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November 16, 1983 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-16

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

Hockey vs MSU
Painter's Hat Night
Free to First 1,000
Friday, 6:30 p.m.
The Michigan Daily

Wednesday, November 16, 1983

Daily Libels Football
vs. Ohio St. Lantern
9:00 p.m. Friday
Mitchell Field

Tailback Rogers

just keeps on

Page 7
running

By CHUCK JAFFE
If Michigan tailback Rick Rogers scores on a
long touchdown run against Ohio State this
weekend, don't be surprised if he keeps going
up into the Michigan Stadium stands.
Rogers, whose 825 yards put him second in
the Big Ten behind the Buckeyes' Keith Byars,
wants to break a really long run once and for
"I ALWAYS GET the feeling that if I get the
'",ball this many times - 20 or whatever - that
one of them should go a long way," Rogers
said. "All year long everyone has asked why I
haven't broken any long runs. What's the
definition of breaking one? I run 35 yards for a
touchdown (see above) and there was no
farther to go. I could have run up through sec-
tion 33 if I had wanted to. (Breaking one)
depends where you are on the field."
Rogers said that his longest runs this season
- the touchdown jaunt against Indiana and a 52
yarder against Washington State - have been
brief glimpses of what, he expects of himself.

While his performance and playing time have
increased as the season has progressed,
Rogers maintains a critical eye for his own
play.
"When it comes to my performance, even if
it's a 15-yard run, I'll find something to com-
plain about," the 6-2, 212-pounder said. "Just
to myself. I don't go out and tell the whole
world."
SAID MICHIGAN offensive backfield coach
Tirrel Burton, "Rick has a lot of latent ability
that is just starting to show itself. He's got
academics and athletics in the right perspec-
tive, and I think he will get better as he gets
more experience."
But Rogers feels that more intensity, ex-
perience and maturity will make him a better
player. Occasional erratic play has taken
some of the luster from Rogers' season, but the
Inkster native said that improved concen-
tration and strength will lead to more con-
sistency.
"I have to improve my intensity and

strength," said Rogers, who has caught 15
passes for 114 yards. "Sometimes, I would
say, I just go through the motions and lose
some of my concentration.
"ONCE (A PLAYER) gets into the flow of
the game there is a tendency to relax - some
people a little more than others," Rogers said.
"I'm in that 'some-more-than-others' category.
If it's a big game, though, I'll be there."
Said Burton, "It's tough for a player to
maintain intensity for a whole season. I don't
think Rick lacks intensity; sometimes he might
even be too intense.
"What everyone forgets is that these guys
have more to do than just football," Burton ad-
ded. "At 2 o'clock they have to shut off the
academics and become athletes. Then when
they finish practice they go back to being
themselves."
WHAT ROGERS does after practice seldome
has anything to do with football, however. In
fact, Rogers said that football is an out-of-sight,
out-of mind activity.

"If I'm not playing, (football) is the last thing
on my mind," he said. "Having an interview is
even hard for me, because when I'm not
playing football I don't even talk about it."
ROGERS DOES, however, pursue other in-
terests - which, this year, include starting an
intramural basketball team with Michigan's
other running backs.
"I never realized exactly how competitive I
was until I first played IM basketball," Rogers
said. "I thought I was going to play in a frien-
dly game, and then my team made it all the
way to the (Residence Hall'A') finals, where
we lost. I was really upset when we lost that
game, and now I'm really excited about
playing again this year. I find myself in the
football locker room getting ready for practice
and talking about IM basketball."
But once Rogers reaches the practice field,
according to Burton, he turns all of his atten-
tion to learning how to play the tailback
position the way Michigan fans expect a
Wolverine ballcarrier to perform.

LDuily r,,uOt OSy BIAM FLPK1.
"WE'VE BEEN AN I-back team for a long
time, and we tend to produce certain types of
running backs," Burton said. "I think you'll
see Rick being the kind of runner in the mold of
a Butch Woolfolk or Larry Ricks. I think he's
almost there now."
To become that type of back, Rogers said, he
must be able to break the long runs that please
the fans. E
"I'd like to be remembered by the fans for
doing something great," he said. "Something
that I achieved on the field - long runs, win-
ning touchdowns or whatever.
"That's the claim to fame around here,"
Rogers added. "It seems that the only way
you'll be identified is if you are a good football
player..I want people to think that Rick Rogers
was a good football player who did a good job
when he was at Michigan."

I

Icer DeMartino

__ i

scores on the rebound

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By JOE EWING
It was midway through the second
period of a game last year against
Notre Dame and Michigan defenseman
John DeMartino was out killing a
penalty with teammate Mike Neff deep
in the Michigan zone. The puck came
loose in front of the net and as DeMar-
tino twisted to clear it, he felt a sudden
"pop" in his left knee afd his leg
buckled under him. Then he realized
what had happened.
"I knew it was gone," said DeMar-
tino. "There was no doubt about it."
HOW IT happened was a fluke, for
no one had hit DeMartino.
More important, what had happened
was one of the most-feared injuries in
all of sports - the knee injury.
Specifically, the St. Clair Shores native
had torn the anterior cruciate ligament
and the cartilage in his knee. He un-
derwent surgery three days later and
was put in a cast. His hockey career
was on the line.
Twenty-seven games later, John
DeMartino was back on the ice for the
Wolverines. But the road back had
been a difficult one.
"WHEN I FIRST blew my knee out,
they told me there was no way I'd play
again last season," said the hard-
hitting blue liner. "I was fortunate
enough to come back for the last six
games."
His return was more than just for-

tunate. In fact, it was just short of a
miracle. For some athletes, a serious
knee injury can end a career.
"Certainly it could have been career
threatening," said Dan Minert, last
year's hockey trainer who helped
DeMartino with his rehabilitation.
"But I had no doubt John would be
back. He really wanted to play
hockey."
ALMOST immediately, Minert put the
defenseman on a training regiment to
strengthen the injured joint. He also
did something else for DeMartino.
"He gave me a lot of attention and
was real significant in helping me get
my knee back together," DeMartino
said. "I went through a lot of grumpy
times and he always kept my head up
and always pushed me a little more. I
sure owe him a lot, I'll tell you that."
Of course, DeMartino had something
to do with the recovery.
"JOHN IS THE type of person you
never really have to push a lot," said
Minert, now a trainer for the Michigan
basketball team. "He's always self-
motivated."
But DeMartino has always been a
motivated, hard worker both on and off
the ice.
During his first two years of college
hockey, DeMartino was an integral
part of the Michigan-Dearborn squad
that twice placed third at the National
Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Championships. When he was a
sophomore, DeMartino earned NAIA
All-America honors.
IN THE CLASSROOM, the business
school finance major also excels as he
won the Scholar/Athlete award while at
Michigan-Dearborn and the Carl Isaac-
son Award last year as top student on
the Michigan hockey squad. But it was
not simple for him.
"I have to work pretty hard at
school," DeMartino admitted. "It
doesn't come easy for me."
Following his sophomore year,
DeMartino made a big decision concer-
ning his college and hockey career - he
decided to transfer to Michigan.
"I THINK IT was a big step," said
DeMartino. "What prompted me was

that I always wanted to play Division I captain.
hockey. If I hadn't transferred, it But has his knee inhibited his play?
would have always been in the back of "I can go full tilt," DeMartino said.
my mind, 'Could I have done it?"' "I think once the game starts you can't
SO THIS YEAR he came back full be thinking about your knee or' any
force and has one goal and seven assists other injury. I put my knee out of my
in 10 games, while serving as alternate mind."

DeMartino
... recovery not just luck

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