Barnes and Noble
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.
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.
characters of The Witch's Season either in whole or in part are modeled on real figures, and mostly
The screenplay version
has an even more compresssed timeframe than the novel. The rebel linebacker becomes 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.