After two winless seasons and 21 straight defeats the Owls are beginning to see daylight. But it may take another year before they open their eyes wide. Coach George Makris, brought in from Boiling Air Force Base to supervise the huge rebuilding chore, inherited a predominantly sophomore and junior squad. Only two seniors. Guard Ray DiPalma and Halfback Jerry Brodsky, who snared 30 passes last year, will break into his starting lineup. Even Quarterback Chickie Downham, whose pinpoint passing (45 for 84) provided one of the few bright spots in the disastrous 1959 campaign, has had to give way to talented Sophomore Bill Grubb in Makris' unbalanced T. while Sophomores Don Council, a feather-footed speedster, and Ernie Wayland, who can slam up the middle, will help Brodsky in the backfield. And the Owls should have a more respectable look up front. The ends are a problem, but the middle, with Center John McShane, a compact 220-pounder who loves contact, won't be soft.
1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 1, TIED 1
Wise old Coach Dan Jessee, now in his 29th year at Trinity, has the happy faculty of making a little go a long way. What his Bantams lack in quantity, they usually make up for in quality. And if any evidence is needed, look at his 129-49-4 record. With only seven lettermen back and a lean, green line, Trinity will take to the air from its spread formation. Quarterback Thornton Sanders, a pesky little fellow with an exceptional arm (he completed 48 of 106 passes for 658 yards and six touchdowns last year), will do the throwing to Ends Doug Tansill and Dale Peatman. Sophomore Halfbacks John Szumczyk, a big, reckless youngster who was made for Jessee's belly combinations, and John Wardlaw, a scatty 148-pound runner, could give Trinity an effective ground attack. Up front, Jessee has done some manipulating to improve a weak line. Senior Tom Reese, a standout at guard in 1959, moves to center; End Ian Bennett goes to tackle; Sophomore Fullback Bill Howland shifts to guard.
1959 RECORD: WON 5, LOST 2, TIED 1
Coach Harry Arlanson is another one of those quietly efficient coaches who manage to build up a winner out of the least likely material. Take last year when he found himself with only 26 players, many of them up from a freshman team that hadn't won a game. By season's end he was New England's coach-of-the-year. If adversity is the key to Arlanson's success he should have another good season. He loses Fullback Murdock Mac-Donald, who ripped off 978 yards last year, I and 12 other lettermen. Oddly, this leaves the Jumbos with a good defense and an attack that is at least the equal of 1959's. It may be even better if Quarterback Dave Adzigian develops quickly and Fullback Duncan Mac-Donald is only half as good as his brother. Sure-handed Ends Charley Martin and John Johnson and Tackle Dave Thompson provide the nucleus for a sound line, and Halfbacks Bob McLucas and Peter Titus, adept at slipping through the gaps, are just right to burst for yardage out of the Chicago Bear T.
1959 RECORD: WON 4, LOST 3
The Catamounts are still edging their way into the Yankee Conference and won't have a full schedule until 1962. But they will show their credentials to Maine and Rhode Island this year. In the meantime, a seasoned, hard-bitten line, perhaps the finest Vermont has fielded since its "Granite Line" of 1954, and an impressive group of large, energetic sophomores will sharpen the football skills that will eventually admit Vermont to good standing in the conference. Tackle Bill Mooza, a 215-pounder, and Guards Moe Walsh, Carl Eck and Bob Stone are the kind of blockers and defenders who help win games. It will be up to Maynard Ducatte, last year's exceptional sophomore halfback, and Ken Burton, the prize of the new sophomores, to move the ball behind them. Quarterback and fullback are two potential trouble spots for Coach Ed Donnelly, but impressive Sophomores Paul Harris, a deft ball handler, and Bert Villemaire will take over if Dom Parlato and Pete Nelson falter even the slightest bit.
1959 RECORD: WON 1, LOST 9
Athletic Director Frank Reagan was persuaded to turn in his football coaching portfolio in the middle of last year's debacle, and the reconstruction of the Wildcats' sagging fortunes has been entrusted to Alex Bell, former Harvard end coach. Bell brought along a multiple-T offense, but he also will need the patience of a saint before the long season ends. Whatever hope there is lies with the sophomores and juniors. Only two seniors, Guards Larry Sopko, whose knee was operated on this spring, and Joe Luzzi will start. The lone lineman with real ability is Junior Sam Gruneisen, a 6-foot 1-inch, 200-pound end who hits hard and will catch passes if Bell can find someone to throw them to him. The tackles and centers are sizable, but they lack speed. Bell will try to stir up an offense with three weighty sophomores—Halfbacks Billy Joe (222 pounds) and Larry Glueck (180 pounds) and Fullback Lou Rettino (215 pounds). Junior Quarterback Nick Langone runs well enough, but he sprays his passes.
1959 RECORD: WON 3, LOST 5