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On one of the nation's cauldron campuses during the

1968 Nixon-Humphrey presidential campaign,

Cascade University President Neal Hassler is caught

between militant students and an irate citizenry. Under

statewide criticism, he is defiant in public as he unravels

behind the scenes. His primary student antagonists are

SDS leader Annie Laughlin and Jake Powell, chairman of

the Campus Coalition Against the War. They're close to

student journalist Kit Dunleavy, who struggles to balance

her relationships with the radicals and her theoretical

objectivity. 

 
Complicating matters and infuriating fans, Jake also is
a starting linebacker for the Cascade Fishermen football
team, expected to challenge O.J. Simpson and the USC
Trojans for the Pacific 8 Conference title. Coach Larry
Benson, a World War II P-38 pilot criticized for allowing his
players to participate in campus politics, faces pressure
to both tighten the reins, especially with Powell and star
tailback Ricky Hilton, and win at all costs. 
 
Amid campus and national unrest, the Fishermen -- an
eclectic group with several star players and bright young
coaches destined for bigger things -- encounter triumph,
controversy, and disappointment. Ultimately, the ensemble
cast's fates are intertwined in a fall that becomes The Witch's
Season. 
 
OregonStaff.jpggrahambig3.jpg 
 
The Witch's Season is a roman a clef novel based on the Oregon Ducks
of the Woodstock era (roughly 1967-71). Events in that period of the
Oregon program suggest the narrative that for the purpose of the novel
is compressed and set in late 1968 and early 1969. 
 
The coaching staff included Jerry Frei, George Seifert, John Robinson,
Bruce Snyder, John Marshall, Ron Stratten and graduate assistant
Gunther Cunningham. Three of those men became NFL head coaches
and a fourth, Snyder, came within one play of winning a national
championhip as the head coach at Arizona State.
 
 The rosters in those years included future NFL players Ahmad
Rashad, Dan Fouts, Tom Blanchard, Tom Graham, Bob Newland,
Tom Drougas, Tim Stokes and Bill Drake. 
 
The characters of The Witch's Season either in whole or in part
are modeled on real figures, and for the most part are composites.   
 
The screenplay version, with an even more compresssed timeframe
than the novel and with the rebel linebacker becoming a quarterback.
Essentially, two of the book's major characters -- composites to start
with -- have been additionally combined into one. Interested parties,
please contact Jeanne Field.
    
 
Book excerpt: Air Force week