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February 16, 1979 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-02-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Page 14-Friday, February 16, 1979-The Michigan Daily
GRAPPLER GUNS FOR OLYMPICS:

Churella: improving onexcellence

.4"Of rr"affor fAf vrf S rl%,/ r 4,T d V .. t r

PERSMfl tND URIENTOL RUGS1
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By JOHN KROGGEL
Mark Churella, a name that has become
synonymous with Michigan wrestling, is finishing his
brilliant career in fine style. Last week the two-time
All-American Churella ended his home career with a
superior decision over his Michigan State opponent.
This week Churella and his teammates end their
dual meet season against Wisconsin. This match will
be the final preparation before the Big Ten Cham-
pionships, February 23.
It's been a good season for the Blue grapplers.
"We've more than doubled our victories," said
Churella, "I'm really surprised, it's been nice. At the
start of the season, I had no idea we would be this.
strong. We are still not quite on the level of'the top
teams in the conference, though."
Churella went on to echo Coach Dale Bahr's
analysis, "In three to five years Michigan should be
at the top." He further explained, "It's a vicious cir-
cle, once you begin getting the top recruits more and
more will follow. This strengthens the practice and
the overall team."
When out on the mat, the team rarely enters into
Churella's mind. "Basically, wrestling is a group of
individual performers that make up a team. You
cheer for the guys on the team and pull for them to
win, but it really comes down to the individual's mat-
ches.'.
In many sports, an individual star is sometimes an
aloof member of a team. "We get along fine," says
Churella. "There is no comparing of records or in-
dividual stats between us."
In fact, when questioned about his own record,

Churella said, "I really don't know how many wins I
have. The losses, well, one does tend to remember
those. They (the losses) don't hang over your head or
anything, but they do stick out." For the record, the
senior grappler has compiled a 123-12 career mark,
including a near-perfect 35-1 ledger this year..
The losses have obviously not been too frequent for
Mark. He explains, "Some days, you just aren't there
physically, sometimes you simply run into someone
"Some days you just aren't there.
physically. But of course, some days
you feel just unbeatable. You feel like
no one in the world can touch you."
-Mark Churella
who is better that day. But of course, some days you
just feel unbeatable. Those days are great. You feel
like no one in the world can touch you."
Some days, however, it does not seem to matter
how one feels. Last week, the Blue grappler's op-
ponent from Michigan State wanted to just make it
through the match without being pinned. "It used to
bother me a lot, but now I just go out there and
wrestle. If they don't want to wrestle, I won't knock
myself out for a pin. It teally has become somewhat

common. I used to really work hard for two periods
on the guy and then be totally worn out. Now I just
take it in stride."
Churella's wrestling career will not end with this
season. "I'm looking forward to the Olympics," said.-
Churella. "To keep in shape, I'll try to get a job as an
assistant coach at some university."
Last month, Churella competed in a world tour-
nament in the Soviet Union. "The facilities were bad,:
but that's fairly common over there. It was good to
get exposed to it," said Churella. In the meets
Churella did not fare too well, "I thought I could have4
wrestled better." Churella won the opener, but drop-:.
ped his other matches.
For world competition, Churella will drop from 167,
pounds to 163 pounds, but this will not be a problem.
The biggest change will be in style. "Freestyle,
wrestling is more on the feet than colle'ge wrestling,,
but I use some freestyle techniques now. That way, I
don't have too many changes.
"I think my chances are pretty good at this.
weight," said Churella. "It is one of the toughest
weights though." Churella continued, "We've had-
two world champions in the past two years at this
class, the competition will be rough."
Even though Churella has dominated the college
competition, a spot on the Olympic team is not as-
sured. "Yeah, there are a couple of really tough guys
outside the college ranks."
As for now, there is a strong Wisconsin team, the
Big Ten champonships, and the NCAA champion-
ships. This weekend, the Blue tackle the Badgers,
who are second only to Iowa in the conference.

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By DAN PERRIN
Just two years ago, the Wisconsin and
Michigan hockey teams were on top of
the world, battling each other for the
NCAA Championship. Now, the
Badgers scrape and claw to hold onto
fifth place in the WCHA, while the
Wolverines fight the basement blues,
just hoping to avoid further em-
barrassment.
True, both clubs have fallen from the
first division ranks. Yet, Michigan
hockey fans can still be assured of a
hard-fought series when the two teams
meet at Yost Ice Arena tonight and
tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
The current situation in Madison is
one common to many teams in the con-
ference this year (including the
Wolverines) - injuries and inexperien-
ce. Seven freshmen travel with a squad
that lost four starting defensemen as
well as last season's WCHA Player-of-
the-Year, All-American Mike Eaves,
older brother of Michigan's high
scoring rookie, Murray.
WHILE WISCONSIN can forget first

or second place this year in the WCHA,
Coach Bob Johnson and his youthful
squad are still in the thick of things with
a 13-11-2 conference record, (17-12-2
overall). Only three points behind
league foes Minnesota-Duluth and
Notre Dame, the Badgers are currently
battling for fourth place and, a home
playoff spot in post season action.
According to a Wisconsin sports of-
ficial, "Coach Johnson felt all along
we'd probably end up in the middle of
the pack. Because of our high number
of freshmen, there has been a lack of
consistency, as indicated by our Friday
night losses and Saturday night wins
early in the season."
Coming off a pair of losses to league
leading North Dakota last weekend, the
Badgers need to sweep the Blue icers to
Atay in the race. One man the visitors
are counting on is junior center Mark
Johnson, son of the Wisconsin coach
and the most proficient goal scorer in
the conference last year. He currently
leads the Badgers in scoring this season
with 23 goals and 33 assists for 56 points
(30-39-69 overall) and is tied for second
in WCHA scoring. But Johnson has been
at less than full strength lately after

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Farrell. "He's the key to their team;-.
he's the guy you have to shut off.
"We hope that the injury slows him
down a little bit," continued Farrell.
"Obviously you have to be concerned--
about him and check him closely."
The Blue icers have had injury
problems of their own all year. The
situation this week is no different. John
Olver has been hit hard by a virus andc
Jeff Mars has a shoulder problem -and
both are listed as doubtful starters. Y
Please turn to pages 11-13
for more sports
According to Farrell, "We're not par--
ticularly healthy. It's made some,
juggling of the lines necessary again.
MIRED IN last place inst econferen-.
ce with a 6-20 slate (8-22 overall), the-.,
Maize and Blue pucksters have almost.,
no chance for the playoffs. Yet Coach
Farrell has accepted the facts and thee
team keeps on pushin'.
"The possibility of making the
playoffs is very remote," said Farrell.
"I've come to grips with this. The at-
titude of the team is tremendous for a
bunch of kids who've. had a lot of
problems this winter. l
'This is' a time to, doas well as you
can under the circumstances," added:
Farrell. "I think we can play the role of%
the spoiler. Maybe we can salvage
something of this season, both on an in-
dividual and teamn basis."

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WCHA

Standings

Bob Johnson

bruising his leg in a recent game and is
a doubtful starter for this weekend's
series. This could be a definite plus for
the Wolverines.
"IF WE CAN keep Johnson off the
scoreboard, we can probably be suc-
cessful," said Michigan Coach Dan

North Dakota .....
Minnesota.......
Duluth ........ ...
Notre Dame......
Wisconsin,.......
Michigan Tech .....
Denver ..........
Colorado College...
MSU .........
MICHIGAN ........

W
18,
17
14
15
13
12
11
10-
8
6

L
8
8
9
10
11
12
14
14
18
20

i
0;
1
3
1
2
2
1
2
0
0

PTS
36.
35
31'
31'
28"
26'
23'-
22
16:
12,

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POSITiONS ARE AVAILABLE

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Apply Daily at the
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Located in the Briarwood Mall

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