SI Vault
September 23, 1957
HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS: As so many of us have said so often, a league composed of the leading eastern independents could be on a par with any conference in the country. Technically, the eastern teams belong to the rather loose-knit ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference), but there is no championship competition. In fact, all the Ivy League teams are also members of ECAC, but they, of course, fight it out among themselves for their own title. Since most of the major independents are located in the East, let's take a look at them first.
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September 23, 1957

The Independents

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SEPT. 28 Springfield (7-28)
OCT. 5 at Union (40-27)
OCT. 12 Bowdoin (30-12)
OCT. 19 at Coast Guard (27-14)
OCT. 26 Wesley an (32-0)
NOV. 2 at Tufts (6-0)
NOV. 9 Trinity (21-31)
NOV. 16 at Williams (12-27)

West Point, N.Y.

COLORS: Black, gold and gray
1956 RECORD: Won 5, lost 3, tied 1
WATCH FOR: A more wide-open style of play, with more emphasis on passing

THE DOPE: The Cadets will very likely present a much different appearance on the field this year. Coach Earl Blaik is thinking of opening up the attack and featuring the passing of Dave Bourland. Bourland's progress has been good, Blaik says, and for the first time in two years he is not faced with the prospect of major experimentation at that key position. He is also impressed with Backs Gil Roesler, Mike Morales and Pete Dawkins and Vince Barta. There are any number of bright young backs up from the plebes. If there is a weakness in the backfield it is the lack of a breakaway runner. Gene Mikelonis could remedy that, but he has a bad knee. The line is the heftiest since 1950, but it is causing Blaik no end of concern. Captain Jim Kernan, center, and Stan Slater, a fine guard, are the only regulars returning to the center of the line. Lettermen Bill Saunders and Dick Warner are back at the ends, and there are hopes that Sophomores Bill Melnik and Fred Wilmoth, both 230-pounders, will prove themselves at the tackles. But Blaik needs another starting guard and reserves at all the other line positions. If these are not forthcoming, it could be a rough, but not disastrous, war for him.

SEPT. 28 Nebraska (no game)
OCT. 5 at Penn State (14-7)
OCT. 12 Notre Dame at Philadelphia (no game)
OCT. 19 Pittsburgh (7-20)
OCT. 26 at Virginia (no game)
NOV. 2 Colgate (55-46)
NOV. 9 Utah (no game)
NOV. 16 at Tulane (no game)
NOV. 30 Navy at Philadelphia (7-7)

Chestnut Hill, Mass.

COLORS: Maroon and gold
1956 RECORD: Won 5, lost 4
WATCH FOR: A fast, diversified running attack featuring Alan Miller

THE DOPE: The Eagles inaugurate a new 25,000-seat stadium on their campus Sept. 21 with Navy as their opponent. Coach Mike Holovak may not win this one, but there should be more joy than sorrow in the Eagles' new aerie this fall. Holovak alternated two units last year and the experience thus gained should pay off this season. With 16 lettermen returning, he has at least one well-seasoned man for each position. But he is so pleased with 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore Harry Ball, who has been converted to center, that he may start him despite his inexperience. Top backfield billing goes to Don Allard, a junior quarterback who is being compared to the great Charles O'Rourke of the Leahy era. Allard can pass and handle the ball deftly on the split-T options. Halfbacks Tom Joe Sullivan and Alan Miller are a pair of trim juniors who delight Holovak. He expects, with all this talent, to put a lot of pressure on opponents with his running game. A brother act, Leon and Steve Bennett, will handle the tackle spots. Alex Kulevich and John Flanigan will man the ends, while Ed DeGraw and Tom Meehan team at guard. All are sturdy, steady and experienced.

1957 SCHEDULE (1956 score):

SEPT. 21 Navy (no game)
SEPT. 28 Florida Stale (no game)
OCT. 5 Quantico Marines (6-20)
OCT. 12 Dayton (no game)
OCT. 19 Villanova (7-6)
OCT. 26 at Detroit (7-12)
NOV. 9 at Boston U. (13-0)
NOV. 16 Marquette (26-19)
NOV. 30 at Holy Cross (0-7)

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