The Football News 1945 Review:
Central Press All-American


Many thanks to Gaels football expert Jerry Rose for providing this article.

Pos. Name School Age Wt. Ht. Home
E Dick Duden Navy 20 206 6'2" New York City
T George Savitsky Penn 21 250 6'3" Camden, NJ
G Al Sparlis UCLA 25 175 6' Los Angeles, Cal.
C Vaughn Mancha Alabama 23 238 6' Birmingham, Ala.
G Warren Amling Ohio State 20 197 6' Pana, Ill.
T Dewitt Coulter Army 21 220 6'3" Fort Worth, Tex.
E Bob Ravensberg Indiana 21 180 6'1" Bellevue, Ky.
B Frank Dancewicz Notre Dame 21 180 5'10" Lynn, Mass.
B Glenn Davis Army 20 170 5'9" Claremont, Cal.
B H. Wedemeyer St. Mary's 21 173 5'10" Honolulu, T.H.
B Felix Blanchard Army 20 205 6' Bishopville, S.C.

By Walter L. Johns|
Central Press Sports Editor

Headed by everybody's All-Americans, the Army "touchdown twins," Felix (Doc) Blanchard and Glenn Davis, the Central Press captains All-American team for 1945 is presented. Blanchard and Davis are the only repeaters from the '44 team.

The squad, as does all such honorary units, embraces outstanding football players from all sections of the country, as picked from among thousands by the captains of the the teams which played the game for the last eight or more Saturdays. The line averages 209; the backfield 182.

This is the 15th straight year that Central Press has presented the All-American team, selected with the aid of the captains or the leading college teams. As usual, the balloting was heavy on the players making up the major college teams, though some consideration was given to the football teams which didn't play as strong a schedule as the rest.

About the Backs

Army, which fielded a so-called "super"team, won three places on the All-American squad. In addition to Blanchard and Davis, the Army's Dewitt Coulter, tackle, rated the call over many other fine tackles to team with Penn's mighty man, George Savitsky, on the Central Press team.

So much has been written about Blanchard as a line buster, open field runner, punter and blocker that we'll call him "terrific" and let it go at that. Davis, the fastest man in football pants, was an open field terror and scored 96 points for the Army team, as did Blanchard. Every time he carried the ball he was a threat for a touchdown run.

The other backs, Frank Dancewicz of Notre Dame, a superlative field general who gave a polished performance each week as the master of the T, and the Galloping Gael of St. Mary's, "Squirmin'" Herman Wedemeyer, were standouts although their teams were not among the unbeaten.

Dancewicz handled the ball on every play for the Irish, did the team's passing, and also the club's punting. He had only four passes intercepted all season.

Wedemeyer, son of a German father and a Hawaiian mother, did so much of everything that several coast observers labeled him "the greatest back" they ever have seen. He did everything for the Gaels: punted, place-kicked, kicked off, passed, ran with the ball, blocked, and made many tackles. He carried the ball 93 times, gained 391 yards, scored nine touchdowns, and completed 60 out of 96 passes for 1,086 yards gained.

In selected the backfield, such good men as Harry Gilmer of Alabama, who passed the Tide into the Rose Bowl; Bob Fenimore, the one-man team of Oklahoma A&M, and Pete Pihos, the Indiana fullback, whom Bo McMillin says "is just the greatest player I've seen in 13 years of watching the Big Ten," had to be relegated to the second team.

The ends, Ravensberg of Indiana and Duden of Navy, were popular choices. Ravensberg received more votes for the end job than any other man listed in the balloting. The big Kentuckian, winning his third football letter at Indiana, was a fine defensive player and scored 30 points for the Hoosiers.

Duden, the Navy captain, switched from the backfield to became a star. The six-foot all-around athlete and scholar, who'll be one of the few nine-letter men in Academy history, started every game. Much of the credit for the Navy's great showing this year's due to Duden, who particularly sparkled in the Penn game when he pulled it out of the fire in the last seconds. Duden's leadership was superb.

At the tackles, Coulter and Savitsky were standouts. Coulter, a solid hunk of man, busted through all enemy foes to open the way for the Army backs. A fourth classman, the 220-pound Texan had no peer this season. Savitsky, a 250-pound speedster, has played not only tackled but defensive end. Despite his size, he gets down the field and into opposing backfields with the speed of an end. Rae Crowther, the Penn line coach, says that Savitsky, a former Marine, is "the best tackle I have coached or seen." And Crowther has been coaching 'em for 20 years.

Al Sparlis, one of the guards, is only a 175-pounder, but he makes up for it in fight. Three times this year he was named as the "lineman of the week." A rugged boy, Sparlis played the last two games for UCLA with a broken toe and went into the California game with a broken finger in addition. A terrific linebacker and defensive man, Sparlis is a 60-minute player. One of the standouts on the 1942 UCLA Rose Bowl team, Sparlis is just back from the wars, where he was a lieutenant in the Air Corps in the China-Burma-India theater.

Warren Amling, the other guard, started as an end this year, but shifted to guard when Capt. Bill Hackett, his roommate, was declared out because of an injury. Amling began at left guard and then shifted to right. A great defensive man, Amling played more than 50 minutes of each game, called defensive signals all season and was chosen "lineman of the week" twice. Last year Amling, a 197-pound stalwart, played four positions against Michigan.

Coach Frank Thomas, the sage of Tuscaloosa, says that Vaughn Mancha, the 238-pound center picked for the All-American, has the greatest potentialities of any lineman he has coached. Mancha, who made the third team All-American last year, is one of the fastest men on the Alabama squad. Mancha only has one eye.

   
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