Ask Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler or Jerry Claiborne about their football teams in August and they will smile, pat you on the back and hand you a 100-page brochure, in the making since June.
Ask a small college, meaning no scholarships, coach about his team in August and he will shake his head and tell you to ask again in September. By then he may know who will be in school and who won't.
"When you don't have scholarships you can't expect a real commitment from the kids," explained Montgomery College-Rockville coach Al Kouneski."You just don't know from year to year who will be back."
Kouneski and other small school coaches get by with youngsters who may not have the talent of the big-time players, but who enjoy the game as much or more.
This year the six area small schools will be looking for more wins to add to their fun. Although who will be on the squads isn't determined until after schoolbegins, the coaches have an idea of what they can expect when they open practice.
Here is how the team shape up: Georgetown
The Hoyas, hurt by graduation, suffered their first losing season in eight years under Scotty Glacken, finishing 1-7 in 1976.
"I think most of our problems could be attributed to out youth," said Glacken. "We were basically a freshman-sophomore team and we made mistakes. We'll still be young this year but our kids picked up a lot of experience last season."
Glacken's offense once again will feature the passing of quarterback Bobby Sitz and the catching of wide receiver Clayton Wagner, both juniors, who have been together since their high school days at Springbrook. Fullback Jim Boland is the key to the ground attack.
Defensively, Glacken is concerned about his front line. He will look to middle guard Mark Costa to anchor the middle and needs defensive backs Mark Granville-Smith, a McLean graduate, and Dave Williams to steady the secondary.
"Certainly we expect good things from Sitz and Wagner and our defense should be better," Glacken said. "It's always hard to predict how you'll do. Our best season here came in a year when I thought we were going to have real problems."
Catholic finished with an impressive 7-2 mark in 1976 and is 15-3 for the last two seasons. But the Cardinals will not finish with that gaudy a mark this year.
The reason is simple: Catholic has moved up from the club level to Division 111 football and will face tougher opponents this season.
"We might have as good a team this year as the past two but we may have some trouble finishing 500," admitted Joel Pasquael, back for his second year as coach. "With teams like Canisius, Brooklyn College and Trenton State added to the schedule we're going to have a tougher time."
Pasquael has a number of players returning who should ease the pain of the jump up. Defensively, Mike Moriello, the area's small-college MVP, will be back moving from defensive end to linebacker where he will pair with junior Terry Palagi, another lineman in the past.
UP front, four-year starter Frank Kestler and Mike McGowen will amke the Cardinals very strong at the tackles.
"We've got almost everyone back on defense, although some people are playing new positions," Pasquael said. "Our defense should be extremely solid from the start."
Offensively, Steve Stanislav, now a sophomore, showed enough at quarterback last season, throwing for eight touchdowns, that Pasquael has moved fromer starter Gerard Goeke to defensive back. Stanislav will look frequently for Terry O'Connell, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound split end who was the team's leading receiver the last two years.
Like Glacken, Pasquael sees the Georgetown-Catholic match as the key to what kind of team he will have.
Coach John Organ's team fell on hard times in 1976, dropping to 1-7 following a 9-1 season.
Graduation crippled the team, forcing Organ to play far more freshmen than he would have liked. Now, however, with all the starting secondary back, led by cornerback Irving McBride, Bowie State should be much improved.
"The secondary will be the strongest part of our team, no question about it." Organ sid. "We'll have to play some freshmen up front on defense and on offense. How fast they come along will be important to our success."
The Bulldogs also have to find a quarterback who can get the ball to speedy wide receiver Ricky Simmons. On last year's run-oriented team, Simmons caught 32 passes. Organ calls him "a definite pro prospect." The quarterback will come from the ranks of the freshmen. U. of District of Columbia
Made up of Federal City College, Washington Tech and D.C. Teachers. the new consolidated city university will have to rely on Federal City players for all its experience, since they were the only ones with a team last year. But coach Carrol Payne also faces the same problem that bothered him when he took over FCCs program a year ago, academics.
Many of the players who led Federal City to a 5-3 record are not back because of bad grades. "The kids have to realize that they have to hit the books," Payne said.
As a result of academic losses and graduation, UDC will have a young team this season. There are, however, several prominent veterans returning.
Quarterback Raymond Buckler, who moved up from running back last year, returns to run the split-T formation. Buckler is a master of the sprint-out option, a fine thrower and a good passer on the move.
The front line probably will be all freshmen. One wide receiver spot will go to Mitchell Goings, a 9.5 speedster from Coolidge.
The defense has more experience with cornerback Oran Young and free safety Dirk Smith back to anchor the secondary.
"We'll rely on defense because that's where our experience is." Payne said. "But we expect the offense to improve as the season progresses."
UDC will play a 10-game schedule with home games at Cardozo High School. GALLAUDET
Second-year coach Paul Smiley still has his work cut out for him, but with 18 starters returning things are looking up for Gallaudet, 2-6 last year.
The big name among the returnees in defensive guard Daniel Fitizpatick. At 6-5, 255, Fitzpatrick is considered a pro prospect by many and Redskin coach George Allen already has said he will give him a tryout if he is not drafted.
Fitzpatrick competed for the U.S. team in Romania this summer in the Deaf olympics. He will key a defense that also has safety Michael Farnadi and a number of other starters back.
"I think we have a decent club coming back," Smiley said. "We should have more team speed this year than ever before. That should help us, especially on offense."
Center Frank Bystycki is the main stay of an offense that is unsettled at quarterback. Whoever gets the job there will be freshman or a sophomore.
Gallaudet has never won more than three games in a season. "I'm certainly not going to predict a winning season," Smiley said, "but we should be improved since our returning players should be better, if they continue to work. Montgomery-Rockville
Montgomery-Rockville was the Maryland junior college champion last season, beating Anne Arundel, 21-0, in the title game for a 6-3 record.
Quarterback John Tarasuk returns as asophomore and Corky McCordle, who played both ways as offensive tackle and linebacker last season, will be back along with linebacker Steve Orsini. But the major unknown is the freshmen, who always play a key role in junior college football.