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Kramer Is Everyone's All-American
By DAVE RORABACHER
Michigan fans will have a genu-
ine hero to worship on forth-
coming Saturday afternoons if
Ron Kramer comes anywhere near
to living up to the rave predictions
being given him by sports writers
throughout the nation.
Nothing but superlatives seem
capable of describing the near
legendary feats of this great Jun-
ior end. I
Having placed on every major
pre-season All-American p o 11,
Kramer has also been touted as
the Lineman of the Year, colleg-
iate Player of the Year, "out-
standing player in the game to-
day", and the "Wolverines'
answer to Davy Crockett".
Kramer was lauded by such
publications as Sports Review, The
Saturday Evening Post, Look,
Colliers, Street and Smiths Foot-
ball Yearbook, and Stanley Wood-
ward's Football Magazine.
The tall gent bearing number
eighty-seven was also praised by
nearly every sportswriter in the
land in the pre-season newspaper
rundowns. It is no wonder that all
eyes will be on Ron Kramer
throughout the coming season.
Writers have also predicted
that he will become an all-time
All-American and he is presently
seriously threatening to surpass
the acclimations accorded to his
own coach, Bennie Oosterbaan, in
A look at the Wolverine end's
past records allays all fears that
he is being overpraised. During
the 1955 season he led Michigan
scorers with 32 points on three
touchdowns and 14 extra points
out of 15 attempts. He also topped
Big Ten punters with an average
yeardage of 41.4 and snared 23
passes to lead Western Conference
Versatility remains the watch-
word with Kramer who can also
pass, run, block and tackle when
called upon to do so. Being able
to size up enemy plays quickly and
accurately, his defensive play is
outshadowed only by his terrific
Kramer's finest tribute has
come from his mentor, the great
Oosterbaan himself. "He's the
finest I've seen at Michigan in all
the years I've been here . . . He's
the kind of kid who'd be great no
matter where you put him. He'd
be the best tackle out there, or
the best center or the best back.
He always seems to do the right'
thing at the right time instinct-
"He's the finest instinctive ath-
lete I've seen here at Michigan in
BEN OOSTERBAAN ... MICHIGAN'S MAN OF THE HOUR
" . . . morale is not like an overcoat - you can't just put it on."
... another Crockett?
Mann to Resume Coaching Career
By STEVE HEILPERN
And ED SALEM
Random notes concerning the
Michigan sports picture:
The collegiate swimming world
has not seen the last of Matt
Mann. Mann, coach of Michigan
swimming teams for 29 years be-
fore his retirement a year ago, has
recently accepted the coaching
position at the University of Okla-
The white-haired "Grand Dad-
dy" of collegiate swimming has
long been considered one of the
greatest swimming mentors in the
world, and before-long should pro-
duce top-rate teams for the Soon-
ers of Oklahoma - teams compar-
able to those he developed for the
Wolverines when he brought many
individual and team honors to
Mann May Be Foe
Another addition to this year's
schedule is the University of Indi-
ana, whom the Wolverines have
not faced since 1937. The Hoosiers
possess many fine swimmers in-
cluding National Champion Bill
Woolsey, and should pose a real
threat to Michigan.
The Wolverines, meanwhile,
have lost Bumpy Jones, Ron Gora
and Jim Walters by graduation,
and may encounter a good deal
of trouble in repeating last year's
fine record when they placed sec-
ond in the Conference.
Barry MacKay, Michigan's top
tennis player, received plaudits
this summer when Junior Davis
Cup coaches Don Budge and Jack
Palmer referred to him as one of
the country's finest young pros-
pects. The flashy junior, cur-
rently being groomed for future
Davis Cup matches compiled an
impressive record on the Eastern
circuit this summer. MacKay de-m
feated such ranked stars as Jack
Frost and Sam Giammalva.
Backetball coach Bill Perigo
seemed surprised that the NCAA
rules committee 6idn't make any
noticeable changes in the foul
rules. One big difference this year,
however, Will be the widening of
the foul lanes - to 12 feet. This
should reduce the effectiveness of
the "big" men somewhat.
Two other revisions are the
abolishment of the three-minute
rule and changing the game from
four quarters to two halves.
Perigo told of some promising
freshman prospects for his court
Warriors. Seven states are repre-
sented by his first-year contingent,
which boasts fine all-around,
height. He is also encouraged by
reports from Jim Barron, a sopho-
more flash two years ago. Barron
seriously injured his knee early
last season, but says he will be
ready for the 1955-56 slate.
This year's schedule, inciden-
tally, includes five new non-con-
,ference opponents: Brigham.
Young, Denver, Nebraska, Oregon
and Oregon State. The latter two
contests are away games.
WITH PHIL DOUGLIS
Daily Sports Editor
A TINY GROUP of eager collegians huddled around a scarred table
in a well-known local pub. Above them, looming amidst the smoke-
filled atmosphere, was a series of blank football scoreboards-culmin-
ating in one that read "Michigan Vs. West Coast Champs-Jan. 1st.
Their conversation ran along similar lines. The lean boy, wearing
a soiled white shirt was prodding his roomate into driving all the way
across the country. It was an old twist to an old story.
Meanwhile-some 3 miles away-another group of men were hud-
dled but not around a table. Their focal point was a pile of weather-
beaten tackling dummy's-and their problem was a much greater one.
Ben Oosterbaan and his coaching staff were worried-worried
over Michigan's seven game Big Ten schedule that opens next Satur-
day against Michigan State. One game was behind them-but it didn't
make much difference. The real work was just beginning. The work
of trying to make a good team reach the reights of greatness so many
people are predicting for them.
Those fellows with Rose Bowl plans are not alone. All over the
nation, the word is out that Michigan is to rule the West again-and
sweep on to the big Bowl in Pasadena. Everyone has leaped on the
According to the "experts" the "Victors" will ring out in triumph
from now until January-a chorus of devastating football finesse rem-
iniscent of the good old days of the late 40's, when Crisler's "Magic-
ians" held sway.
* * * *
. . . Everyone but Michigan
IT SEEMS that everybody picks Michigan but Michigan itself.
Oosterbaan has solidly maintained that games are won on the
field-not on the linotype.
As this column was written, Michigan had not yet played its
first game. But regardless of what happened against Missouri yester-
day-this season is still a young one and anything can happen.
Let's examine the situation-and see why Oosterbaan and his
aids are worried . . . and why those jokers talking Rose Bowl would
be wisest to hold their horses a bit.
Football is a game of quirks. It is a game that is often decided
by a mere inch-by a splash of rain, by a freak injury or a lucky
bounce. You've got to be good to overrule all these intangibles.
Yet, just how good is Michigan-playing three of the country's
top ten teams-and having to reckon with the antics of two more
which are ranked in the top 20.
Offense in football is basically twofold. Passing and running.
Michigan has the running. There is no doubt that men like Tony
Branoof (if he is recovered from his knee operations), Lou Baldacci,
Terry Barr, Ed Hickey, Tom Hendricks, Dave Hill, Jim Pace, George
Corey, and company can certainly churn up the yardage. Most of
these men did it last year-and can be reasonably sure to do it again.
* * * *
A Kingdom for a Passer
YET-MICHIGAN still cannot be said to have a topflight passer-
a Dawson, a Miller, a Leggett, or the likes. At least they don't
have one at this time. As the season goes along, there may be one-
maybe Maddock, or Pace, or Barr, or Baldacci, or Van Pelt.
At any rate-a top flight passer is desperately needed, not only
for a well-balanced offense-but to take advantage of the greatest
pass receiver in the nation-Ron Kramer. If this passer is found-
Michigan could well become the team it is expected to be.
Defensively, Michigan is solid. A look at this picture would indi-
cate then, that all is dependent on a passer "coming into his own"
Still-football is much more. The Injury jinx is another vital
key in the 1955 football story. During pre-season drills, Michigan
has had more than its share. Tom Maentz-who Oosterbaan calls
the "second best end in the conference" was put out of commission
for a long spell by a back injury. Baldacci and Brannoff were
hampered by heel and ankle 'troubles, Dave Hill, and Ed Hickey
were hobbled, and many others were "in one day-out the next"
during the long, hot fall drills.
As of this writing we don't have any way of knowing how many
more will bow out during the Missouri fracas. If Michigan can keep
clear of the injury bugaboo to a reasonable degree-that Rose smell
may permeate the Ann Arbor campus yet.
* * *'*
... An Overlooked "If"
MANY OLD TIME FOOTBALL FANS and writers overlook the final
big "if" in Michigan's 1955 Bowl Quest. This is "Spirit". Team
morale is perhaps the most vital factor of them all. If a team lacks
the will and desire to win-it is beaten before it start.
It is up to Coach Oosterbaan, his staff, Captain G. Edgar Meads,
and all of Michigan's student body to generate this spirit-and'if it is
equal to last year ... well-the experts may be right after all.
Spirit is not that easy to generate. It is an intangible- yet vital
factor to success. Oosterbaan himself summed it up best of all when
he said "Morale is not like an overcoat-you can't just put it on".
Like an overcoat, or not-the Wolverines better have it because
then and only then will Michigan live up to its preseason press clip-
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arose the possibility
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