Page 8-Thursday, November 1, 1979-The Michi
By BILLY NEFF freshman
He has put Buchanan, Michigan, on Stadium, no
rthe map. Without any movie theaters or this presentr
Troller skating rinks and with one recen- Virgil, who
tly arrived fast food restaurant, tion, has had
Buchanan is not a sprawling along, how
metropolis. But due to recent events, Michigan) s
Buchanan, a mere 20 minutes from Well, I had h
.South Bend, Indiana, may have to name my age sai
a street in this person's honor since he Michigan. T
is now their most famous resident. incentive," s
He is Michigan punter and place But once
kicker Bryan Virgil, whose kicking Michigan ki
.problems have been a cause celebre ce the bed o
this year. Virgil has connected on just many things
two of 11 field goal attempts, and case, the be
coupled with teammate Ali Haji- thorny. "I
Sheikh's 0 for 6 figures, it has been quite making myf
a disappointing season for the trade it for ti
,Wolverine kickers. "I DON'T
BUT FOUR years ago, no one would It's kind of li
.have imagined that the second team all baseball go
conference Buchanan High School What's been
quarterback and a first team all con- well in prac
ference linebacker would be in the them in the
-spotlight someday as the kicker for Big frustrating b
Ten leading Michigan. Three years ago, into kicking
,when this same prep football star was a practice. Pr
FAME FROM MISFORTUNE
spectator in Michigan
one could have envisioned
o fits the previous descrip-
I a silent faith in himself all
ever. "It's (kicking for
omething to dream about.
hopes I'd get this far. Kids
d I wouldn't make it at
hat gave me a little more
the dream of being the
cker had been fulfilled, on-
of roses had been planted,
could happen. In Virgil's
d of roses has been rather
'm disappointed in not
field goals, but I wouldn't
he world," Virgil said.
want to say I've choked.
ke a slump. If somebody in
oes 0-30, that's similar.
frustrating is that I kick
tice and then don't make
game. It's been especially
because I put all that time
and I do make them in
obably the most frustrating
thing is to wait another week before
looking at those goalposts again." You
wish there was another game right
then," said Virgil.
Despite all of the difficulties the
senior engineering major has encoun-
tered, he still retains the same silent
faith he had while practicing in
Buchanan. "Some weeks I kick more in
practice, some weeks less. I'll .try
anything. I have to keep my confidence.
Once you lose your confidence, you'll go
downhill. But no, I haven't lost any con-
fidence in myself; I need a field goal,
though, I tell ya," he added.
Virgil may not have lost any con-
fidence in himself, but Coach Bo
Schembechler seems to have lost some
confidence in his kickers. Or at least, he
lost enough confidence in Virgil earlier
in the year to make Haji-Sheikh his
kicker. But as Haji-Sheikh fell out of
Bo's good graces, Virgil was made the
"They (the coaches) planned on me
kicking this year. But I had some
problems and they felt if Ali would do
the kicking, then I could get my con-
fidence back punting. If Ali was doing a
real good job, they would have kept him
there," asserted Virgil, who has con-
verted all his extra points this season.
"I FELT BAD because I didn't kick
well enough for the job. If I wasn't
doing the job, then I wasn't helping the
team. But I was glad to have another
chance to kick again," the 5-9 , 194-
So the job of placekicker seems to be
his and his alone now, and chances are
Lady Brooks 25% o
309 S. State
he won't be booted again by Bo. "He
might be a little frustrated that I'm not
kicking that well. It's frustrating for
him to watch me make them in prac-
tice. He's almost like a father in that
respect. He treats you as if you were a
son. If you don't do your best, then he
feels bad for you," Virgil noted.
Virgil was treated with paternal care
early on in the season when 'Father' Bo
took offense to kicking queries. "I
didn't pursue the situation when I heard
about it. That's Bo's situation; it's none
of my business. I think everybody on
the team knows that Bo looks after the
team. It's like a family. You have to
have faith in each other if you're going
to have the kind of program Michigan
has," Virgil concluded.
But do the players maintain the same
faith? "On the team, they've been
really good about it. They've given me
confidence. They've said don't worry
about it. It's got to be a little disapoin-
ting for them to see me make them in
practice and not in the games. But they
never said, hey; you're letting us down.
They're hoping I'll do the best I can
do," said Virgil.
AS ALL KICKERS will tell you, doing
your best is often contingent on your
mental makeup. "A lot of it is a mental
game. I almost see the ball go through
before I kick it. Sometimes I might
worry about whether I pulled the ball
too much in practice. It's (the problem
with field goals) in the back of my
mind," related Virgil, who has one year
of eligibility remaining.
It hasn't been the best year for Virgil.
The beginning of the season was
probably an indication of things to
come. In the Notre Dame contest, he
had a punt blocked and also linebacker
Bobby Crable leaped up to throttle his
last second field goal attempt.
That field goal meant a lot to Virgil,
who grew up in Notre Dame country. "I
r kind of dislike Notre Dame. You've
STA R BR.
109 N. Main St.-769-0'109
STEVE NARDELLA BAND
Coming Tues., Nov. 6
"Ann Arbor's Original Honky Tank Dance Bar"
BUCHANAN, MICHIGAN NATIVE Bryan Virgil (see inset) is seen here
punting the pigskin in Michigan's 12-10 loss to Notre Dame. The walk-on
senior has gained some noteriety because of the Wolverines floundering kick-
ing game. Virgil is back as the team's number one field goal kicker after
being temporarily displaced by freshman Haji-Sheikh.
lived there your whole life and all you
hear is Notre Dame, Notre Dame. I
really had no desire to go there," Virgil
"It would be like someone from
Michigan State living in Ann Arbor. If I
would have made that field goal, I
wouldn't have minded missing all the
rest because it was Notre Dame."
But as we all know, that field goal
was not converted and subsequent
missed field goals led to a large
hullaballou in the media. "I don't read
the papers that much. I think writers
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Mankowski and outfielder Jerry
Morales to the New York Mets yester-
day in exchange for third baseman
Hebner batted .268 with 10 home runs
and 79 runs-batted-in with the Mets af-
ter he was acquired from Philadelphia
on March 27 in exchange for pitcher
Nino Espinosa. Hebner had a clause in
his contract which allowed him to ask to
be traded at the conclusion of the.
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Mona, I've finally State Farm?
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Come on now!
tan isrance Virgil, you're going
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company. j/How could you?
Even if they'd
season. Although Hebner, 31, did not
make a formal request, his agent, Ed
Kleven, said the deal was "best for the
Mets and Richie."
Morales, 30, batted .211 with 14
homers and 56 RBI in his only season
with Detroit. The Tigers acquired him
from St. Louis in a four-player trade
last Dec. 4.
Originally signed by the Mets in 1966,
Morales was claimed in the expansion
draft which stocked the San Diego
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Diego, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis
before he was traded to Detroit.
Mankowski, 26, batted .222 in 42
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are sometimes cruel but that's built in-
to the system. They lay the facts on the
line. Sometimes," the truth hurts, but
you have to take the bitter with the
sweet," Virgil said.
That's abitter pill for all of us to
swallow, but Virgil seems to be han-
dling the situation nicely. "When you
have a downfall, you can become a bet-
ter person. If everything came easily, it
wouldn't be worth working for," Virgil
It's been enough work just putting
Buchanan on the map.
Drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll, is that
it? Is that all you think about? Don't
any of you degenerates ever take your
minds off this immoral trio of vices?
Just the other night, in fact, when I was
lying in bed with a cute fourteen-year-
old friend listening to Ted Nugent and
doing some chemistry experiments, it
disgustedme to think of how decadent
you all are. I mean, what about the
finer things in life?
Like pizza, for instance. That's right,
pizza-that ever-marvelous munchie.
Or is food out of your "cosmic wave-
length"? If not-if you're not too far
gone-then truck on down to 420
Maynard and get your Gridde picks in
by midnight Friday, because, my
friends, if you're sharp (or just plain
lucky) you may end up toe happy
recipient of a small, one-item pizza
from Pizza Bob's itself.
1. Wisconsin at MICHIGAN (pick
2. Ohio St. at Illinois
3. Michigan St. at Northwestern
4. Purdue at Iowa
5. Minnesota at Indiana
6. Wake Forest at Clemson
7. Duke at Georgia Tech
8. N. C. State at S. Carolina
9. N. Carolina at Maryland
10. Colorado at Iowa St.
11. Arizona St. at Stanford
12. Washington at California
13. Texas Tech at Texas
14. Central Michigan at Toledo
15. Yale at Cornell
16. Eastern Michigan at Ball St.
17. Army at Air Force
18. Navy at Notre Dame
19. Montana at Montana St.
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