Navy this week faces a reality of college football: Academic work sometimes interferes with playtime.
It is exam week, when the cram-or-scram Mids historically play poorly, and it poses as much a threat to the football team's 5-0 record as visiting William and Mary, 4-1-1 against undistinguished competition.
"The players have a tendency to be more tired," said Coach George Welsh, "and we cut the practice time back. There is less time for meetings and films. But it used to affect us more. The last couple of years, it hasn't bothered us as much, and I think we're learning to live with it."
"It's hard," said cornerback Bob Wilson, majoring in management and technology. "I like to get to bed early, but you have to find time to study and after practice I don't feel like it. I'll tell you, though, when you're 5-0, you tend to let the academics slip."
"I stay up late studying and the hours are a little more hectic," said defensive tackle John Merrill, a physical science major, as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes before the afternoon practice. "I just got up 15 minutes ago. Once we're on the field, we do what Coach Welsh tells us and forget exams. You can't do any studying for classes out there."
"You have to study more and the guys get tired," said linebacker and cocaptain Nick Mygas, who specializes in Soviet studies. "You just reach down and pull it out. During the week, you go out and work hard in practice, then forget it and hit the books."
"I had one exam yesterday morning, another in the afternoon and another last night," said safety Fred Reitzel, a resources management major. "I've got two more tomorrow I haven't started to study for them yet. You rest here, study there, and it takes its toll. You have to be stronger mentally."
Tailback Steve Callahan is expected to pay Saturday despite a sprained wrist . . . William and Mary's best receiver, Joe Manderfield underwent knee surgety last week . . . Navy quarterback Bob Leszczynski and middle guard Terry Huxel were All-East honor roll selections . . . Welsh, criticized for not praising his palyers .ore, fially conceded that, "I think we're a pretty good team. But I don't know how good."