Thanks for the heavenly view of past giants of the great game of football.
Rick Telander's article on Denison's single wing was singularly excellent. I'm sure Coach Keith Piper has heard stories about the great single-wing teams of Sequoia High School in Redwood City, Calif. in the late '50s and early '60s. Those prep juggernauts not only produced the No. 1-ranked team in the state in 1961, but they also produced Gary Beban, the 1967 Heisman Trophy winner.
Woodrow Wilson High in Los Angeles, under coaches Vic Cuccia and Augie Lambert, was the last high school in Southern California to run the single wing as a basic offense, in 1969. Until these two stopped coaching football at Wilson four years ago there were still plays in the playbook based on the single wing. Cuccia and Lambert turned out two quarterbacks who are in college football right now: Ron Cuccia at Harvard and Steve Clarkson at San Jose State. I still love that single wing. Keith Piper, keep it up!
Woodrow Wilson High School
Rick Telander observes that "most of the great players one hears about from the old days—Jim Thorpe. George Gipp, Tom Harmon, Doak Walker, et al., the legendary 'triple threats'—were tailbacks." The Gipper, of course, is the Notre Dame tailback President Reagan is so proud to have portrayed in the movies. However, the President should perhaps be even more proud that he has the same surname as another notable tailback: Francis Xavier Reagan, the University of Pennsylvania star. As a junior in 1939, Reagan out-gained the great Tom Harmon and, as a senior, led Penn to victories over Army, 48-0. and Yale, 50-7, at the time the worst defeats ever suffered by those teams.
Reagan had a college career that Frank Merriwell would have envied. It began in his sophomore year, when he scored all three touchdowns to lead the Quakers to a 21-0 victory over Yale at the Yale Bowl, ending a 51-year-old jinx. His career ended on a similar high note when he ran for three touchdowns in a 22-20 defeat of Cornell, the winning touchdown coming in the final two minutes on a 20-yard, off-tackle scamper. Oh yes, Cornell had given up only one touchdown on the ground all season and for much of the year had been ranked No. 1 by the AP.
LANDON C. MANNING
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
MOTHER AND SON
Regarding English Channel swimmer Ashby Harper (FACES IN THE CROWD, Sept. 13), did you know that his mother, Roberta Harper, was also featured in FACES sometime back in 1969 or '70?
ROBERTA ASHBY REEVES
?The issue date was Oct. 26, 1970 (see below). Mrs. Harper, who is now 88 and residing in a retirement community outside Philadelphia, continued to play singles and doubles matches until forced to give up tennis at 85.—ED.
Mrs. Roberta Harper, 76, teamed up to win the women's and mixed doubles titles of the Trenton ( N.J.) Country Club and reached the semifinals of the women's singles. Her first club championship, for women's singles, was won back in 1924.