We nominate.. Maclean’s All-Star Football Teams for 1939
The All-Western All-Star rugby team teas selected for Maclean’s by the following committee: F. C. Wilson, Regina, president, W.C.R.F.U.; M. I. Lieberman, Edmonton, past president, W.C.R.F.U.; W.L. Ross, Calgary, past president, W.C.R.F.U.; Frank Hannibal, Winnipeg, president, Western Canada Conference Rugby Union. Selections made for Maclean's by Eddie Armstrong, Dave Dryburgh, George Mackintosh, Hob Momini and Herb Manning, sports writers of the Winnipeg Free Press, Regina Leader-Post, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald and Winnipeg Tribune respectively, were also considered carefully, and attention was paid to choices made by Jack Kelly, of the Edmonton Bulletin, and Joe Ryan, of the Winnipeg Free Press. In addition, Dr. Walter Sturdy, of Vancouver, first vice-president, W.C.R.F.U., assisted by Hal Straight, of the Vancouver Sun, and Jimmy Coleman, of the Vancouver Province, sent in nominations for the All-Stars and for honorable mention from the Coast. A. E. Tomlinson, second vice-president, W.C.R.F.U., and W. R. Matthews, third vice-ptesident, W.C.R.F.U., did the same for the teams from the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan. Ken McConnell, of the Edmonton Journal, also gave valuable assistance. The findings thus arrived at are presented by W.G. Hardy, of Edmonton.
IN THIS, the sixth consecutive year for Maclean’s rugby All-Stars, Canada is at war. The Government of Canada, however, has expressly stated that it wishes sport to carry on this year as usual, both for purposes of morale and because, in Anglo-Saxon civilization. sjxxt is an excellent training for war. In consequence, rugby in the West has gone plunging on its way.
The most sjiectacular of the Western leagues, the Western Conference, has presented a thrill-packed schedule of twelve games. In these, last year’s champions—the powerful Winnipeg Blue Bombers—won ten of twelve starts and in the semifinal, just completed at the moment of writing, the Calgary Bronks have run and passed to victory over the Regina Rough Riders. Prediction is a risky business, but unless the Bronks u|>sct the do|x. the Bombers ought to win another title.
In passing, it is fair to remark that the rugby of the Western Conference is the equal of any in Canada and that the competition in it has been keen. Four games of the schedule were decided by a one-point margin. The Edmonton Eskimos, last team in the standing, handed the Bombers their first defeat and have, admittedly, the toughest defensive line in the league. Regina, although disorganized midway in the season by the dismissal of three imports, was carried by the dasii and spirit of its home talent to second place in the league standing. Calgary Bronks have a sparkling back field and a line which is packed with |x>tcntial power. Even if Calgary should defeat Winning in the Western finals, however, it is unlikely that the Bronks will travel East since many of their imports, by the rules of the Canadian Rugby Union, would lx* ineligible for competition in the Dominion championships. Winnipeg, win or lose, has the strongest team in the league for Dominion competition, both because its imports are not first-year men and because, through its policy of fostering junior rugby, it has plenty of reserves.
Coast and Varsity Leagues
THE WESTERN Conference may lx» the brightest star in the Western rugby heavens. The Coast League of four teams, however, has also had an excellent season. In addition, the intercollegiate teams, with the exception of the University of Manitoba, have battled for the Hardy Cup. This was again won by the University of British Columbia Thunder Birds, who also won the Coast League and have flown high throughout the season without a single loss. But the most important of rugby facts in the West, jx-rhajys, is the growing importance of junior rugby. There are three fine junior clubs at the Coast and successful junior leagues have also operated in Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg. To this evidence that young Western Canadians are playing the game in increasing numbers must be added the high school and sandlot teams.
When it came to the selection of the sixth consecutive Maclean's Western rugby All-Stars, the usual problems faced the committee. Of these the most vexing is the lack of competition between the Coast League and the Western Conference. There is no doubt that the quality of rugby in the Western Conference is higher than that of the Coast League. In consequence, the committee, has again limited itself to selections from the conference.
This may, however, work an injustice, particularly since this year the Coast League has an outstanding player in Johnny Pearson, flashy end and punter extraordinary for the University of British Columbia Thunder Birds. With punts of sixty yards to his credit, he is rated by the Vancouver s|x>rts writers, who have also seen the Western Conference teams in action, as the best kicker in the West. In addition, in his post at end, Pearson handles passes well and is excellent on both the defense and offense; although the same sports writers estimate that, as an end, he must be ranked below the best in the Western Conference.
It seems difficult, therefore, to leave Pearson off the All-Stars. But the selection committee feel that, in default of some definite comparison to prove that this player would sparkle as brightly in the sterner competition of the Western Conference, they must restrict themselves to choices from the rugby which is admittedly the best in the West.
Pearson apparently stands in a class by himself at the Coast. There are, however, other nominations for honorable
mention. Hank Stradiotti, a linesman in the Thunder Birds who stands six feet one and weighs 215 pounds, and who received honorable mention in Maclean’s last year, is one of them. So is his fellow varsity linesman, Fred Smith, a short and chunky guard; while Jack Labelle, kicker and broken field runner for the Knights of Columbus, and Hank Rowe, playing his first year football at end for the Victoria Revellers, also rate honorable mention.
In the prairie varsity teams, there seem to be only two players who are definitely of honorable mention calibre. Capraru, backfielder for the University of Saskatchewan, has been the mainstay of his club; while Dave McKay has proved the outstanding player and plunger for the University of Alberta.
In making their selection from the four teams of the Western Conference, the committee found the path a rocky one. There was a plenitude of stars and, because of the time element, judgment had to be based on the performances during the games of the regular schedule. Furthermore, it might be noted that, while the primary purpose is to select the best players to make up an all-round team of All-Stars, Maclean’s, wherever possible, gives the preference to Canadians.
It is a happy coincidence here that when we turn to the halfbacks—the galloping horsemen of rugby—the top scorer in the conference, with a total of sixty-one points, is a Canadian, Paul Rowe. A native of Victoria, B.C., Rowe learned his rugby at the University of Oregon. In his first season with Calgary last year he won honorable mention in Maclean’s list. This year he is unanimously chosen as the best plunging half in the West. A hard blocker, a heady broken-field runner, an excellent tackier, a grxxl placement kicker and above all a marvellous plunger, he has “carried the mail” for the Bronks all season and ably fills the All-Star fullback position. In Calgary’s forthcoming battle with Winnijx.‘g he is the man the Bombers will have to watch.
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Nominated by WESTERN CANADA RUGBY SELECTION COMMITTEE Name Position T earn Height Weight 1 Rowe Halfback Calgary Bronks 6' 1" 203 lbs. 2 Cleveland Halfback Regina Rough Riders 6' 170 lbs. 3 Warren Halfback Calgary Bronks 5' 10" 170 lbs. 4 Sheley Quarterback Winnipeg Blue Bombers 5' 9" 180 lbs. 5 Nicklin Flying Wing Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6' 11/2" 190 lbs. 6 Wilson Snap Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6' 2" 190 lbs. 7 Kabat Inside Wing 'W innipeg Blue Bombers 6' 180 lbs. 8 Wile Inside Wing Edmonton Eskimos 5' III/2" 185 lbs. 9 Gainor Middle Wing Winnipeg Blue Bombers 5' 11 %" 190 lbs. 10 Gelhaye Middle W ing Edmonton Eskimos 6' 1" 270 lbs. 11 Marquardt Outside Wing Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6' 3" 170 lbs. 12 O’Brien Outside Wing Edmonton Eskimos 5' 7/2" 175 lbs.
Selected by JOHN DeGRUCHY, Former President Canadian Rugby Football Union, and Associates. Name Position T earn Height Weight 1 Storey Halfback Toronto Argonauts 6' 2" 195 lbs. 2 Thompson Halfback Balmy Beach 5' 9" 165 lbs. 3 Krol Halfback Univ. of Western Ont. 5' ll'/z" 167 lbs. 4 W. Stukus Quarterback Toronto Argonauts 5' 10" 180 lbs. 5 Ferraro Flying Wing Westmounts 6' 1" 205 lbs. 6 Moynahan Snap Ottawa Rough Riders 5' II" 180 lbs. 7 Flerman Inside Wing Ottawa Rough Riders 6' 1" 265 lbs. 8 Staughton Inside Wing Toronto Argonauts 6' 197 lbs. 9 Jotkus Middle Wing Montreal Royals 6' 210 lbs. 10 Burns Middle Wing Westmounts 6' 2(H) lbs. 11 Thornton Outside Wing Toronto Argonauts 6' 175 lbs. 12 McCarthy Outside Wing Ottawa Rough Riders 5' 10' 185 lbs
FOR THE SIXTH successive year, Maclean’s Magazine has asked me to weigh the merits of Eastern Canadian football players, and pin badges of stardom on twelve outstanding gridiron heroes.
As in previous years, I have received the advice of several outstanding coaches. These experts have spoken frankly, have given me the choices in their own leagues and even in their own teams. These authorities insist that I refrain from naming them in this article, lest the harmony in their own clubs turn to discord.
While I have been guided by the knowledge of these experts, the final selection is my own responsibility. I have seen all twelve Eastern clubs in action, and have personally studied the ability of each of the players finally nominated.
When Maclean’s All-Star selections of the past are recalled, it is evident that a senior football career is brief. For instance, the 1934 group included such famous athletes as Welch, Perry, Box, Hayes, Eliowitz, Metras, Kostuik, Palmer, Jotkus, Timmis, Simpson and Morris. Five seasons later, only two of these stars—Pete Jotkus and Teddy Morris—are still carrying the pigskin.
Early every December, many husky youths whose exploits have thrilled autumn crowds “exit” through
dressing-room doors and wave farewell (o football. Highwater mark in retirements seemed reached this year, for when the 1939 teams lined up for the opening kickoff, the missing included .Stirling, Box, Cutler, Hempey, Reynolds, Clawson. Morrison and Palmer—each a 1938 star.
Not only did that galaxy sink beyond the rugby horizon, but the season was also featured by many team changes. Ottawa Rough Riders, for instance, signed Golab and McWatters from Sarnia Imperials, Sward from Balmy Beach and George Sprague, former Queen’s lineman. Three senior teams—Hamilton Tigers. Queen's University and Montreal Royals—were tutored by new masters in the touchdowning profession.
These shifts and retirements made it possible for several newcomers to crash the Hall of Fame. Only four of our 1938 All-Star selections repeated in 1939.
What Makes an All-Star Team
A UL-STARS cannot be measured with mathematical accuracy. Scoring statistics are not infallible yardsticks, for the player who goes the last few yards and receives the cheers and the points, is not always the chap who made the touchdown possible. For instance, although Joe Krol, University of Western Ontario, has thrown a flock of touchdown forwards, he has scored very few himself.
There are different conceptions of what constitutes an All-Star team.
Some selectors prefer to nominate a group that looks well on paper and would combine harmoniously on the field. I don't favor the idea, for such a club is never assembled, and I look at a star as an individual, not as a cog in a machine. Consequently, I have made no attempt to propose say, a running half, a kicking half and a passing half. Instead, I have forsaken the specialist, the man of one talent, and have preferred the “all-arounder” who does all things well. This purjx>se is particularly evident in the selection of three backs.
The rosters of the twelve Eastern senior teams included at least seventy players who were labelled halfbacks. These seventy possibles were reduced to about twelve probables. This final dozen included Tremblay, Storey, Tommy, Moroz, Thompson, Krol. Cicero, Szumlinski, Isbister, Selkirk and Morris. If Tony Golab, Ottawa Rough Rider halfback, had not missed a couple of important games through injuries, and if Argonauts’ Art West had not met a preseason accident, these two would certainly have been included in any final grouping, for both are exceptionally good players.
Of the twelve probables, Cicero, of Montreal Royals, was lightning fast; Tremblay and Tommy, of Ottawa, thrilled all fans with their smart receiving and dazzling open field running; Westmount s Mullins, durable and versatile, was again a most colorful and effective performer; Sarnia’s Moroz kicked six successful placements in one game, and throughout the season accumulated a most impressive point total. Indeed every one of a dozen halves had some claim to inclusion on the All-Star squad. But decisions had to be made, even though based on hairline differences. Consequently, with some diffidence and much hope, we finally chose Krol, Thompson and Storey.
Joe Krol has not been nicknamed “Snake Hips” without cause. *The University of Western Ontario star learned his rugby in Windsor, developed it last year with the Western Colts and blossomed in one season into an intercollegiate sensation. Rarely has a rookie senior proved so many-sided and proficient. Here is an indication of his diversified power. In one McGill game the half-time score was tied at one point each. In the third quarter, Krol tossed a successful seventeen-yard pass, received a forward and advanced thirty-two yards, heaved another good one, ran twenty-five yards, flipped a smart touchdown forward, kicked eighty-five yards for a touch in goal, threw a fortytwo-yard pass which also ended in a major score and began the fourth period with a personal goal-line smash and carried the ball over McGill’s line for another five points. Krol’s play throughout the season was consistently brilliant, and he is the outstanding college player of the year in the East.
Like Krol, Eddie Thompson is a natural halfback who grew up in one season. In no sense a one-talent player, the youthful Balmy Beach sensation plunges, catches, runs back kicks, punts high and far, is a creditable placement hooter and has often played the entire sixty minutes without relief. In one game Thompson was directly responsible for all nine points secured by his team. There's a lot of football in this youngster, and we didn’t reach the conclusion to nominate him for All-Star rating without considerable thought.
Red Storey ended the 1938 season against Winnipeg Bombers in a blaze of glory, and there was much off-season conjecture that his closing effort was simply a flash. But Storey’s 1939 record has convinced all Eastern fans that the Argonaut star is both consistent and brilliant.
“Red” has speed to dash around ends, strength to plow straight ahead, and agility to gallop through broken fields. In short, he looks in any type of advance.
Moreover, Storey has hands, kicks reasonably well, receives or throws passes skilfully, and j)crforms daringly and enthusiastically. In one game this Argonaut caught five passes; ran a total of seventy yards on three of them, and developed the other two into touchdowns. Storey has more than ability: lie is tin* most colorful player in Eastern Canadian football.
Two Great Quarterbacks
QUARTERBACK is probably the most exacting position in Canadian rugby. Because the job demands the best in both mind and body, outstanding quarterbacks are rare. Despite this “rarity,” selection for this position was difficult, for it demanded a choice between Orville Burke, of Ottawa, and Bill Stukus, of Argos.
Both Stukus and Burke are competent field generals, well endowed in initiative and courage. While I have no quarrel with anyone who disagrees with the nomination,
I prefer to give the final approving mxl to Stukus.
Bill, the middle in age of the three Stukuses playing with Argonauts, starts end runs with exceptional haste, dexterously passes both laterals and forwards, catches punts like a Di Maggio snares flies, changes direction with rabbitlike dash, readily spots openings, is an elusive carrier, keeps reasonably clear of injuries and is prepared to play unceasingly from lunch to dinner. Moreover, Stukus is temperamentally fitted for emergencies, thinks quickly, has more football experience than Burke and is so consistent that he rarely turns in a bad game. We confidently nominate Bill Stukus for quarterback.
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As one of Rowe’s running mates, “High Pockets” Cleveland is also a unanimous selection. This import just missed making Maclean's All-Stars last year. This season he has been the mainstay of the Regina club and the chief reason why the Rough Riders made second place in the league. An ideal triple-threat back, he can kick, throw passes, is a splendid broken-field runner and one of the best safety men in the West. It is no accident that he has been voted the most valuable player in the conference and has been awarded the McKinney Cup.
Although these two choices were unanimous, the choice of a third back was an extremely difficult problem. It seems hard to leave the one and only Fritzy Hanson, the “golden ghost” of the Bombers, off any team of Western AllStars. Used sparingly in the earlier games and only given his head in the last three games of the regular schedule, the blond flash has finished second in the scoring, with forty-one points. His open-field running is as brilliant as ever. It is felt, however, that on the basis of the performance in the regular schedule, he is shaded as a triple-threat man by Cleveland, and that a better blocking and kicking half is needed to round out the team.
Here the name of Landers, of Regina, presented itself. Regarded as the best blocker, next to Kabat, in the conference, and a player who is a fair kicker and a sure tackier, he definitely rates honorable mention. “Bizz” Bisbing, of Calgary, was also considered, since he is a fine running and passing back and a fair punter. The selection, however, finally falls on Lyn Warren. This player, who came to Bronks this season from Stetson College in Florida, is a triple-threat man. A sure catch and one who can take punts brilliantly on the run—a department in which Hanson sometimes fails—he tosses forward passes like a ball player, is an excellent running back, a gtxxl plunger and blocker and a fair punter. As compared to Landers, he is definitely more of a threat on the offensive.
A Dynamic Backfield
'T'O COMPLETE a backfield which is a coach’s dream, Wayne Sheley and Jeff Nicklin, both of Winnipeg, are unanimous selections for quarterback and flying wing. Sheley, who came to the Bombers last year from Augustana College in South Dakota, has had a great season. A good plunger and punter, he is a clever field general, always cool and collected, possessing just enough gambling instinct to make his strategy brilliant. I le is also one of the best passers in the league. The runner-up for his position is Bob Fritz, of Edmonton, who has again shown his old-time passing and plunging ability and is one of the most courageous players in the conference.
At flying wing, Nicklin, a Canadian who has already appeared in previous Maclean’s All-Star lists as an end, is a sure selection. This year Coach Threlfall of Winnipeg, took this all-star end and has made an all-star back of him. A
powerful runner, an excellent pass-receiver and a sure tackier, he is a great defensive player as well as very useful on the offensive.
Rowe, Cleveland, Warren, Nicklin and Sheley give the West a backfield which is dynamite on the offensive and sound defensively. The one field here in which the East almost certainly outshines the West is in the punting; but while Olander and Sutton of the Eskimos can both outdistance Cleveland or Sheley or Warren in kicking, they themselves are outdistanced by these players in the other departments of the game.
In addition to the backs already referred to, honorable mention should also be given to Cilkes of the Bronks, Yatchek of the Eskimos, Guest of the Riders and Bieber and Boivin of the Bombers. Bieber, a native of Winnipeg, in particular seems to be a coming player, and Guest, also a Canadian, has turned in brilliant displays for the Riders.
Selections for the Line
r"PIIE LINE is the wall behind which the attack is organized as well as being the first line of defense. It is also—to change the metaphor—the infantry which opens holes in the enemy’s line on the offensive and which, on defense, breaks through to smear enemy plays. Its spearpoint and shield is the snap. Here three nominations were considered— Griffing of Regina, McKee of Calgary and Wilson of Winnipeg. The competition is so close that any of the three could be chosen. Griffing, big, tough, and aggressive, is, at his best, the outstanding centre in the West. This season, however, his work has been uneven. McKee, an alert, smart player, has made a fine impression in his first year in the conference. But the committee felt that the work of Wilson has just shaded the play of the other two candidates. A Winnipeg “home brew” and one who received honorable mention last year, Wilson has, this season, fully lived up to the promise indicated in his freshman performance last season. An accurate snap, and sound defensively, he is extremely fast downfield under punts. He is a sure tackier and is always alert for laterals. On one occasion this year, after receiving a lateral, he went on thirty yards for a touchdown.
On either side of the snap crouch the inside wings. A unanimous selection here is Greg Kabat of the Bombers. This player from Wisconsin appeared in Maclean’s 1934 selection as flying wing. Changed over by Coach Threlfall this season to a guard, Kabat is regarded by many as the best blocker in the league, was constantly through the line to nail the enemy ball carrier and also led many of the Winnipeg plays on offense. Besides being fast downfield, he is the best placement kicker in the conference. In a thrilling game at Calgary in which, after being outplayed 17 to 3, the Bombers came from behind to win 19 to 17, it was “Hardrocks” Kabat who, in the dying moments of the game, coolly kicked the points which brought his team the victory.
For the other guard position the choice narrowed down to a close decision between Wile of the Eskimos, and Peschel of the Bombers. Peschel has played an extraoalinarily good game this year, but the nod is given to Wile. An import this season from Minnesota, he has been a tower of strength defensively and offensively to the Eskimos, and to him goes a large part of the credit, as line coach, for making the Edmonton line the toughest defensive wall in the conference.
Like the guards, the middle wings need to be big, fast and tough. In this position Martin Gainor of the Bombers is, for the third consecutive year, a unanimous choice. Of this player from North Dakota it only needs to be said that he has played better than ever. An excellent blocker and bruising tackier, he is, probably, the fastest linesman in the conference downfield. For his sidekick, Gordon Gelhaye, of Edmonton, gets the nod. He has such tremendous bulk that it is practically impossible to run plays over Gelhaye and, for a big man, he is amazingly fast downfield. Time after time this player, who came to the Eskimos last season from Minnesota and who is a sixty-minute man, has been the first to nail the punt receiver, and he is constantly through the line to break up enemy plays. In the Edmonton defeat of Winnipeg, it was a blocked punt by Gelhaye which marked one of the decisive points in the game.
Although Kabat and Gainor are standouts, there are a number of other linesmen whom Gelhaye and Wile just shade. In addition to Peschel, honorable mention should be made of Hoel, of Edmonton, Nairn, of Winnipeg and Cosgrove, Hoptauit and Zwank, who give the power to Calgary’s strong line.
The One and Only Marquardt
THE ENDS, next to the halfbacks, have the most spectacular position in modern rugby. Here there is only one Marquardt. This player, who came to Winnipeg some years ago from North Dakota, and who has already appeared in Maclean’s All-Stars, is a unanimous selection. His great height and sure pair of hands and speed make him the best pass-receiver in the conference, and he is also a sure tackier and an excellent blocker. For the other end position O’Brien is again chosen. Speedy, and a good tackier and pass-receiver and possessed of plenty of courage, this player from St. Paul has on occasion been used in the backfield. He faced stern competition this year, however, from Edberg of Regina and Hal Harrison of Calgary; while McCance, of Winnipeg, and Larry Haynes, of Calgary, also rate honorable mention.
This, then, is Maclean’s 1939 selection of Western All-Stars. It will be noted that three Canadians are included and that among those who rate honorable mention Bieber, Boivin, Guest, Gilkes, Harrison, Haynes, Naim, Olander and Sutton are also native products. To those already referred for honorable mention should be added Springstein, a good placement kicker and a product of junior hockey in Regina, and Stevenson, of Winnipeg. The coaching honors once more go to Threlfall, of Winnipeg, because he is the best strategist in the conference and the best in developing players, because he has done much to foster junior rugby and the development of Canadian players in Winnipeg, and because he is an excellent influence in every way in the game.
The West began its season on August 25 this year, thus trying to defeat the weatherman. The ten yards interference rule and throwing of forwards from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage has found favor again with players and spectators, but there have also been many powerful bucks and sparkling laterals and end runs and “hipper-dipper” stuff. It is clear, however, that the Dominion final, however it turns out this year, will never be a fair test until uniform playing rules are adopted and until the long layoff between the close of the Western playing season and the playing of the Dominion final is, in some way, avoided.
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The nomination of flying wing also had its difficulties, for this time there were three closely matched contenders—Farmer, Sward and Ferraro.
Farmer, the former intercollegiate star, is a good ball-carrier, splendid tackier, capable forward passer, strong plunger and reliable secondary defender. But so is Sward, the former Balmy Beach captain. In addition. Ottawa’s Sward is one of the best hooters in Eastern rugby.
Despite the merits of these two contenders, we pick Ferraro. Strong, fast, consistent, the Westmount player is one of the headiest on Eastern gridirons. Moreover, he is a great team player, capable of inspiring his mates when the going is tough. Any one of the three mentioned would be acceptable to experts, but those closest to the players have been quite enthusiastic for Ferraro.
The five men already selected are particularly well known because their work invites the cheers and the headlines. But quite often the success of the backfield depends upon the ability and fight of seven other players “up front.” Certainly there have been instances of halves who starred behind stouthearted lines and who failed when they changed teams and received inferior protection.
The snap is usually one of these forgotten men, but every coach knows the worth of a good centre. This year, Argonauts’ Lewis and Willis were both good; Doug Turner. University of Toronto, had the qualifications of a star, but a preseason injury kept him out until late in October; Turner, Balmy Beach rookie, made steady progress. Despite the attainments of these players, the final nod goes to “Curly” Moynahan, Ottawa Rough Riders’ snap.
Moynahan is big, fast and strong; he rushes opposing kickers with considerable success, smartly senses plays and expertly spoils the best-planned forward passes. Furthermore, he has a valuable habit of picking up opposing fumbles and turning errors into gains.
On either side of Moynahan, we place two burly inside wings— Ottawa’s “Tiny” Herman and Argonauts’ Len Staughton.
When Herman defiantly stands about eight yards behind the big Ottawa line, receives the ball from Burke or Me Watters and storms the opposing defense, he really goes goalward with a bang. “Tiny” also adds to his effective line work by a toe that is really educated in the art of kicking placements. With Bernie Moroz, of Sarnia, he shares the honor of being the East’s outstanding three-pointer.
The other inside wing position goes to a player who has frequently “stopped and been stopped” by Herman. Len Staughton lacks the heft and kicking talent of his Rough Rider contemporary, but he has nearly as much power, considerably more speed, and the useful knack of breaking through in a crisis and blocking the bestintentioned punts. The battling Argonaut inside wing is also a good tackier in the open, has a fighting heart and has been “around” long enough to anticipate most gridiron tricks.
Middle Wing Veterans
THE BEST middle wings of 1939 would include Evans, Burt, Wadsworth, Burns, Anton, Jotkus, Ross, George and Dave Sprague and Parsons. From these probables I prefer to nominate two venerable but still worthy exponents of better football, Montreal Royals’ Pete Jotkus, and Tommy Burns, of Westmounts.
Burns and Jotkus are quite similar in physique, experience and ability. They are defensively strong, cagey, hard to stop, and quite alert in recovering opponents’ fumbles. Jotkus is an all-round athlete, courageous and determined, and was smart enough to score two touchdowns against Ottawa in one game. Bums is particularly good with “goal-line to go,” is a successful opportunist, stands high among scoring linemen and is a good placement kicker.
No Eastern Canadian team can be very successful unless it is blessed with brilliant outsides who can consistently go “down under” and get their man before he “cuts the kick in half.”
Because this position is so exacting, there aren’t more than half a dozen really good outside wings in all the territory from Sarnia to Montreal inclusive, We make no apologies, however, for the two we now feature, for both Thornton, of Argos, and McCarthy, of the Rough Riders, would be outstanding in any period of Canada’s gridiron history. Both are hard tackling, quick thinking and fast running. They are rangy, experienced and can stalk halfbacks all through an autumn afternoon, without running to cover. Thornton is particularly brilliant and McCarthy is not far behind.
Thus, reinforced by the able opinions of expert advisers, the complete line-up for Maclean's 1939 All-Eastern team is as follows:
Halfbacks—Krol, Thompson, Storey. Quarterback—Bill Stukus.
Inside Wings—Herman, Staughton. Middle Wings—Burns, Jotkus.
Outside Wings—Thornton, McCarthy.