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October 07, 1993 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-07

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 7, 1993 -9

Stickers end long hiatus from Oosterbaan
Wolverines host Spartans after hard-fought road losses to No. 1 Penn St., No. 3 Iowa

"There's no place like home.
There's no place like home."
Those aren't only the words of
Dorothy going home to Kansas, but
of the Michigan field hockey team
finally coming home to Ann Arbor.
After spending the first month of
~ the season on the road, the Wolver-
ines return to the friendly confines of
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse tonight at 7:30
to face off against cross-state rival
-------- -andBig Ten opponentMichigan State.
Michigan coach Patti Smith, who
is expecting a tough game, is one
person who is definitely looking for-
ward to finally playing at home.
"It will be a hard fought game as it
is anytime Michigan and Michigan
State play each other in anything,"
SHARON IMUSHERIDaI Smith said. "It will help that we're
Jennifer Lupinsky and the field hockey team host the Spartans tonight.

finally playing at home, we're ex-
pecting a good size crowd and the
team is really up for the game."
Last weekend Michigan (0-2 Big
Ten, 5-2 overall) lost a couple of
tough matches to No. 3 Iowa and No.
1 Penn State. The teamhowever is not
down about the losses.
"We are very positive after the
weekend," defender Lelli Hose said.
"We proved that we can play with the
top teams in the country."
In Michigan State (0-2, 2-5), the
Wolverines are facing a young team
headed by first-year coach Michele
Freshman Terry Pacheco is lead-
ing the Spartans in scoring with four
goals and one assist for a total of nine
points. Starting goaltender Tricia
Gann, who is also a freshman, has
played in all seven games for the

Spartans and has a goals against aver-
age of 2.10.
Rookie Stephanie Hart is third on
the Michigan State squad in scoring.
"We are very positive.-
after the weekend. We
proved that we can
play with the top
teams in the country."
-.Lelli Hose
Michigan defender
Senior Keely Libby is the leading
scorer for the Wolverines with three
goals for a total of six points. Sopho-
more goalkeeper Rachel Geisthardt is
among the top 20 goalkeepers in the
country with a goals against average

of .615.
Last weekend, Michigan played;
strong defense but was unable to score
a goal in either of its games. That will
have to change in order to defeat
Michigan State tonight.
"We will have to continue to play
strong defense and keep the number
of shots against low," Smith said.
"We also have to have the mids and
forwards attack inside the 25-yard-
red zone."
Considering the teams' respective.-
rankings and at each team's season,
record, Michigan should win the game
in easy fashion. But don't try to tell
the Wolverines that.
"It will be an aggressive and emo-
tional game," Hose said. "No matter
what the situation, Michigan State
always gives a good game because of :
the rivalry."

Spartans' Thomas perseveres through hard
etimes, fumbles; becomes top college tailback

The muscles in Craig Thomas'
stomach were throbbing, begging for
a breather; a chance to stretch, relax
and return to a comfortable state.
His stomach wasn't the only part
ofhis body that was aching and writh-
9ing with exhaustion. In the heat of
running 10 40-yard sprints in 90-de-
gree weather, his ankles, feet, arms
and legs all needed a chance to cool
But Thomas wasn't finished. His
mind told him he should do more; the
question was whether his body would
let him.
Somehow it did.
He crouched into his three-point
stance, just like he would do against
Michigan or Ohio State. The snap
count was two, and he was off.
Dashing. Darting. Eluding imagi-
nary tackles in his mind. Then there
was nothing left but open field.
Thomas went through the proce-
dure again. Andagain. And again. By
the time he was done, he had run
another 10 times down the field -
100 yards for each jaunt.
The work ethic of the of the 6-
foot, 194-pound Pennsylvania native
has always been demanding. Thomas
has never been given anything.
Who is Craig Thomas?
Not many people knew of Thomas
last year while he worked as a backup
for Spartan notable Tico Duckett. But
e opportunities were there for Tho-
mas, and he took full advantage of
The result was 15 touchdowns,
887 yards, and an impressive 5.7
yards-per-carry - all as a backup.
Thomas is probably the most un-
heralded starting tailback in the
George Perles era. While honored as
a preseason All-Big Ten member,

college football fans outside of East
Lansing probably still scratch their
heads in curiosity when they see him
jog onto the field.
The lack of attention does not
bother Thomas, however.
"It's good to be the underdog," he
says. "I want people to go away from
the TV wondering, 'Who is that num-
ber 33?"'
MSU's starting tailback did not
receive the job hands down; in fact,
during Thomas' sophomore year, he
felt he would never get the chance to
In the midst of what would turn
out to be a 3-9 season, the Spartans
were playing Notre Dame and trailing
by 39.
With two minutes leftin the con-
test, the coaches called his number. It
served as a wake-up call to Thomas,
who before then thought football was
the answer to everything.
"Coming out of high school and
coming into college, I think ifaplayer
plays well as a freshman or sopho-
more, theirfocus really isn'ton gradu-
ating," he says. "At first I was like
that, focusing more on football than
anything else.
"When I got in that game the last
two minutes, I was thinking to my-
self, 'I had better find something else
to do,"'he says with a smile. "I felt I
had to find an alternative to being
successful in life."
But Thomas could not give up on
the sport he grew up playing. Ever
since age six, he had admired pro
greats like Tony Dorsett and Walter
Payton, hoping someday to act out
theirmoves on his own football stage.
Plus, he couldn't tell his family
that he wanted to quit, he says. His
grandfather, holding two jobs formore
than 35 years and never missing one
day of work, set the example of hard
work for Thomas early in life.

"I've never been the type of per-
son to give up something I believe
in," he says. "You can play and be a
success as long as you believe in
yourself. But the minute you stop
believing in yourself, you've lost."
Not much was expected of Tho-
mas his junior year, but a 15-touch-
down season became a pleasant sur-
prise for the Spartan faithful. Now
MSU coaches and players know what
he can do and expect a repeat perfor-
To Thomas, it's just another ob-
stacle he must overcome - shatter-
ing doubtful expectations like abowl-
ing ball exploding through a set of
Bowling has become a pastime for
Thomas; he enjoys going out with his
fiancee and friends for a night at the
alley. It serves as a relaxing activity,
easing any pressure he may feel from
But good fortune was not with
him one night on the lanes. His aver-
age wasdown; hemissedafew spares.
As he walked back to his seat,
shaking his head in bewilderment, a
friend looked at him and said, "Luck
just isn't with you." Thomas re-
sponded, "Kind of like Central Michi-
gan, huh?"
It's probably what will be most
remembered about Thomas, the iden-
tical circumstances against Central
Michigan and the Illinois last year -
the even leaps over the goal line, the
precise hits by the opponent, the loose
balls, the turnovers.
He can joke about them now, but
Thomas still hates talking about "the
fumbles."He often feels like they are
the only thing people rememberabout
his otherwise successful season.
"No one felt worse than I did,"
Thomas says when remembering the
fateful contests. " But you either play
over it and win, or those things haunt

you and you lose and you have an
excuse for losing."
It was a letdown, of course, know-
ing that six points could have easily
turned an "L" into a "W." But Tho-
mas never let the disappointment and
failure of not crossing the goal line
get him down.
While there may have been a few
dissenters in the lockerroom, his team-
mates were there to give him support
and urge him on throughout the long
"How can you knock a guy who's
going out there playing at 100 percent
every time," says quarterback JIm
Miller. " He's always out there doing
his best. Craig will be the first guy to
point the finger at himself."
The lesson Thomas had learned
throughouthis life- "Never give up,
hard work pays off' - could be ap-
plied to help deal with this latest test.
He didn't forget and he didn't give
"He has to be a man to overcome
(the fumbles), and he has come back
stronger than ever," team co-captain
Brice Abrams says of his teammate
this year. "We need him to come back
stronger than ever. Hard work pays
off, and I think you'll see great things
from Craig this year."
Compared to the other boulders
Thomashashad toclimbover through-
out his career, he says the fumbles
were like pebbles in desert sand, eas-
ily blown away from his thoughts like
a gust of wind.
It may have taken him longer than
expected, but now the spotlight has
fallen on Thomas, and he says he
certainly won't waste his opportu-
"Nothing worth having is easily
achieved," Thomas says. "I believe it,
because I'm living proof."

Michigan State's Craig Thomas hasi

not dwelled on the mistakes of 1992.


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7:00 p.m.
For Additional Information Contact IMSB 763-3562


Michigan State will pillage Wolverines

Call it intuition, psychic ability or
a good tip from my Uncle Vitto, but I
am absolutely, positively sure - or
our money back - that MSU will
defeat your precious Maize and Blue
on Saturday Oct. 9.
Please do not question my sanity,
because I have legitimate reasons to
back upmyclaim. Thesereasons don't
include obvious facts such as: we
party harder, our dorms are better or
the truth that we invented tailgating.
They happen to be of a more serious
nature. For example, the centerpiece
f our defense is the capable MSU
freshman middle linebacker Reggie
Chants of "Reggie, Reggie," will
soon be the norm. His quickness and
speed are his strengths. Reggie's
weaknesses are that he is young and
'4 i fl " f li 1r i "<>:e # $ i i~ tic : :::

inexperienced. However, this will be
Reggie's breakthrough game against
an inconsistent Wolverine attack that
is led by Heisman Trophy candidate
Tyrone Wheatley.
Plus, the Spartans have the dy-
namic duo of Craig Thomas and
Duane Goulbourne (390 combined
rushing yards against Central Michi-
gan) in their backfield, which repre-
sents a legitimate threat to the Wol-
verine defense that continues to allow
an excess of points, not to mention
rushing yards.
Michigan State signal caller Jim
Miller has had an excellent season.
He continues to complete more than
50percentofhispasses and has thrown
fewer interceptions than Collins.
These, of course, do not include
the top six reasons why the Spartans

will defeat Michigan this Saturday.
6. Wolverines don't know how to
play on Astroturf.
5. Mo just isn't Bo.
4. We have a large ceramic statue
known as Sparty and Michigan foot-
ball players use too much energy try-
ing to paint it.
3. If Braves can come back to
overtake the Giants then anything is
2. Everybody loves the underdog.
1. Michigan State players will
scare Michigan players into submis-
sion by shouting "Boo!"
Prediction: Michigan State 31,
Michigan 30.
Michigan State placekicker Bill
Stoyanovich connects on a game-win-
ning field goal. Trustme, I know what
I am talking about.



Department of Recreational

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