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Most colleges which come under the rating of "small" belong to either the NCAA or the NAIA ( National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), and some even belong to both. The NCAA lists about 340 members in its college division and maintains strict supervision over their adherence to its eligibility and recruiting code. There are no formal championships awarded in football, but the NCAA has certified five postseason bowl games (Tangerine, Prairie View, Mineral Water, Citricado and Sun) in which its member schools may participate.
The NAIA, on the other hand, has a membership of 455 but has little investigating or enforcing powers. However, it does serve as a supervisory body, overseeing the activities of its members in 32 districts. The NAIA also sponsors post-season championship playoffs, selecting the four leading member teams in the country to compete against each other in two games early in December with the winners meeting in the nationally televised Holiday Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. the middle of December.
Many of the small colleges play a brand of football that would rank them well up among the leaders of the major conferences. Among the 13 best are those whose 1959 prospects are reviewed in the following columns.
Arizona State at Flagstaff: In three years under Coach Max Spilsbury the Lumberjacks have won the Frontier Conference championship twice and tied for it the other time. Last fall they won 10 straight, including the NAIA playoff against Gustavus Adolphus, before losing to Northeast Oklahoma in the Holiday Bowl. This fall there will be 17 lettermen to carry on, and the team will be faster and better balanced. Glen Morgan, an NAIA All-America pick, is the catalyst on the line. Directing the offense will be Passer Ted Sorich, who will aim for Al Rex, an end equipped with sure hands and fast feet.
California Poly ( San Luis Obispo): Coach Roy Hughes has one of the finest backfields in the country but will be only so-so in the line. One set of backs is labeled the Elephant Backfield, the other group the Pony Backfield. Offensive stars should be Quarterback Tom Klosterman, Fullback Bumper Bowser and a pair of thundering halfbacks named Gary Van Horn and Claude Turner. Up front will be Carlos Gonzales, a 230-pound Little All-America guard, and Center Rich Max. Adding a little extra something will be newcomer Sylvester (Boxcar) Cooper, a 290-pound tackle.
Gustavus Adolphus: Seven times in the past nine seasons the Gusties have won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference championship, and they should do it again—in spite of losing a pair of Little All-America selections, End Jack Westin and Center Bill Rill. Coach Lloyd Hollingsworth will use highly competent Bob Swig-gum, who connected on 66 of 116 passes for 941 yards last year, to direct his troops again. Dick Johnson will spur the ground attack. On the line the stalwarts will be End Rollie Hanks, Guard Dick Rood and Tackle Bill Beck.
College of Idaho: Although blessed with Quarterback Charlie Alvaro, one of the finest of collegiate passers, last year's log showed a poor 3-6-1 record. This will be a better season, according to Coach Babe Brown, who feels his boys have enough talent and experience to cause trouble in the Pacific Northwest Conference. In 1958 Alvaro was second among small-college passers with a total of 1,485 yards gained as he completed 112 of 225 attempts.
Juniata: The Barreling Berriers—twins Bill and Jim—will lead the Indians to another successful campaign and possibly their sixth straight undefeated season in seven years. Last fall, Fullback Bill established five school marks: points for season (110), points for career (256), touchdowns for season (17), yards rushing for game (213), yards rushing for season (736). Jim, a halfback, was the offensive leader in 1957 but last season sustained a fractured wrist. The Berriers will be protected by a stubborn crew of linemen led by Tackles Bob Solomon and Al Dungan.
Luther: Things happen when Brad Hustad gets the ball. For one thing, he zips along for an average gain of over six yards as he outruns, outmaneuvers and outclasses empty-armed tacklers. In two seasons he has amassed 2,755 yards on the ground. In 1957 he became the first sophomore ever to lead the nation in rushing. Last year he narrowly missed the distinction of being the first player to win this honor in successive seasons. If Hustad can maintain his pace he will set a mark for having gained more yardage overland than any player in collegiate history. Back to direct the attack for Coach Ed Schweizer will be Alan Fedge, a dandy all-round performer. In the past five seasons Schweizer's clubs have won 38, lost five, tied three. The Norsemen, dethroned by Wartburg in 1958, will have an excellent chance of regaining the Iowa Conference honors if they can find some reliable replacements for the defensive line.
Northeast Missouri: This tiny Kirksville, Mo. school is typical of the many fine state teachers colleges in America. One difference, though, is Halfback Dale Mills, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound thunderbolt who last year won the small-college rushing laurels. He picked up 1,358 yards, averaged over seven yards a carry and scored 122 points. Graduation wrecked the line, and Coach Red Wade has little hope of dethroning Southeast Missouri for the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association crown. However, Wade has Mills and Mills has plenty.