HERMAN HICKMAN SAYS:
Nationally, the Yankee Conference is of little note, but within the confines of its borders the competition is fierce. As one conference coach put it: "The teams are usually pretty well coached, pretty well balanced, the kids come from the same neck of the woods, and they fight real hard not to lose face." What the teams do against outside opposition doesn't seem to affect the hard play of the conference games.
These six state schools battle as hard for the traditional bean pot as any Rose Bowl contender for its place in the sun. And, without headlines, they play a good, rock-ribbed brand of ball in the best New England tradition.
Maine was the most underrated team in the conference last year. They lost a tough opening game to Champion Rhode Island, but they beat just about everyone else, and toward the end of the season might well have been the top outfit among the Yankees. But Maine plays in two different conferences, the Yankee in the early part of the fall and the Maine Conference (with Bowdoin, Colby and Bates) the latter. By the time they jelled into top form their Yankee season was past and the best they could carry off was a series of victories over their Maine Conference foes.
This year Maine is blessed with a big tough line operating in front of some good backs and is as sound as an Aroostook County potato.
Of the rest, Connecticut, with a good nucleus returning from last year and some outstanding freshmen coming up, is a logical contender. New Hampshire, with an experienced line and green backfield, carries the dark-horse tab. Rhode Island, having lost Coach Hal Kopp to Brigham Young and some key veterans from its first undefeated team, could again take the title, but it is doubtful. Only Massachusetts and Vermont seem out of the championship fight, yet they're both improved.
COLORS: Blue and white.
BASIC OFFENSE: Split-T.
1955 RECORD: Won 6, lost 0, tied 2.