Last year the Keydets marched to their second Southern Conference title in three years. When their graduation-wounded forces regrouped this fall, 11 were gone. Still, there are 22 proved players. Filling in the ranks will be Pat Morrison (up from the third string) at fullback, and Dick Willard (a defensive back in 1959) at end. Denting the middle of the line, where Guard Lou Shuba does sentry duty, would be no simple undertaking at best, but Shuba is aided by Captain and Center Lee Badgett and Guard Bill Haeberlein, and through them few shall pass. These three, unfortunately, cannot play all the time, and when they are not around, there is a noticeable falling off in talent. Coach John McKenna will exploit three hip-shaking halfbacks: John Traynham (he had a 5.3-yard average last year and was fourth in conference rushing), Stinson Jones (3.6) and Don Kern (6.2). And to keep the troops in step there will be Quarterback Howard Dyer, conference leader in passing and total offense.
1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 4
For the second time in a row the Southern Conference championship may be decided in the last game. Last year VMI won by beating the Gobblers in the finale, and now Coach Frank Moseley is building his dreams on a more durable line and a more consistent flock of runners. He hopes to reverse the decision. Cementing the line will be Guard Mike Zeno, a 240-pound terror with surprising agility. Working alongside him at left tackle will be Don Oakes, a man of equal weight. And at right end will be Leon Tomblin, who is described as "a deceptively good receiver and a head hunter on downfield blocking." They will spearhead an offense and defense that lacks only a mobile linebacker. Frank Eastman, an accurate long-range passer, will find himself in need of receivers. In the halfback slots will be Bob Crabtree, who knows how to go around end, and Pat Henry, who knows how to shake off tacklers. Fullback Art Pruett is powered by determination and gets the necessary yardage.
1959 RECORD: WON 6, LOST 4
On the theory that the only thing better than one lonesome end is two lonesome ends, new Coach Billy Hildebrand will retain this innovation used by former Coach Paul Amen. Throwing the passes to Ends Bill Hull, who is 6 feet 6, and Bobby Allen, who led the ACC in 1959 with 25 catches, will be Norm Snead. A plodder on the run but gifted with a golden arm (he can toss both long and short), Snead was fifth in the country in total offense last season and passed for a dozen touchdowns. Hildebrand has at least one letterman returning at every position. On defense the Demon Deacons should be on a par with last year's club, and on offense they should be better. Fullback Joe Bonecutter averages 4.4 yards a carry and is the most dependable runner. Bobby Robinson (4.8) and Winston Futch (5.9) should get in more playing time this season at the halves. A pair of 235-pound tackles, Bob Smith and Wayne Wolff, who led the ACC with a 41.1-yard punting average, anchor the line.
1959 RECORD: WON 3, LOST 7
There was a coaching change last spring, with Gene Corum taking over for Art Lewis. Inevitably, there have been further alterations—for the better, the Mountaineers hope. Nine red shirts from last year and 48 sophomores have taken jobs from several returning regulars.
Sophomore pass catcher Ken Herock is the new left end. Pete Tolley, a highly touted guard, will have trouble keeping newcomer Bob Fuller out. And the No. 1 left half will be Jim Moss, a sophomore. One of the few whose position is safe is Glenn Bowman, a light but agile tackle. With an improved flock of receivers led by Herock, Quarterback Danny Williams should begin fulfilling his promise as a fine passer. If he does not, Dale Evans will take over. Backbone of a strong running game will be Right Halfback John Marra, a consistent gainer with a strong running style. Bob Benke may lose his post to understudy Tom Huston, who has displayed the power to plow through the middle of the line.
WILLIAM & MARY
1959 RECORD: WON 4, LOST 6
Maybe when Milt Drewer became coach in 1957 there were too many Marys and not enough Williams on campus. At that time there were only 850 men attending. Now the male enrollment is up to 1,050. Drewer has Calvin Cox and Bob Stoy at quarterback and Roger Hale and Jim Porach in the backfield corners, and they should produce man-sized results. Cox (49 of 87 passes for 551 yards in 1959) is the most proficient passer and ball handler the Indians have had in a decade. Hale last year was first on the team in punt and kickoff returns, rushed 271 yards at a 4.1-yard rate, led in pass receptions with 21 for 274 yards. Porach (3.5-yard average), Fullback H. C. Thaxton (3.6) and Jon Stephenson (5.1, plus 10 pass catches) fill out a rugged running attack. There are good first-liners at end (Ernie Phillips and Joe Poist) and at guard (Wayne Woolwine and Dave Gatti), but the rest of the line and line-backing spots are in shabby repair and in need of added manpower.