Blythewood Spoiling For First Victory

Ralph Polcari’s Blythewood Indians are spoiling for a win after their 6-0 defeat at the hands of Flat Creek last week, and Lou Johnson, whose St. Angela Saints play their regular football game in the school’s history against the Indians tonight at Eau Claire field, concedes that Blythewood just may get it.

The Indians were infuriated when referees called back a touchdown against Flat Creek, and then were dubious about a call giving the Rattlers a touchdown in the game’s final minutes.

Polcari’s squad also feels that this is the year to avenge the disastrous 0-10 record compiled last year. The two biggest problems from last year – inexperience and an unrealistic schedule – have been licked, Polcari said.

“Last year, we played way over our heads,” the coach said. “We were playing Cardinal Newman, Chapin, and other Class B powers.”

This year, the schedule has been adjusted to eight Class C games and only two Class B tussles, with Lockhart and McBee. Blythewood is in the Class C Conference II, which includes such schools as Bethune, Blaney, Midway, Pelion, and Jefferson.

St. Angela, a Catholic school in Aiken, has been playing basketball in Conference II-C for several years, but this year is the first to see a serious effort to compete in football.

Johnson will have 22 men dressed out for tonight’s game, out of a total male student body of 45. The decision to begin a football program was made last March, Johnson said, largely to attract more boys to the school.

“We’re hoping to make a good showing against Blythewood, even if we don’t win.” Johnson went on, “and we hope by the end of the season, we’ll have gained enough experience to hold our own.”

Johnson’s biggest problem is his squad’s complete lack of experience. None of the boys have played football in at least three or four years, and non have ever played high school ball.

One big man Johnson is counting on is 215-pound John Rossbach, who at tackle will team with Bob Spanno to add beef to the interior line. In the backfield will be Mike LaBoonne, 190, at fullback and linebacker, and Mark Steiffel, 165, at halfback. Johnson was also impressed with the defensive work of linebacker Mike Askew.

The Saints will run a split-T and stick to the ground, Johnson said. “Overall, our line is as good as Blythewood’s,” the coach said.

The Indians will depend on their ground game this week, stacking the middle against the inexperienced St. Angela line. However, a few passes will be used in an attempt to shake up the Saints’ defense.

Johnson said his boys spent the last several practices boning up on pass defense, but he expected trouble in that department, anyway. “We’re green, and a spread formation is hard to cover.”

Polcari has made only one change in his starting lineup for the game, moving Tommy Frick, 212, from linebacker to right guard to “fill up a hole.”

“The boys are really up for the game,” said Polcari. “They feel they should have won that game last week, and they’re anxious to show they deserve to win.”

September 10, 1965  Columbia Record (published as THE COLUMBIA RECORD)  
Columbia, South Carolina
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