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January 18, 1990 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-18

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Page 10- The Michigan Daily -Thursday, January 18,1990
leer Copeland said

yes to

Michigan

Senior turned down Harvard to lead Blue D'

by David Hyman
Daily Hockey VWriter
Being the son of a former Harvard hockey player.
Playing hockey ever since you could walk. Growing up
in Wellesley, Massachusetts, near the banks of the
Charles River.
This background would appear to be conducive for an
18-year-old son to follow in his father's footsteps and
don the prestigious crimson and white 'H.'
However, the path that senior Michigan defenseman
Todd Copeland followed to college led him to a maize
and blue M.'
"I had the chance to go away and Michigan recruited
me with what I wanted - good hockey, an cpportunity
to play and contribute, and a good education," Copeland
said.
As an excellent prospect from Belmont Hill (MA),
his father's alma- mater, colleges throughout the East
and the Midwest expressed interest in the highly touted
defenseman. Many schools, however, did not pursue
Copeland as actively as Michigan because they thought
he would attend Harvard.
But the Wolverines went down to the wire with
Copeland's decision. "It made sense that if he would
leave home and not attend Harvard, he would come to
Michigan," Berenson said. "The tough competition of
the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and that he
was looking for a real challenge helped him make his
decision. He came to a losing program with the confi-
dence he could turn it around and he has helped in doing
that."
Indeed, Copeland surprised many back home with his
decision to leave the East and head for Ann Arbor.
"Harvard has a great school, but. I wanted to try
something different," Copeland said. "I came to
Michigan because I considered the CCHA the best
competition and Michigan offered a good schedule and a
good school."

Yet his transition to college was not as smooth as
expected. Many people thought Copeland would shine
in his first season, being a second round selection of the
New Jersey Devils (24th pick overall) in the 1986 NHL
dra
Due to the presence of 10 first-year players,
including two rookie goaltenders playing behind him,
Copeland did not feel much added pressure. "When I first
got here, our class was so big and it didn't put pressure
on any one of us as we kind of stuck together,"~
Copeland said. "Everyone expected me to do real good
things, but I wasn't a star."
Berenson agreed: "I think the expectations were a
little higher for him, but he wasn't expected to carry the
team."
Michigan goalie Warren Sharples also understood
Copeland's dilemma: "He was in a tough situation and
everybody expected a lot. It's hard to stand out on a
young team, but he knows how to be successful and
was capable of responding."
Now playing in his fourth full season, Copeland
adds experience and intelligence on the blue line which
he shares with the three rookie defensemen this season.
"He's a big contributor on defense and definitely helps
the younger guys," right winger Brad Turner said.
Along with the experience Copeland has provided
this season, he has increased his point production,
tallying four goals and 12 assists, just three points shy
of last season's totals. Besides seeing his points
increase, he would like to see Michigan make it to the
conference finals at Joe Louis Arena and the NCAAs.
"We've gone one step further every year and we want
to go further this year," he said.
Going against the norm, Copeland made a major de-
cision to leave his own backyard, and has enjoyed it all.'
"I'm glad I chose Michigan and I wouldn't do it any
other way," Copeland said. "I think I'll get a shot
somewhere (in the pros) and I think the system here has
prepared me for that shot."

BENSON
Continued from page 9
five recruiting classes in America.
He also compiled three recruiting
classes of his own while at Illinois.w
That experience has taught him
to be realistic with the press andt5
public, even though he is optimis *
with his potential gridiron greats. He
gets aggressive while doing his
work, convincing high school
football players to begin their adult
careers in Ann Arbor. Realizing the
expectations of fans, and that he is
placing his livelihood on th~
decision-making ability of 18-years
olds, he reverts back to caution when
talking about his progress.
"You are going to visit 70 so'~
kids, in order to sign 20," Moellq~
said. "You are going to get a lot
more people saying 'no' than °you
will 'yes.' We think we are on the
right kids, now we've got to get
them here - that's the key."
And so far, Moeller likes hi
choices, and his chances, of bringiarg
godpol oMcia.Trecruits responded in similar fashic
"I have had one kid tell me -tha1
he is not interested because Bo is
leaving," Moeller said. "Michiganis
still a good program. We miss
having the big name of coach
Schembechler, but I can't be sure of
how much we are going to miss h~im~
until the end. Hopefully, it's 'nut
going to be that much."
Whatever happens, Moelle~r
should be given the opportunity #
establish himself. Far too muehi
pressure is being put on baskeiball
coach Steve Fisher and his recruiting
success. Moeller should get' the
opportunity to prove himself on ti~
field, If high school players see a
winning coach at Michigan, they
will be attracted to play for him.
Express yourself
in Daily Arts
Call 763-0379 {

Senior Todd Copeland chose not to attend Harvard, his fathers alma
mater, and now anchors the Michigan defense.

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