Pagd 8 Thursday, September 20, 1979-The Michigan Daily
LINEBACKER SHINES IN ND LOSS
By BILLY SAHN
"Simpkins is probably the smartest player I've played
with," said Cannavino. "Once or twice a game he'll just call
out the play they (the opposition) are going to run. He reads
the formation they're in and the guards' hands and feet. He
A+s consequences of last Saturday's disappointing loss
to Notre Dame are evident. In both the AP and UPI football
pollfs ;-he Wolverines have dropped out of the top ten. Worse
th4Vthat, however, Michigan is now under pressure early
on 'inthe season riot to lose another game. But for one
Wolvlerine in particular, the recent upset has had a soul-
tear ing effect.
- A.ting inside-linebacker Andy Cannavino played
perh>s the best game of his career against Notre Dame.
He, long with his defensive teammates played an outstan-
din E me. In fact, Cannavino's performance on the field
ma im the natural choice for Defensive Champion of the
Wee awarded by the Michigan coaches.
Y "despite his personal success, Cannavino must con-
ten ith the fact that his team, his teammates, lost an im-
W IS THIS irony then. In spite of his excellence, he
persOfally couldn't run the ball, score a touchdown, or kick
a field goal to win the game.
'AXfer the game," said the 6-1, 218 lb. junior, "there were
a few tears, but I felt really happy. The defense played well
but then as a team you feel really sad because you did lose.
It Wi really hard to get mad at yourself or mad at the team
becWdi!e the defense played so well. But it's a team game."
During the loss to Notre Dame, Cannavino led the defen-
siVbdhit with 17 tackles, 14 solo and three assists. His play
'brUght praise from defensive coordinator, Bill McCartney:
"Huiistled, he hit, I think he did most everything we asked
Mftannavino's opinion, the key to the Irish victory was
thd'Michigan's offense didn't put their opponents away in
the first half when they were moving the ball.
4,1[E REFLECTED on the closing minutes of the game,
CalWiivino realistically described the thoughts going
through his mind and the heads of his fellow defensive
just tried to pull together and keep everybody talking and
motivate each other because our offense wasn't really
motivating us and we, the defense, had to do the job."
After the field goal attempt missed and Notre Dame was
assured of victory, the junior from Columbus, Ohio as sim-
"I FELT REALLY down. I was just in a state of shock.
All week they (Michigan coaches) were just harping on
'Number One.' We were the number one team, the number
one defense, unity number one. And then our coach was
saying a one point victory. So number one was the big thing
all week. So it was 12-10 and we were driving and on the
sideline everybody was just saying 13-12, that's our goal,
number one. And everybody said it was going to end up like
that-one point, one defense, one offense, one everything.
But it didn't end up like that.
"IT'S HARD TO believe that we actually lost," Can-
navino continued. "I thought we'd pull it out. We only lose
one or two games a year and it's hard to imagine we lost
this early in the year. I was stunned because of that," he
With one loss established, the Wolverines must now con-
tend with the rest of the season. Yet Cannavino is more than
confident that Michigan will bounce back, and despite the
pressure on him and his teammates, he's sure the offense
will get its act together.
Cannavino, who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, got his break
for a starting position last season when Mel Owens was in-
jured during the Notre Dame game in South Bend. After
that, he found himself playing fulltime, including his first
Rose Bowl game against Southern Cal last January 1.
"I WAS SURPRISED," Cannavino said in reference to
his call for action last year. "I was backing up Ron Sim-
pkins and then they moved me to the wolf position so I figured
they wanted me and Ron to play together. It worked out,"
The Cannavino-Simpkins linebacker tandem is one of the
top combinations in college football this season. Simpkins is
solid and established, but as Cannavino comes along, the
tandem looks better and better each week.
just seems to know," he said.
ALTHOUGH CANNAVINO, playing behind Simpkins,
has developed rapidly into a top-notch linebacker, it is an
unnatural spot for him. In high school, he played fullback.
But when Michigan recruited him, the coaches had one
thing in mind-linebacker.
"Playing linebacker was a big change for me," said Can-
navino, "it was really strange for me." He went on, saying
that the hardest thing about the new position was adjusting
to taking on the opposing guard.
Thus, Cannavino came to Michigan fully knowing that the
coaches only intended him to be a defensive ballplayer.
However, he was also being sought after by Purdue and
Wisconsin where he would have had a shot at fullback.
SURPRISINGLY ENOUGH, one college did not come af-
ter the son of a former college star: Growing up in Buckeye
country, one would have expected Ohio State to go after
In fact, not only did Cannivano's uncle play for OSU in the
late '40s, but his father, Joe Cannavino, played in the 1958
Rose Bowl under Woody Hayes. During that game, the
elder Cannavino intercepted two passes.
"I thought I'd get a letter," said Cannavino, "and my Dad
at least wanted them to call and say you're not good enough
or too small. It didn't really hurt me, but it hurt my father.
He played for Woody and loved the man a lot, and I did too
growing up," he went on.
A PRIMARY deciding factor for Cannavino's enrollment
at Michigan was that he wanted to play in the Rose Bowl
just as his father did, and he thought that of all the schools
that recruited him, his best chance was at Michigan.
As for his coach at Michigan, Cannavino views him as a
"little Woody." "I really respect Bo Schembechler just as
my father respected Woody Hayes a lot. I'm sure five years
from now I'll respect Bo even more. Right now though, it's
hard to love the man," he said.
In the offseason, the Wolverine linebacker lifts weights to
keep in shape. But in the meantime, he will have his hands
full lifting opponents as heandhis teammates regroup after
last Saturday's disappointment.
TIGHT RACE FOR FIRST-YEAR HONORS:
Rookie crop ready for harvest
By ALAN GOLDSTEIN
As the major league baseball season
finally winds down, it is again time to
cast a vote for American and National
League rookies of the year. This year,
despite the fact that only one rookie in
each league broke into the starting
lineup, there are still some promising
young pitchers in contention, par-
ticularly in the American League.
In the National League the only
newcomers presenting laudable
credentials are pitchers John Fulgham
of the St. Louis Cardinals, Rick Sutclif-
fe of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and out-
fielders Scott Thompson of the Chicago
Cubs, and Jeff Leonard of the:Houston
Since joining the Redbirds, Fulgham
has added a strong young arm to the
starting rotation, hurling complete
games in each of his first six victories.
Thompson has been a prolific hitter
for the Cubs, but only sees action again-
st righthanded pitching. Meanwhile
Sutcliffe has been the pleasant surprise
of the Dodgers' inept pitching staff this
year, breaking the Dodgers record of
eleven victories by a rookie pitcher,
previously set by Don Sutton and Bill
But the frontrunner for the award ap-
pears to be Leonard. He moved into the
starting lineup of the upstart Astros,
forcing a whirlwind of changes.
The results of those moves saw Terry
Puhl move to centerfield, Cesar Cedeno
to first base, and Bob Watson to the
Boston Red Sox of .the American
League. Leonard possesses the strong
arm necessary to play rightfield, ex-
cellent speed, and his 'batting average
has hovered around .300 all year.
Astros manager Bill Virdon says of
Leonard: "Jeff seems to have a knack
of hitting his best with men on base. He
gave us several game-winning sacrifice
flies early in the season, and he has
responded well in situations where we
really needed hits. He usually goes with
the pitch and makes contact with men
on base, which is what a hitter must do
to be successful."
In the American League, the voting
should be a little tighter.I
The rookies who will receive the most
attention are shortstop Alfredo Griffin
of the Toronto Blue Jays; Pat Putnam;
first baseman-designated hitter of the
Texas Rangers; John Castino, third
baseman of the Minnesota Twins; and
pitchers Mark Clear of the California
Angels; Ron Davis of the New York
Yankees; Sammy Stewart of the
Baltimore Orioles, and southpaw Ross
Baumgarten of the Chicago White Sox.
Putnam is a lefthanded hitter who
this season was platooned with John
Ellis of the Rangers. He represents the
only longball threat in this year's crop
Castino was platooned at Minnesota
under manager Gene Mauch. He saw
occasional action against righthanded
pitching, and he boasts a fine RBI to at
Davis is a hard-throwing righthander
who quickly moved into the picture
when Rich Gossage was injured in a
clubhouse scuffle with ex-Yankee Cliff
Johnson. He responded with a strong
year, establishing himself as a top
Stewart, on the other hand, was in the
wrong place at the wrong time. He drew
a few starting assignments, but was
generally relegated to long relief
because of the deep, talented pitching
staff of the Orioles.
Among the strong-arm hurler's
repertoire of pitches is an outstanding
curve ball. On most other teams,
Stewart would be the number two or
three man in the starting rotation.
Baumgarten came on strong during
the middle of the season. The lefthan-
der became the winningest pitcher on
the White Sox staff by recording some
impressive victories over upper
Yet the players likely to receive the
most votes for rookie honors are Clear
Griffin is the slick fielding shortstop
of the Blue Jays, who, after getting off
to a horrendous start at the plate, has
emerged as a top-notch leadoff hitter.
He leads the Blue Jays in hits, triples.
and stolen bases. Griffin was acquired
in the offseason from the Cleveland In-
dians for relief pitcher Victor Cruz.
From the beginning of the season,
Clear emerged as the stopper of the
Angels' bullpen. A strikeout pitcher,
Clear was named to the A.L. all-star
team this year. His quick development
as. a top relief pitcher has proven in-
valuable to the Angels, since their ace
of the past two years, Dave LaRoche,
has been ineffective all season long.
Gurudev Shree Parthasarathy
Vedanta Life Institute
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