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September 20, 1950 - Image 21

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1950-09-20

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



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Oosterbaan Fills

23 Lettermen, Soph Stars
Head 1950 Football Team




Coaching Staff Keeps Team On Top,
BriigsBoys Back After Two Losses

Associate Sports Editor
One of the truly great figures
in Michigan athletic history re-
tired as coach three years ago and
left his top assistant with a ter-
rific record to try to match.
* * *
THAT ASSISTANT had to car-
ry on in the footsteps of H. O.
"Fritz" Crisler who had stepped
down after his 1948 squad, his last
and best, had swept to a national
title, Western Conference crown,
and a smashing Rose Bowl victory.
The team had run up a win
streak of 14 games and it was
expectoed to be prolonged by
the group of experienced and re-
turning veterans.
The big question was could Ben-
jamin Gaylord Oosterbaan, sud-
denly handed one of the biggest
coaching jobs in college football,
carry on in the footsteps of his
great predecessor?
* * *
HIS FIRST YEAR success is now
a familiar story. He not only led
the Wolverines to their second
consecutive undefeated season and
to national honors, but was nam-
ed the nation's "Coach of the
Apparently hie was easily car-
rying on in the Michigan tra-
dition cC annually producing
powerful gridiron machines.
But the skeptics were not satis-
fied. They could point out the
fact that Oosterbaan was handed
an experienced outfit in his fresh-
man year and possibly had little
.4 do with its development.
WHETHER THAT be true or
not, all doubts were dispelled last
fall when "Bennie" led the Michi-
ganders to another Big Ten title
after two stunning upsets.
Oosterbaan succeeded brilli-
anttly in rallying the team after
it appeared that the strain of
the long win streak would end
up causing a disastrous cam-
First Army's powerful Cadets
suddenly halted Michigan's win
skein at 25 and before the Wol-
verinescould recover from that
blow, Northwestern's Wildcats had
sprung up an even bigger upset
on them.
BUT WHEN it looked,as if Min-
nesota's Gophers were going to
have a field day against the Wol-
verines on the following Saturday,
"Bennie" inspired his boys to great
heights against the invaders.
The Wolverines whipped the
confident horde from the North-
land and went on to tie for the
conference title, for the third
straight year that the Maize and
Blue had won or shared the cov-
x eted crown.
The victory over Minnesota that
day was a great one for Ooster-
baan. In a week he had transform-
ed a team that had looked com-
pletely beaten and without spirit
to one that looked practically un-
IN THAT ONE afternoon he
had silenced the doubters and
critics and had shoved the Maize
and Blue back up with the na-
tion's best.
Oosterbaan was far from an
unfamiliar figure as he stepped
into Crisler's shoes. He had
been "Fritz's" backfield coach
and was thoroughly indoctrin-
ated in Crisler's famous single
wing attack.
Even more than that he had
been one of Michigan's greatest
All-Americans as an end on the

25-26-27 squads under the late
Fielding H. Yost. He also starred
on the basketball court and on
the diamond.
BUT BENNIE would undoubt-
edly be the first one to admit
that his big job is directing and

walls and several other All-Ameri-
cans including two of the three
Wisterts, Francis and Alvin.
* * *
CEITHAML WAS one of a long
line of brilliant Wolverine quarter-
backs. He captaihed and directed
the powerful 1942 squad, and mov-
ed up from his old position of
junior varsity coach when Crisler
Ceithaml has had a lot to do
with the development of two
current stars, Leo Koceski and
Charlie Ortmann.
Ernie McCoy carries the title
of Chief Scout and with it goes
the responsibility of preparing the
squad for the coming opponents'
tactics and characteristisc. He is
also head basketball coach and as-
sistant athletic director.
* * *
THE OTHER TWO line coaches
are Bill Orwig who specializes in
tutoring the ends and J. T. White,
an assistant to Blott and one of
the championship '48 outfit.
Don Robinson, Wally Weber,
.and Cliff Keen {round out the
staff with Keen the only one
not coaching at his alma mater.
Robinson is a former halfback
who is handling the junior var-
sity and Weber has the important
task of teaching the Michigan
system to the incoming freshmen.
Keen, the varsity wrestling
mentor, is an all-around assistant
who used to coach the 150-pound-
ers before that sport was taken;
off the college sports agenda.

(Daily Sports Editor)
Opportunities, in the form of a
fourth consecutive Big Ten title,
a Rose Bowl bid and another shot
at Army, the only major team they
have never beaten, are knocking
on the door of the Wolverines'
locker-room as the 1950 season
* *.*
MICHIGAN'S high-compression
grid machine will be powered by 23
returning lettermen, strengthened
by a handful of standouts from
last year's reserve squad and
sparked by sophomores, newly pro-
moted from the '49 freshman
team, deservedlyclassified by frosh
coach Wally Weber as: "The
greatest in recent years."
But head coach Bennie Ooster-
baan will be facing the toughest
schedule carded by the Maize
and Blue in many years and
the problem of seasoning the in-
experienced replacements for
such men as Al Wistert, Dick
Kempthorn, Tom Peterson, Wal-
ly Teninga and Lloyd Heneveld,
all veterans of the 1947 Rose
Bowl contest.
The Wolverines will receive
their initial test from a strong
Michigan State invasion, sched-
uled for the last day in Septem-
ber. Especially impressive at the
ends and in the backfield, State
has one of the best pass receivers
in the business in six-foot, five-
inch Bob Carey, who is touted as
"the best in Spartan history" by
virtue of his record-shattering
sophomore performances last fall.
THE FOLLOWING weekend, on
October 7, the Wolverines will
play host to coach Tuss McLaugh-

ry's Dartmouth team which re-
corded a very impressive record of
six wins and two losses on an all-
major-game schedule last season,
but which is faced with the prob-
lem of completely rebuilding its
line for the '50 campaign.
The Indians' T-formation of-
fense will be under the direction
of play-maker John Clayton, a
flashy ball handler and passer,
who was named the outstanding
player in New England by the
Boston Gridiron Club last fall.
After these two rugged home
game tests, Michigan will head for
Yankee Stadium in New York
where, on October 14, they will
meet Army, undefeated in 1949,
and the only team ever to beat the
Wolverines three successive times.
* * *
out to avenege the 21-7 loss the
Cadets served them last year, end-
ing a 25-game winning streak in
a contest that saw the spark-plug
of the Michigan offense, Chuck
Ortmann, suffer a minor brain
concussion on the first play from
Army must be rated Ntrong of-
fensively, despite the loss of stal-
wart linemen and Arnold Galif-
fa, All-American signal-caller
who ran the machine that struck
for 354 points while holding its
opponents to a scant 64 last
But whatever the outcome of the
eagerly anticipated Army game,
the Wolverines will settle down
to a defense of the Western Con-
ference title which they now
share with Ohio State, when they
meet Wisconsin, Minnesota, Il-
linois, Indiana, Northwestern and
OSU, in that order.

THAT FARAWAY LOOK-The awareness of nine Saturday's of torture and anguish line the face of
Michigan's head coach, Bennie Oosterbaan. Although relieved from the pressure of a long winning
streak, the demand for a winning ball club is ever-present. Bennie starts his third year as director of
the Wolverine football fortunes with two Conference Championships under his belt-far better than
par for the course.

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Al Wahl, a stalwart tackle who
has anchored the right side of
Michigan's line for two years, was
elected to captain the 1950 Wolver-
ine football team by his mates last
Wahl succeeded his left side
counterpart, tackle Al Wistert,
who led the Maize and Blue to the
Western Conference co-champion-
ship last year.
"BRICK" WAHL follows in the
footsteps of his uncle, Herb Steger,
who captained the 1925 Wolverine
team. The Oak Park, Illinois, sen-
ior first came to Michigan in 1945
and was regarded as an outstand-
ing freshman prospect. He entered
the Army, however, which shelved
his football career for a time.
While in Service he displayed his
aggressive 'talents in the ring, and
won the Army Golden Gloves title
in the German area.
He returned to Michigan in
the fall of 1948 and the six-foot-

three, 225-pound lad immediate-{
ly took over the right tackle
position. He received All-Ameri-
can mention for his outstanding
play last fall.
Wistert commented upon his
successor saying, "Al has the poise
and leadership ability it takes to
captain a Michigan team."
Head ' Coach Bennie Ooster-
baan echoed Wistert's - state-
ments, adding, "He is a fine
player; I'm sure he'll carry on
in the Michigan tradition."
Wahl has a tough job ahead 'of
him. The Maize and Blue face an-
other rugged schedule, with the
three toughest games away from
home. It's going to take every
ounce of leadership on his part,
and teamwork on the part of the
other Wolverines, to bring Michi-
gan home with another blue rib-
More power to 'em!

SHOULD THE Maize and 19
win the crown for the fourth s
cessive year, they will again
eligible for the automatic R
Bowl bid, awarded annually to
Big Ten champs.
Under special. arrangeme:
with the Pacific Coast Confe
ence, the Western Conferen
annually selects its footb
champion to oppose ,the t
team in the ePCC standings f
the New Year's classic, with ti
provision that no team appa
more than once in three yea
Although the Wolverines h
won their second and third s1
cessive championships in the p
two years, an appearance in
made them ineligible for the ga
until this season.
* * *
sic is a long way from, Ann Ar
figuratively as well as litera
To suppose that the Wolverka
could trample three teams t
are Rose Bowl contenders the
selves - Wisconsin, Minnes
and Illinois - on the three s
cessive Saturdays following 1
Army game is almost beyond
realm of an optimistic outlook
A fast, shifty Wisconsin tea
certainly will furnish no breat
er as they face the Wolverin
before a homecoming crowd
estimatedly 97,000 strong. TI
Badgers have indicated the po
sibility of deviating from tl
strict two-platoon system whi
landed thenf in fourth place
the Big Ten final standings la
Although weak through t
center of the line, and lacking
perienced pass-receivers, Wisc
sin will field 25 lettermen, led
captain Ken Huxhold, 220-pet
* * *
style, an experienced line, a
aging 230-pounds per man,
provide the backbone of the C
phers' team. Despite the loss
Clayton Tonnemaker and Leo '
mellini, Gopher coach Ben
Bierman. will be able to star
strong defensive team, with all
his returning letterwinners serv:
as linemen.
Still without a soft spot i
their schedule, the Wolverin
return to Ann Arbor on Noveu
ber 4 to take on the Fighti
Illini, offensively rated as th
team to beat.
Returning to action are 25 1
termen, five of them veteran ha
backs who helped Illinois turn
the best record for total offe
in the Big Ten last fall. Head:
the formidaklle list of attack:
talent is Johnny Karas, who
a sophomore last season set a i
Conference ground-gaining rec
with an average of 6.7 yards
Illinois' Ray Eliot will be attem:
ing to fill in quarterback and pun
ing vacancies with relaively greI
material. D'efensively the Ill
will be strong in the line, w
depth resting on the unpredictO
performances of sophomore p
The only possible chance fo
a let-up in the Wolverines' bra
tal schedule comes on Novemb
11 when the Hoosiers come t
town. In Indiana, Michigan fac
a team that failed to win
Conference game last season.
Following the Hoosiers to A
Arbor are Northwestern's Wi
cats, who handed the Wolverij
their only Conference defeat
1949. The Wildcats, however, 1
20 key lettermen and will be la
ing in experienced backfield dep

eight-game schedule will be 1
Wolverines' away-game with O:
State, last year's Rose Bo
champs. The Buckeyes lost va
able first-stringers, but are de
in experienced performers, n
ably halfback standouts Vic
nowicz and Ray Hamilton.
Michigan's offense will aga
be sparked by Ortmann and L
Koceski, both starters last sea
son. Pressing Koceski for th
starting wingbaek position wi
be Don Peterson, letterwinn
last seann. .Tim Elriarrsr

"BRICK" WAHL IN ACTION-Demonstrating his gridiron tech-
nique, Al Wahl (72) closes in on a would-be ground-gainer in the
Minnesota game last year. Lloyd Heneveld (61), Dick Kempthorn
(38), and Al Wistert (11), are the other Michigan players.

ALL-AMERICAN CAPTAIN-Al Wahl, 225-pound1 right tackle,
heads the 1950 Wolverine football squad. Last year his outstand-
ing line play won him All-American honors.

Reserve Strength Plentiful; '49 Season Success

With reserve strength the key-
note in this fall's Wolverine foot-
ball pattern, Coach Ben Ooster-
baan must place much of his re-
liance for that factor on untried
Not that the Michigan coach
will be especially jittery about the
situation this season. Wally Web-
er's freshman squad last fall pre-
sented the easy-going Oosterbaan
with a prize package of backfield
prospects and some promising
* , * *
peets is Roger Zatkoff, center from
Hamtramck, Michigan. Zatkoff is
the winner of the Meyer Morton
award for the most improved play-
er in the 1950 spring practice. Ob-
servers rate him as the logical
successor to the backer-up job
Dick Kempthorn filled last season.

remind fans of the great Michigan
safety man, Gene Derricotte, who
ran opposing teams wild during
the 1948 season. Hill is fast and
shifty, and has developed an ac-
curate passing arm.
ALSO SPEEDY but not quite as
shifty as Hill is Frank Howell,
mighty mite ' from Muskegon
Heights. Howell, weighing in at
only 155 pounds, impressed fans
in last spring's final scrimmage
with his hard running and ability
to pick holes.
In .the quarterback spot Oos-
terbaan can choose from a pair
of excellent sophomore prospects,
Ted Toper from East Chicago,
Indiana, and Bill Billings of
Flint. Toper, another of the con-
verted fullback corps, is a hard-
driving blocker who works well
off the single wing. Billings, in

Michigan State, here
Dartmouth, here
Army, away
Wisconsin, here
Minnesota, away
Illinois, here
Indiana, here
Northwestern, here
Ohio State, away
promising sophs than in the back-
field. But the all-important end
position received a boost with the
spring performance of Lowell Per-
ry, teammate of Hill at Ypsilanti
Central. Perry teamed well with
Hill on the quick-pass plays which

7 M.S.C. 3
27 Stanford 7
7 Army 21
20 Northwestern 21
14 Minnesota 7
13 Illinois 0
20 Purdue 12
20 Indiana 7
7 Ohio State 7
At the tackles, Strowzewski
and Paul Mehle, from Chisholm,
Minnesota, may provide reserve
strength. But in general the lack
of good tackle prospects was the
big weakness on last year's frosh

In Retrospect.
Michigan's 1949 football season
was considered by many a critic
and cynic as an almost complete
failure, but it was far better than
that. Q
The Wolverines wound up in a
tie for the Championship of the
toughest football league in the
country, and still there were many
who deserte dthe ship. which ran
into a calm or two-but had not
had the wind completely knocked
out of its sails.
S* * *
FACING A NEAR killing sched-
ule-four of the nine contests were
so-called "Games of the Week"
-the Maize and Blue gridders fin-
ished with a record of six wins,

Northwestern and managed to tie
the Wildcats in the closing min-
utes of the game. The other loss
in the 1946 season came at the
hands of that year's Rose Bowl
squad, Illinois.
* * *
THAT SEASON was followed by
two undefeated ones. Then the
1949 squad started out, won the'
first two games, and then ran into
another platoon of Cadets. Army
defeated Michigan. Northwestern
again presented the opposition the
following Saturday, and this time
the Wolverines fell one point short
of a tie, suffering the second
straight loss of the season.
The onions started pouring in,
but the following week Michi-
gan whipped Minnesota's power-
ful Gophers and went undefeat-
ed for the rest of the season.

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