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October 30, 1985 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-30

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Cross Country
Big Ten Championships
Saturday morning
University Golf Course
The Michigan Daily


vs. Canadian National Team
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena

Wednesday, October 30, 1985

Page 8

'M' middle guard has 29 tackles


Tornado nightmare wakes-up Harris

Tornado season usually hits the
midwest in the spring and summer
months, but for Michigan middle
guard Billy Harris, tornadoes ar'e a
year-round topic. The 6-0, 260-pound
junior out of Xenia, Oh. is a survivor
of one of the worst tornadoes to hit the
The April, 1974 tragedy still affects
Harris, who was 10 years old at the
"USUALLY EVERY time I tell
someone I'm from Xenia, I think
about the tornado, because that's the
only way that they know it," Harris
said. "They say 'oh, isn't that where
they had those tornadoes a few years
ago' and I say, 'it sure is."'
The fourth-ranked Wolverines cer-
tainly are glad Harris survived the
catastrophe, because he is now the
starting middle guard on a defense
that allows its opponents less than
seven points a game. Harris has made
29 tackles in seven games - he star-
ted all of them.
He had five tackles in Michigan's
42-15.win over Indiana last Saturday.
Because of a foot injury, he shared
some of the duties with senior Mike
BUT OFF THE field, Harris shared
some of the feelings he has about the
storm that had such an impact on his
life. "That was like my miracle," he
said. "Because so many things hap-
pened on that day that made you
realize that someone was steering you
to the right place.
"That day, my sister and I were
going to go downtown and we were on
our way downtown and at the same
time we stopped and looked at each
other. My sister said, 'I really don't
feel like going downtown today.' It
was like someone was guiding us."
A short time later, downtown Xenia
looked like Hiroshima, according to
Harris. Dozens of people died and
damage was in the millions of dollars.
Xenia changed, and Harris believes
that the changes were for the better.
"IN MY TOWN before the tornado,
it was a real torn apart town. We used
to have racial riots at the high school
all the time. And I felt the reason why

we had the tornado was to bring the
people together and realize that all
the racial tension was wrong.
"After (the tornado), everyone
started coming together and it just
changed our entire town. It came for a
Harris and his older sister Carla
were at their grandparents' house
that day. He remembered that his
grandmother, Recetta Graham,
wouldn't let the two youngsters go out
and play that day because of tornado
warnings. Minutes later, they saw the
tornado approaching.

Buckeyes shunned him because of his
Michigan, however, impressed
Harris from the start. "That was like
the biggest thrill of my life," Harris
said, "when I got that first Bo Schem-
bechler letter."
Despite his individual glories,
Harris has an unfulfilled football goal
- being on a championship team. "I
have a jinx over me, no matter what,"
he said. "It haunts me."
WHEN HARRIS was a senior at
Xenia, his team played Dayton
Carroll to get a shot at Centerville for
the 1982 league title. But Carroll en-
ded up winning the game on a last-
second field goal. "That was my last
chance to win a championship in high
school," Harris said.
The Wolverine lineman was remin-
ded of that high school loss after
Michigan lost to top-ranked Iowa in
the last seconds two weeks ago, 12-10.
"After the (Iowa) game, it made me
think of that terrible loss in high
school," he said.
Harris, though, is confident he can
handle setbacks like that because of
the tornado encounter. "It made me a
tougher person," he said. "It made
me realize that I can overcome the
most adverse situations. And that
kind of helps when you lose two point
games with two seconds to go.
"It helps you to know that there are
brighter days to come."


Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Nose Guard Billy Harris celebrates Michigan's recovery of a Maryland fumble at the Wolverine goal line in a
game earlier this year. The Blue defense has allowed only 6.6 points per game this season, best in the country.
cer intensixy ays o

No one has ever accused Frank
Downing of being the most talented
ted player on the Michigan hockey
team. He is not a prolific scorer,
and by his own admission his
stickhandling leaves a lot to be
Yet Downing compensates with
an intense drive and rigid
discipline, qualities that have
made the senior from Orchard
Park, N.Y., team captain and
business school student with a 3.4
grade point average.
"HE'S A great example of what
a student athlete should be," said
Wolverine head coach Red Beren-
son; who himself graduated from
Michigan's business school.
"Frank is the kind of guy that
makes the most of what's there, on
and off the ice."
"He's one of the hardest workers
that I've ever met," said senior
defenseman Bill Brauer. Brauer
and Downing were roommates
freshman year and are
housemates along with senior
defenseman Todd Carlile. "If
anything ever gets in his way, he
gets around it."
Downing came to Michigan after
great success in high school,
playing on the Junior Sabres,
national champions his junior and
senior year. Recruited by Prin-
ceton, Cornell, Boston College and
Michigan, Downing chose to
become a Wolverine because of
tradition and education.
"THE tradition in this rink is in-
credible, and I wanted to be part of
that tradition," he said. "I knew
that I wanted to go into business,
and more than any other school
this provides the best balance of
academics and athletics."
Downing's freshman year left an
indelible mark on all involved,
especially roommate Brauer.
"He was so sheltered coming in-
to his freshman year he didn't
know what Mountain Dew was,"
said Braurer increduously. "I
walked into the room with a pop
and he asks 'What's that?' I told
him it was a Mountain Dew and he
didn't now what I was talking
BRAUER also remembers when
Downing was upset after getting
back a calculus exam. He had ear-

ned a B+.
Progressing through the trials of
freshman year, Downing parlayed
his work ethic into admission into
the B-school and CCHA All-
Academic honors last year. He has
hustled his way to limited success
on the ice as well, not to mention
respect. Near the end of his
sophomore year he was named
alternate captain, and this year is
the captain and on-ice spokesman
for the Wolverines.
"I set an exampe, I think, more
so than anything else. I have the
good academics, and I've always
worked hard on and off the ice."
SETTING an example on the ice
means exploiting his skills to their
best use. Downing may not be a
gifted goal scorer, but he is a
defensive leader and concentrates
on that aspect of his game. Last
weekend, against Bowling Green,
Downing was placed on the first
line with Tom Stiles and Brad
Jones to shore up its defense, and
ironically, ended up scoring two
goals and adding one assist.
"My strength is my defense, I'm
always looking to pick up a man,"
said Downing, whose statistics (23

goals and 37 assists over 106
games) back up his words. "I
really concentrate on defensive
play. But I'll still put the puck in
the net if they give it to me."
Downing's altruistic attitude is
reflected not only in his defensive
play, but his willingness to
sacrifice the body in sake of the
"HE'S AN honest two-way
player," said Berenson of
Downing's game. "He'll take a
check to make the play; he'll do
anything to help the team win."
Realistic about his future in
hockey, Downing is planning a=
career in sales marketing,
management, and is interviewing
with Ford Motor Co. and Procter
and Gamble, among others. And no
one doubts he will achieve his
"He's such a hard worker," said
Carlile, "that you know he's going
to succeed."
Bill Brauer, waxing eloquent,
summed it up best. "He's my idol.
When I grow up I want to be just
like him. If I had a daughter, I'd
want to fix him up with her."

... weathered the storm
THE TWISTER destroyed the home
across the street and the one next
door. "It was incredible," Harris
said. "I never will forget that. It
really looked like an atomic bomb hit
our town. Everything I knew and
grew up with was gone."
Harris' home and family were left
untouched by the storm. His father,
Bill Sr., was separated from the
family for weeks afterwards because
he worked for Dayton Power and
Line. He had to make repairs on all
the downed electric lines.
Xenia has rebuilt from the tornado
and the tragedies are a part of town
history. A record was even* made
about the disaster. Harris admits he
has a copy back home.
HARRIS WENT on to be a first
team all-state defensive lineman for
Xenia High. He averaged eight
tackles per game his last two years.
Ohio State and Michigan both
recruited him heavily, but the



UPI Top Twenty
1. Iowa (42) ..........7-0-0 630
2. Penn State........7-0-0 555
3. Nebraska ..........6-1-0 508
4. MICHIGAN ........6-1-0 496
5. Auburn ............6-1-0 456
6. Air Force.........8-0-0 384
7. Ohio State.........6-1-0 328
8. Oklahoma ..........4-1-0 304
9. Florida State......6-1-0 251
10. Baylor...........7-1-0 227
11. Arkansas.........6-1-0 205
12. Miami (Fla.).......6-1-0 193
13. Okla. State.......5-1-0 184
14. UCLA .............6-1-1 143
15. LSU ..............4-1-0 53
16. Brigham Young..... 6-2-0 44
17. Georgia...........5-1-1 14
18. Tennessee .........3-1-2 12
19. Texas A&M ........5-2-0 10
20 Alabama ...........5-2-0 8


Mills to Michigan unconfirmed

Reports that high school basketball
standout Terry Mills has committed
to Michigan are unconfirmed, head
coach Bill Frieder said yesterday.
"Nothing has happened," Frieder
said. "It's just speculation."
MILLS, a 6-10 center for Romulus
High School, is the top prep player in
the nation, according to the Sporting
News and Street and Smith's Basket-
ball Yearbook. The senior averaged
26 points, 12 rebounds, 5.4 assists and
seven blocked shots last year.
"He still has two visits to make,"
Frieder said. Mills has official trips to
Kentucky and Ohio State planned for
Turn in your Griddes picks and win
your choice of a full-tray Sicilian piz-
za, or Chicago stuffed pizza, or whole
submarine sandwich from Pizza Ex-
press, plus two Dooley's guest passes.
Drop off your picks at the Student
Publications Building, 420 Maynard
(second floor) before midnight
1. MICHIGAN at Illinois (pick total
2. Minnesota at Michigan State
3. Iowa at Ohio State
4. Northwestern at Purdue
5. Indiana at Wisconsin
6. Miami (Fla.) at Florida State
7. Florida at Auburn
8. LSU vs. Ole Miss at Jackson
9. The Good War: Holy Cross at Army
10. North Carolina at Maryland
11. Navy at Notre Dame
12. Kansas at Oklahoma
13. SMU at Texas A&M
14. Houston at TCU
15. Oklahoma State at Colorado
16. Washington State at Southern Cal'
17. Southern U vs. Tennessee State at
18. Utah at Utah State
19. California (Pa.) at Slippery Rock
20. DAILY LIBELS at Swillinois

the next two weekends. "When he's
made those visits, he'll sit down and
make a decision."
That choice cannot be official until
November 13, the first day the NCAA
allows national letters-of-intent to be
"WHO KNOWS how he'll feel after
he visits the other schools," Michigan
fifth-year-coach said. "I hope he

makes the right choice."
The cage star has also visited
Mills, nephew of Detroit Piston
John Long, shot 57 percent from the
field and 71 percent from the line
during his junior year. As a
sophomore he sank 22.3 points, 11
rebounds, 5.2 assists and 5 blocked

Tyler jumps boat...
...absence hurts Pistons
WIHAT BETTER way for the Pistons to start the 1985-86 basketball
season than to knock off their division rival, the Milwaukee Bucks?
Playing before a crowd of 24,353 at the Silverdome last Friday, the second *
largest crowd to ever see a Pistons' home opener, Detroit's Vinnie Johnson
hit a jumpshot at the buzzer to edge the Bucks, 118-116.
Yet, despite all the excitement, something was wrong. A familiar face was
missing on the Pistons' bench. Where was No. 41? Where was the player who
played so well in last year's playoffs against Boston?
Where was the player who had played in 574 consecutive games, playing
every game since joining the Pistons out of the University of Detroit in 1978?
Unfortunately, Terry Tyler was nowhere in sight. He joined an in-
creasingly popular trend in modern-day professional athletics. Contract
runs out, player wants more money, team makes him an offer, does not
satisfy player, player holds out. Just last year Detroit faced a similar
situation with John Long who eventually returned.
It is unlikely, however, that Tyler will ever wear a Piston uniform again.
Tyler, a free agent, is in the midst of a bitter contract dispute with the Piston
front office, and the two parties appear far from making any kind of agree,
What a tragic way it would be for Tyler to end his career in Detroit after
seven years of dedicated service. He suffered through the last-place-finish
seasons, and finally, when the Pistons seem to be on the verge of becoming a
championship-caliber team, he will not even be a part of it.
If anyone on the Pistons deserves a winner, Tyler does. He was always
willing to do what was asked of him, starting at power forward one night and
coming off the bench the next. __

Eli Eiports information
Hard-working team captain Frank Downing, a senior, has five points and
four goals in this young season.



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