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September 21, 1955 - Image 41

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-09-21

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WEDNESA...S.T.,B _.i,1955-

Oosterbaan Starts Eighth
Season at Gridiron Helm,


Thrills Highlight Exciting Year

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Rounding into his eighth yearv
as Michigan football coach, Ben-
jamin G. (better known as Ben-
nie) Oosterbaan is one of the best
known figures in modern gridiron
Both as a player and a coach,
Oosterbaan has been accorded
some of the highest honors in the
game. In 1948, his first year at
the Wolverine helm, he was
named "Coach of the Year," and
in 1951, in recognition of the
great playing career he had at
Michigan, Oosterbaan was named
to the all-time All-American
squad by sportswriters and sports-
casters throughout the nation in
an Associated Press poll.
As an undergraduate at Michi-
gan, he earned All-American hon-
ors in 1925, 1926, and 1927, the
only Michigan man ever to be
selected three times. He was also
named an all-American in bas-
ketball, both in college and high
school, and while at Michigan
learned a total of nine letters.
These awards were in baseball,
football, and basketball.
He led the Big Ten in scoring
in basketball one season and
headed conference batters in
baseball during another. As a
baseball player he served as a
pitcher and firstbaseman.
A native of Muskegon, Ooster-
baan won All-American basket-
ball honors during a national
scholastic cage tournament at
Chicago, was an all-state gridder
and a state discus champion in

Three Stirring Moments
Make Michigan History

*. . all-time All-American

track.According to the late Steve
Farrell, one of Michigan's great
track coaches, Oosterbaan could
easily have made the Olympics in
the discus, had he wanted to for-
go baseball.
Joins Staff
Upon graduation in 1928, he
continued his football career,
joining the Wolverine coaching
staff. To do this he turned down
many major league baseball con-
tracts. Under "Fritz Crisler, he
served as end coach and backfield
coach. He became first assistant
to Crisler and when the latter re-
tired to the Athletic Director's
post, Oosterbaan took over.
Justly famed for his remarkable
pass receiving, he was a master
in other departments of gridiron
as well. With another Michigan
All-American, quarterback Bennie
Friedman, he was the receiver in
one of football's greatest all-time
pass combinations.
Oosterbaan is an exponent of
the single wing formation. He has
added to his plan of attack an
emphasis on punting and defense.
He also has used the T-formation
to some extent.

Daily Sports Editor
The wonderful world of sports
is often measured in matters of
split seconds - of thrilling mo-
ments -- of decisive action.
It was just such things as these
that went to make up the greatest
moments in Michigan sports dur-
ing the past school year - mo-
ments fraught with the drama and
action that only top level collegiate
sport can offer.
It is difficult to selec" thst t
few out of the many thrilling
Michigan moments of glory. Some
thrills were bitter ones, such as
Dave Hill hammering at the Ohio
State forward wall three fruitless
times, or the fraction of an inch
defeat suffered by a Michigan
track relay squad before nearly
75,000 screaming partisans in the
Los Angeles Coliseum.
But pleasantly, there were far
more happy thrills in a year that
saw the Maize and Blue legions
sweep to six team championships-
their finest mark in over ten years.
Five Conference Titles
There were such things as the
five conference titles, all thrills in
themselves, the dual meet, one
point swimming victory over Ohio
State, Jack Wardroes world re-
cords, the nip and tuck 5-4 tennis
triumph over mighty Western
Michigan, that thrilling overtime
basketball victory over Robin Free-
man and his Ohio State team-
SPORT NOTES-Record for the
most goals and total points in a
Western Intercollegiate Hockey
League play is owned by Clare
Smith of Colorado College. In a
contest against the University of
British Columbia on March 8, 1954,
Smith scored seven goals and got
two assists for a total of nine

mates, or the spine-tingling eighth
inning home-run blast by Moby
Benedict which gave Michigan a
hard fought conference victory
over rugged Iowa.
But of all of them, there were
three that stood out in this writer's
mind as the outstanding thrills of
the year. One was a national
championship effort, another a re-
cord smashing sweep of the Big
Ten, and a third a heart-stopping
game winning basket.
By far the greatest sports thrill
of the year, at.least in this writers
opinion, took place far from Ann
Arbor - some 3,000 miles to be
Hockey Thrills
Nestled high in the mighty
Rocky Mountains is the fabulous
Broadmoor Hotel - home of the
National Collegiate Ice Hockey
Championships - and on last
March 12, the scene of the wildest
game college hockey has seen in
many a year. But to set the stage,
let's go back a few months, to a
grey, blea kscene that took place
on the steps of the Michigan
It was February 11, 1955, ap-
proximately 5:30 in the evening.
The sun had just set - and State
Street was wreathed in a grey,
bitter cold shroud. To fit the at-
mosphere, Michigan hockey coach
Vic Heyliger was also gloomy. His
Michigan team Was just boarding a
bus to take a journey to East
Lansing, where the dangerous
Michigan State Spartans hungrily
licked their chops in anticipation
of their first triumph over Michi-
gan in 27 years.
The Pessimist
Heyliger was more pessimistic
than we had ever seen him. His
usual genial smile was gone, and
his famous cigar hung limp-as

so lets not stop now!" As he fin-3
ished the Tiger band struck up the
"Victors" -- and with an actual
roar of defiance, the blue clad3
Wolverines rushed out onto the
On To Glory
The rest is history . , . for thatf
Michigan team proceeded to play
the greatest game of their lives-
a game that left the 3,000 fans]
that packed the Ice Palace, limpi
from excitement.1
Picture this scene. There are
only a minute and forty-five sec-
onds left to go, and Michigan leads
the Tigers, 4-3.
In a desperate, all-or-nothing
gamble, Colorado coach Cheddy
Thompson pulls his goalie, and'
puts on six of the hardest shooting
forwards in college hockey. The
Tigers move in on Michigan Goalie
Lorne Howes-and with one min-
ute left, the tempers that had been'
held in check all night-break
loose in a violent free for all .. .
gloves fly in the air . . . sticks1
wave ... and pandemonium reigns.
The ice is cleared, and with a
half minute left, Michigan's Mike
Buchanan is sent off the ice for
an illegal check and the Wolver-
ines are now two men short "
The three lone Wolverines fan'
out in front of* Howes, and the
six Tigers move to the attack. The
barrage starts ... one. . . two.. .
three shots scream toward the
Michigan nets, but Howes, playing
the game of his life, turns them all'
Six Seconds Left
Now there are but six seconds
left. A faceoff is called and Cap-
tain Bill MacFarland wacks the
puck the length of the ice and it
slams into the empty Tiger net.
The red light flashes, and Michi-
gan has regained the National
Hockey title. The Wolverines go
wild ... Howes leaps from the net
and hugs MacFarland ... the en-
tire squad swirls madly at mid-
ice . . . and then hoist coach
Heyliger on their shoulders. Some-
where a lone fane sings the "Vic-
That was the way it ended ...
this greatest sport thrill of the

year. The Maize and Blue had
stormed into the NCAA throne
room for the fifth time in eight
years ... and there's no telling
when they're coming out.
Turing to track, Don Canham's
thinclads proved to be second great
sports thrill of the year by turning
in the first triple track crown in
Big Ten history - winning the
cross-country, indoor and outdoor
track championships.
The big sweep began during the
football season, when the little
football season, when the little
heralded cross-country team trav-
eled to Washington Park in Chi-
cago. There, a squad composed of
John Moule, Al Lubina, Ron Wall-
ingford, Goeff Dooley, and Los
Kwiker proceeded to run the con-
ference into the ground, winning
by some 12 points over runner-up
But the real thrill came on March
6 - when an underdog Michigan
team (so-called by coach Canham)
roared into Jenison Field House in
East Lansing to threaten Illinois'
three-year string. It proceeded not
only to end Illinois' strong, but
to win its first conference track
championship of any kind in ten
long years. Unleashing tremendous
power in a wild fury, every single
Michigan athlete performed up to
his capacity that day - and the
result was an overwhelming 671/2
point total - a long way above
second place Michigan State's 461/.
The Canham Caravan didn't
stop there . . . it roared all over
the nation ... sweeping to victory
in every dual and triangular meet
it entered. Michigan relay teams
ran well in the big meets all over
the nation . . . and when the dust
had cleared, the Wolverines found
themselves in the big horseshow at
Columbus for the Big Ten outdoor
Canham said, "Not much of a
chance here" but Michigan paid no.
attention to his wailing. Dashing
through the mud and rain, the
mighty Wolverines rolled up a lop-
sided 621/2 points, doubling Illi-
nois's second place mark of 311/2.

UP AND IN-Ron Kramer, Michigan sophomore sensation, puts
in another basket against Michigan State, This prize-winning
photo was taken by Chuck Kelsey of the Michigan Daily staff.

he grimly said, "It looks like we're
just about through. We've lost five
of eight game already, and we have
only ten players outside of goalies.
State and the other teams in the
league are better than ever before.
Yup-:-we'll be lucky to win even
a few more games this season.
Wait 'till next year."
With that we boarded the bus---
and few realized that a month
later this same bus would be leav-
ing for a Colorado-bound plane.
For that Michigan team went
on to rout the Spartans that night,
7-4, and like a miracle, it proceed-
ed to win seven more in a row to
sweep to second place in the WIHL
and their eighth straight NCAA
playoff berth.

At the Broadmoor, Michigan
opened its bid for the crown by
plastering Harvard, 7-3, for their
ninth in a row. The stage was set
for number ten-the biggest of
them all. Their foe was not only
league champion Colorado College,
son wins over the Wolverines, but
a team that held two regular sea-
on top of that, this was the Tigers'
home den-and at stake was the
championship of all America.
Vic Heyliger was calm, down
there in the Michigan dressing
room. What does a coach say to a
team before they take the ice for
a title game? Michigan is the
perennial king of college hockey,
so not much was really necessary.
He only said "We've gone this far,







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