The Michigan Daily-Thursday, January 29, 1981-Page 9
Woolfolk sprints into
Dual winner: sports role change
By SARAH SHERBER
*After being named Most Valuable Player of the
1981 Rose Bowl, Butch Woolfolk thought he deserved
a vacation. For an entire week he left the sporting
world. Then after his seven-day rest, Woolfolk retur-
ned to practice, trading in his footbal spikes for track
The change from football to track does pose some
problems. "Football is time consuming," explained
men's track coach Jack Harvey. "It's the commit-
ment that's tough. Generally the transition is more
p ental than physical."
Woolfolk concurred that the change in sports has
not been easy. "After football, my muscles are sore, I
can't stretch (for track) when I'm sore," he said.
The toll of the 12-game football season was evident
during last Saturday's Michigan Relays, when the
running Mack-sprinter failed to qualify for the final
heat of the 60-yard dash.
On the other hand, track has been a major asset to
the junior's football career. "Track complements
football in every way. In the off season it enables me
to stay in shape," he said.
Harvey agreed with the statement, adding, ".. .
He's getting better (in football) all the time.
Woolfolk's track accomplishments are as
numerous as his football honors. He started running
in fifth grade, three years before he donned a football
uniform. By his senior year he captured a first place
finish at the IPI track meet in Illinois, a national
competition for highly regarded high school seniors.
The same year the Westfield, N.J. native was named
prep all American in- football and made all State
honors in track.
Woolfolk had continued to excel in college, as every
Wolverine fan would attest. Last year he was the
leading scorer in the Big Ten on the football field.
Two months later he won the Big Ten 300-meter in in-
door track. During the outdoor season he captured
the Big Ten championship for the 200 meter.
He also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials last
year, but admitted that, "I was in awe of all the super
athletes there. I was paying attention to everyone
around me and not to my running."
In many ways track acts as a relief from the strain
of football. "There's no pressure in track . .
whatever' I do it's going to surprise the viewers,"
Woolfolk said, explaining that he didn't feel the need
to repeat the same spectacular performance in track
as he had in football.
With his two ultimate athletic goals either being to
play professional football or to run in the Olympics,
Woolfolk could be drawn between the two sports. "I
love the individual competition of track, but it can't
beat the glory of football," he said. "It's the differen-
ce between 'we won' versus 'I won'."
Cagers' Donovan: Older, better
By JODI BITTKER
Once an ,intercollegiate athlete
reaches the age of 21 or 22, he or she is
likely coming to the end of a long
career. Soon the long, grueling prac-,
tices and intense competitions will
become mere memories.
But you can throw the age factor out
the window when talking about 25-year-
old Patrice Donovan of Michigan's
women's basketball team.
Donovan, a 6-5 junior who is the
tallest center the Wolverines have ever
sported on their roster, was drawnto
the University after a seven-year
history of indecision about her future.
Following her graduation'from high
school in 1973, Donovan played a year of
basketball at Bergen (N.J.) Com-
munity College near her hometown of
Ridgewood. Although her team placed
*third in the nation that year, Donovan
soon realized she wasn't entirely happy
and decided to drop out of school.
As Donovan explained, "I was very
preoccupied with basketball but I didn't
know what my purpose for being in
school was other than playing basket-
For the next three years, Donovan
searched in vain for a profession that
suited her. That prompted her to re-
enroll at Bergen and play basketball for
The following year Donovan received
basketball scholarship offers from
various schools around the country.
Donovan was playing well in junior
college, but she attributed the influx of
offers to her two sisters, Mary and An-
ne, both ot whom are nationally
recognized for their playing talents.
Donovan leafed through the offers
and decided to play at Nebraska, but
she soon found the program too
Michigan, along with several other
major universities, soon recognized
Donovan's talents and began offering
her full out-of-state scholarships. And
she decided to take advantage of the
opportunity. Although her decision to
attend the University was not made
final until late last summer, Donovan
said she always felt she would come to
"There was never really any contest,
considering the academic advantages
U-M held" said Donovan. "Now that
I'm here I have no regrets."
Donovan said that since the women's
athletic budget does not allow the gran-
ting of many full out-of-state scholar-
ships, she feels fortunate in comparison
to many other women athletes.
Nonetheless, she feels all women
athletes -operate at a disadvantage to
their male counterparts.
"The men fly to their games. We have
to take eight-hour bus rides and then
we're expected to play top-notch.
Realistically, it's impossible," she said.
But otherwise, said Donovan, her
transition to major college competition
has been smooth in light of her age dif-
ference. "When I first came here,
everyone else accommodated me and I
was the one to put up a barrier. But now
I feel comfortable and there are no per-
The Wolverine center said this year
her performance has improved a great
deal, adding that her reluctance to do
more things out on the court has-
diminished as her playing time has in-
creased. And that increase, says
Donovan, has helped build up her con-
fidence. Relating her thoughts on her
increased playing time Donovan said,
"I think that having a tall player is an
asset to every team." The Wolverine
coach, Gloria Soluk added, "Because of
her height, Patrice is very intimidating
to other teams on the court."
Donovan has started eleven of the
Wolverines sixteen games and leads the
team with 35 block shots. In addition,
Donovan is 4th on the team with 78
rebounds and is averaging 4.9 points
per game. "Not only is Patrice a strong
player, she is a super person who has
added a lot of dimension to the team.
She has that winning attitude and it
helps us a lot," added Soluk.
Although Donovan enjoys basketball
temendously, she said she does not
want to continue playing competitively
following her college career. In the
meantime, she plans to seek some ex-
perience in radio or television to
prepare for a career in broadcast jour-
Former staff of PLAIN JANE
UNTIL JAN. 29
MICHIGAN FOOTBALL STAR Butch Woolfolk participates in his second
varsity sport. Woolfolk, the most valuable player in Michigan's 1981 Rose
Bowl victory, is also a key member of the Michigan track team running in
the 200 and 300 meter events.
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Daily Photo by JOHN HAGEN
HOOPSTER CENTER PATRICE Donovan dribbles past Kent State defense
to lead the Blue to victory. Standing at 6'5", the 25 year old junior is the tall-
est player ever to play for the women's basketball team.
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