during this period.
Five of these titles have been add-
ed during the past six seasons.
DURING THE 1949 campaign,
the Maize and Blue forces rallied
from a poor start to jump into a
three way tie with Indiana and
Iowa for the conference cham-
pionship.
Fisher will have only three
starters and two veteran hurlers
backefor service next spring
when he leads Michigan in quest
of its third straight diamond
crown.
Captain Bob Wolff, dependablef
shortstop, leads the parade return-
ing starters and will team with Bill
Bucholz, second baseman, to form
an all-veteran keystone combina-
tion. Hal Morrill, converted into
a starting outfielder during the
1949 season because of the pres-
ence of hard-hitting Jack Mc-
Donald at first base, will probably
be shifted back to his normal po-
sition at the initial sack, giving
Fisher a well-seasoned starting in-
field.
BOB HICKS and Dave Settle,
and Ed. Grenkowski, three right-
handers who were pressed into ser-
vice late last year when Bill Taft
and Dick Smith were suffering
with sore arms, will form the nu-
cleus of the mound staff. Gone
from the hurling ranks are Taft,
Smith and Bud Rankin.
With last year's captain, Tub-
by Raymond, graduating, the
catching chores will probably be
delegated to Pete Palmer, Ray-
mond's understudy who is tout-
ed as a coming star.
The hitting of Ted Kobrin and
McDonald will be sorely missed by
DO YOU KNOW,... that on
September 1, 1946, the Confer-
ence voted to enter into an-
agreement with the Pacific
Coast Conference permitting a
Conference team to meet a PCC
team in the Rose Bowl. The Big
Ten stipulated that one of its
teams could only play once every
three years, which makes Michi-
gan ineligible till next year.

the Wolverine mentor, as this pair
were among the top batters in the
conference during the 1949 sea-
son. Kobrin's absence will leave a
wide gap at third base, where he
had operated so commendably for
two seasons.
* * *
THE OUTFIELD ranks will be
sorely depleted when spring rolls
around with Willard Baker and
Ralph Morrison graduated and
Morrill ticketed for first base duty.
Reserves from last year who will
be seeking the vacant posts are
Leo Koceski, Viv Fryling, and Pat
Hartsmark.
Fisher opened the 1949 cam-
paign with only two starters and
two veteran hurlers returning
and molded a team which ln-
ished the season with 19 wins

and nine losses, despite the fact
that his two top moundsmen
came down with sore arms in
midseason.
Following a successful southern
trip on which they won five while
dropping two, the Maize and Blue
forces slumped. The first three
weeks of the Big Nine season
found the Wolverines in the sec-
ond division with two wins and
four setbacks.
The Maize and Blue then made
its move and swept successive con-
ference twin bills from Illinois,
Ohio State, and Wisconsin. A
double setback inflicted by Ohio
State on Purdue on the last day
of the season dropped the boiler-
makers from first and allowed
Michigan to back into a deadlock
for the crown.

THE CLINCHER - Ralph Morrison, Michigan outfielder, is
shown as he scored the winning run in a 10-9 slugfest against
Michigan State last spring. He had reached third just a moment
before by blasting a three-run triple.

THE END OF AN ERA!
Wistert, at 33, Rounds Out Football Career as Captain

By BOB VOKAC
Wrestling at Michigan is tradi-
tionally becoming a one man sport.
At least since 1925, when Coach
Cliff Keen took over the embryonic
reins of the Wolverine's grappling
fortunes, Maize and Blue, mat
clubs have been tutored almost
without exception by this veteran
of the game.
* * *
A NATIONAL CHAMPION him-
self at 156 pounds from Oklahoma
A&M, Coach Keen's teams have
produced 13 national champions;
sent five men to Olympic games;
won Conference crowns in 1930,
1938 and 1944; and have amassed
101 wins against 40 losses.
Originally instigated in 1922
by Coach Thorn as a varsity
sport, Michigan has for the
main been cast principally in
the strong runner-up role, al-
though they have copped three
Big Ten titles.
A swift recapitulation of Mich-
igan's record since Conference
championships have been staged
shows the Wolverines second seven
times, third five times and fourth,
fifth and sixth one time apiece.
KEEN'S ONLY departure from
the Michigan wrestling scene was
during the war when he missed
the 1943-45 seasons in lieu of con-
ducting physical education train-
ing for naval air cadets at various
pre-flight schools in the South.
During this time, Coach Wally
Weber, versatile figure of the
Wolverine sports pageant,
stepped in to take temporary
charge of mat affairs.
The current grappling picture
around the Conferenc circle cen-
ters around Illinois and Purdue.
Purdue, the present champ, also
garnered the crown in 1945 and

1948. The intervening years of
1946-7 saw the fighting Illini hold-
ing down the top honors.
* * *
MICHIGAN'S STORY is also to
be reckoned with, though, espe-
cially the last two seasons. Having
mediocre seasons in both years,
the 1948 card saw the Wolverines
finish second one point behind
Purdue and two points behind
Purdue for a third in the 1949
agenda. Minnesota ran a close
second last year by placing one
point behind the Boilermaker
champions.
Ironically enough, since the
ascent of the Purdue-Illini
power trust, the Maize and Blue
matmen have squeezed out three
victories in their first five meets
with Purdue, while the weak
sister of the two top flight ag-
gregations, Illinois, has trounced
Michigan solidly the last five
years.
Easily the jinx team for Keen's
men, Illinois has won 10 out of
the 12 matches between the
schools.
* * *
SINCE 1944, Michigan teams
have produced six Conference
champs and nine additional final-
ists. Jim Galles took champion-
ships twice for Michigan. Once
in 1944 at 175 pounds and again
in 1945 at 165 pounds.
Bill Courtright and Wayne
Smith captured honors in 1946
as Courtright swept the 155
pound classic and Smith romped
home in the 136 pound feature.
Jim Smith, captain-elect of the
1950 club, won the 136 pound
championship in 1948 (second in
1949) and Jack Powers upset the
dope sheets by winning the 165
pound attraction in 1949 from

the vaunted Clarence Self of Wis-
consin.
* * *
MICHIGAN'S hard luck wres-
tler the last three years was
former Capt. Bob Betzig. Through-
out his entire collegiate wrestling,
career. Betzig piled up one of the
greatest personal competitive rec-
ords but failed to win a champion-
ship although he gained second
place three times at 155 pounds in
the championships.
Out of 24 dual matches, Bet-
zig brought home the bacon 21
times, most of his victories being
by virtue of falls.
Although five of Coach Keen's
past varsity will not be among
the competitors this year, the four
returning varsity grapplers, Cap-
tain Jim Smith, Jack Powers, By-
'ron Lasky and John Hess, promise
to form a powerful nucleus for the
1950 combination.
ABSENT FROM THE ranks this
winter will be Betzig, Bob Cun-
ningham, Jack Keller, Tom Miller
and Phil Carlson.
Present indications place
Smith slated for competition at
145 pounds, Powers at 165 t
pounds, Lasky at 175 pounds and
Hess at heavyweight.
It is exactly the same position
that Keen will find himself in this
year as he did last season; a
drastic lack of lightweight talent.
The necessary use of inexperienced
men last year in the 121, 128
and 138 weight classifications
more than once threw the balance
of power to the opposition.
A bright star loomed for Mich-
igan though at 128 pounds in
Larry Nelson, a freshman last
year, who copped first place in
the State AAU's last spring.

4-

By B. S. BROWN
(Co-Managing Editor)
Michigan's "old man" of the
gridiron will round out a historic
era at the Ann Arbor institution
this fall.
Al Wistert, who turned a very
young 33 a short time back, is tak-
ing over the captain's post of a
national championship team - a
team which took the title only be-
cause there was a Wistert at the
right tackle position for the Wol-
verines.
- * * *
THE HISTORIC ERA-of Wis-
terts-at least for the present, is
ending this year. It started 16
years ago when Francis Wistert,
the oldest of the three Chicago-
born brothers was named to the
All-American squad.
Big Al - Alvin, that is - was
next in line, but he left school
to take up a professional base-
ball career to help support a
fatherless family. Six years ear-
lier, the head 'of the Wistert
family, a Windy City police ser-
geant, had been killed by a
bullet from the gun of a hold-
up man.
And because Alvin didn't return
to school until after the war under
the G.I. Bill, the youngest of the
three brothers, Albert, made his
mark on the Michigan gridiron be-
fore him.
* * *
ALBERT GRABBED the All-
American laurels in 1942 and it

E

Bowl at Pasadena and took part
in the 49-0 lambasting of Southern
Cal.
* *.*
THEN, climaxing a brilliant sea-
son last year, the big 'un was
named captain of the '49 squad-
an aggregation that will go into
action, riding on a 23-game win-
ning streak. They gave the big
guy a job of protection and exten-
sion that he won't soon forget.
Because Al is 33, he is the
oldest player ever to captain a
Michigan eleven and is one of
the oldest players in the game
today. But in spite of his ad-
vanced years, Al is rated as one
of the finest tackles in the coun-
try.
It all started back in September,
1946. Al had been discharged from
the Marine Corps after serving
with the Devil Dogs for three
years, and entered Boston Univer-
sity. In his first semester (the
freshman rule was still in. effect),
he made the varsity.
WHAT was especially amazing
about the whole thing was the fact
that Al had played very little high
school football and had been away
from the game for almost 11 years!
Realizing a life-long ambition,
Al transferred to Michigan the
following February and shortly
afterwards went out for spring
training. For his outstanding
improvement in the spring drills,

Al was awarded the Meyer Mor-
ton Trophy.
Coach Oosterbaan admits that
Wistert was more than "green"
when he reported for spring drills,
but claims that "it was his will-
ingness and determination that
made him a great tackle."
* * *
AL WILL concur. "I just adopt-
ed young Al's slogan, and that was
not to be 'good', but to be the
'best damn tackle in the country'."
It was the '47 Michigan State
game which marked the begin-
(Continued on Page 8)

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I

AL WISTERT
* * *
looked as though the Wisterts at
Michigan were finished for at least
two decades.
But Al wasn't going to let his
brothers have all the glory. He
came back to equal their ac-
complishment of All-American
rating in his junior year. (Both
Francis and Albert made the
team in their senior years.)
And Big Al went them one bet-
ter. He picked up two more honors
that never came his brothers'
ways. In his first year on the
squad, he traveled to the Rose

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