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Undefeated last year, MILLIKIN lost one of the nation's leading small-college scorers (Jerry Domescik), Coach Don Shroyer, who joined the NFL Cardinals, and 13 vital lettermen. The backfield, especially at quarter and half, remains presentable, but unless an aching void in the middle line is filled, CARTHAGE or CARROLL will take the conference title.
With 27 lettermen returning from last year's undefeated ALBION team, Coach Morley Fraser still sees weaknesses at end and guard. He admits that Quarterback Frank Gould (career record: 144 completions for 1,988 yards and 24 TDs), fleet Fullback J. B. Elzy (44 points, 752 yards rushing), all-round Halfback Dar Christiansen and profuse talent at other positions are some solace.
Men like End Rog Eischens (27 catches, 470 yards, 4 TDs) and Quarterback Dean Koster (68 of 118 passes completed) justify SOUTH DAKOTA STATE hopes for another North Central title, but IOWA STATE COLLEGE and NORTH DAKOTA are formidable obstacles.
The best small-college conference in the East is the Middle Atlantic, whose strongest members are in Pennsylvania. Though they do not play each other, SUSQUEHANNA and ALBRIGHT Will again vie for the MAC northern title.
Susquehanna's opponents, who know the off-tackle play is coming, still can't stop it. Returning almost intact and unbeaten in 13 games, the Selinsgrove terrors are adding passing and outside runs to power slants by leading MAC rusher John Luscko and Fullback Larry Kerstetter. If his knee holds up, Quarterback Don Green is as good as they come.
Undefeated in 21 games, Albright lost its quarterback and two ends to the pros but retains lettermen at all positions. Halfback Doug Deicke leads a switch to more running but Albright will be somewhat weaker and could give ground to MORAVIAN or HOFSTHA.
One of the East's best, WEST CHESTER dominates the Pennsylvania College Conference, mostly on the strength of its running. All-America Fullback Joe Iacone (1,059 yards gained last year, 1,438 the year before) is back, hopefully for another big season. He may get some help from Halfback Paul Borsa. If a quarterback matures, this could be a fearsome team.
Hofstra lost six key players, but a flock of good returnees should fill their places neatly. Quarterback Len Garille, Halfback Jim Stamos, Fullback Ron Zoia and Linemen Terry Kosens, Dick Caproni, John Schmitt and Mike Brereton are all talented operators, JUNIATA, unaccustomed to losing, could come back, led by Guards Bill Crowell and Dave Oliver and Quarterback Ron Poruban.
Middlebury, which had a better won-lost record (5-1-1) than any other eastern independent, lost 14 fine lettermen. It will retain its winning ways, though. ALLEGHENY can repeat as Presidents' Conference champion, SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT will further improve its 88-25-5 record under Jess Dow and WAYNESBURG, WESTMINSTER, EAST STROUDSBURG and SLIPPERY ROCK will win often.