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January 13, 1995 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-01-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 13, 1995 -15

*Men ready

fort

battle in Windy
By JULIE KEATING men competing o
For the Daily simultaneously, i
This weekend the Michigan men's to wait up to two
gymnastics team is off to Chicago to their specific spe
compete in the 23rd annual Windy City "With only tw
*Invitational,hosted by Illinois-Chicago. up, you need to b
The Wolverines will face off against more than phys
several teams in the Big Ten. Molina said. "Ital
The meet in Chicago will show- The meet beg
case such powerhouses as Ohio State preliminaries, wh
and Minnesota. to carry a full 12-
"It is almost like a mini-Big Ten eight in each eve
competition because we will be com- for the finals late
peting against the other six teams in the "We want to
conference," Michigan coach Bob guys in the finals
ODarden said. The NCAA 1
With the exception of Penn State, scoring method
the Wolverines will be competing four of six places
against long standing rivals. should help scho
"Previously we met Penn State at which have a lot
the UMass open; so with this meet, money for scholar
we will have met or seen everybody opportunity to r
in the Big Ten," Darden said. year. It will also g
Returning after a relaxing break, a chance to expe
the team was back in the gym on their respective s
AJanuary 1. With the omission of a "The scoring
meet in the first week of the year, the out different guys
team is as anxious as it has been all so maybe we ca
season. talent and depth
Co-captain Rich Dopp described risking the overall
the team as, "pretty excited." It is still This meet is at
early in the season for the Wolver- year. With most
ines, but they don't plan on holding of them, Michi
back. Michigan has fared well so far tomorrow's meet
this season and looks to continue its showcase for its
earlier success. "It is going tc
* "We are practicing well and we just Molina said. "We
came off a really good week, so we are our routines, and
looking forward to it," Dopp said. confidence."
Certain members of the team have With an impr
their own personal goals as far as the finish last year,
actual competition. looking to better
"I want to beat Ohio State," senior "Before it wa
Raul Molina said. competing at this
With the meet being so large, con- we want to win,"
centration will be a big part of the bragging rights th
,strategy for the Wolverines. With six

ough
City
n six different events
ndividuals may have
hours to compete in
cialty.
vo chances to warm-
e mentally prepared
sically prepared,"
1 starts in your head."
gins tomorrow with
here Michigan hopes
man squad. The top
nt will then qualify
r that evening.
see several of our
," Molina said.
has adopted a new
that counts the top
on each event. This
ools like Michigan
of depth, yet little
rships and almost no
ecruit for the next
give the Wolverines
riment slightly with
trategies.
will allow us to try
s on different events
in see some of the
of the team without
score," Darden said.
a critical time of the
of the season ahead
gan hopes to use
as more than just a
skills.
to be a long year,"
need to just stick
d build each other's
essive fourth-place
the Wolverines are
that performance.
as okay to just be
meet, but this year
Dopp said. "It's the
hat we are after."

Late start shouldn't
stop women tumblers
By SARAH DeMAR
Daily Sports Writer
Few winter season sports begin their schedule as late as the Michigan
women's gymnastics team. Most squads began regular games nearly two
months ago, but the Wolverines have their premier meet Sunday at the Blue!
Gold Invitational in Pitt hur h.
Michigan will be competing against Pittsburgh and West Virginia. Wol
verine head coach Bev Plocki isn't making any predictions for her fourth-
ranked squad just yet.
"This is early in the season and anybody can pose a threat," Plocki said.
"Pitt is the healthiest they've ever been at this point in time. They have had a
rough time at the start in the last couple of years, but this year they are a little
farther ahead (in talent and health)."
Panthers coach Debbie Yohman knows that Michigan will be a formidable
opponent.
"Michigan is very strong," Yohman said. "We don't have the skills that
Michigan has. This tournament began as an informal thing four years ago and
it's a nice season opener for the blue and gold schools."
Pittsburgh junior co-captain Brenda Stevens, an NCAA regional qualifier last
season, and sophomore Robin Senior, a former walk-on who has developed into
a surprising asset to the team, compete as the Panther's top performers.
The Mountaineers may also challenge the Wolverines Sunday.
"West Virginia always has a strong vaulting and floor team," Plocki said.
"They are very young and talented this year."
The Wolverines should make a strong showing even with the absence of
co-captain Beth Wymer, who remains out of action due to a knee injury. The
senior has resumed practicing with the team, but Plocki remarked that the
depth of her team can pick up the slack.
"Beth is basically healed," Plocki said. "She has returned to practices, but
it hasn't been long enough to put her in the line-up. We really have no reason
to push it."
With gymnasts such as senior Kelly Carfora, junior Wendy Marshall and
freshman Heather Kabnick, the Wolverines should be able to score the needed
points to claim a double victory at the meet.
Also on Michigan's injury list is freshman Lauren La Branche, who is off
the mats after a recent bout with mononucleosis.
During the intrasquad meet in December, the gymnasts appeared to be
comfortable on the vault and balance beam, but Michigan may experience
some problems with the uneven bars and the floor exercise. However, Plocki
emphasized that she expected this imbalance of skill.
"The bars and floor always take a bit longer," she said. "The floor takes
endurance and confidence and it's too early in the season for that. It's pretty
normal that the floor would be a little behind at this point."
Even though the Wolverines are not yet at their full potential, this should
not hinder the team for its first meet.
Assistant coach Brian Raschilla said of Michigan's readiness: "They'll
definitely be up for it - they can really compete when it counts."

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
The Michigan women's gymnastics team opens its regular season with a trip
to Pittsburgh for the Blue/Gold Invitational this weekend. Pittsburgh and
West Virginia will participate in the event in addition to the Wolverines.

..........

Seau keys Charger defense in
San Diego's quest for AFC title

San Francisco linebacker Ken Norton is just one star player the 49ers were able to sign under the NFL salary cap,
much to the chagrin of Dallas owner Jerry Jones.
Owners portray diffeetimages

PITTSBURGH (AP)- Don't
come looking for glamour here.
Don't expect impromptu dances or
outrageous predictions. Junior Seau
and Greg Lloyd aren't going to pro-
vide any of that.
If bone-jarring hits and game-
turning plays are what you seek,
however, then Seau and Lloyd can
be very accommodating.
The acknowledged leaders of two
of the NFL's most physical defenses,
the All-Pro linebackers just might
supply the critical ingredient that
gets either San Diego or Pittsburgh
into the Super Bowl.
"This is the closest we've ever
been, and none of us want to let it
slip away," said Seau as his Charg-
ers prepared for Sunday's AFC
championship game.
"It's constantly in the back of
your mind: One more win and we
have a chance to go to the show,"
added Lloyd. "But we've got to get
that one more win."
To get it, both defenses must
stop powerful running games. The
Steelers led the NFL with 136.3
yards per game and overwhelmed
Cleveland with 238 in last
Saturday's playoff victory. The
Chargers yielded only 87.8 yards on
the ground per contest -the stingi-
est rushing defense in the AFC.
San Diego has the only 1,000-
yard runner in the game, 245-pound
Natrone Means, who rushed for 139
yards against Miami in a 22-21 play-
off victory last Sunday. The Steelers
have the second-ranked defense in
the league.
Seau played through pain in his
left shoulder and arm and his neck.
At one point late in the season, he
was trying to make one-handed tack-
les.
But his production didn't drop,
and his=role as San Diego's key
performer never wavered.
"I guess it's how those basket-
ball guys felt when they stepped on
the court with Michael Jordan,"
Chargers defensive tackle Reuben
Davis said. "You can't go any fur-
ther than that."

You won't hear Seau comparing
himself with Jordan or any other
superstars.
Sure, he is proclaimed the
"Bionic Man" in one commercial,
and even says he is worth more than
$6 million in that same promotion.
That is not Seau's true personality,
though.
"The effort he gives on a Sunday
is the same effort he gives every day
in practice," San Diego quarterback
Stan Humphries said. "He's flying
all over the field.
" I think that carries over to a lot
of the younger guys and it makes
them realize this guy is a Pro Bowl-
kind-of-guy and he still works so
hard."
Shawn Lee, the Chargers' other
starting defensive tackle who is
doubtful with a knee injury, was
stunned to see Seau out-pumping
him in the weight room during the
'1 guess it's how those
basketball guys felt
when they stepped on
the court with Michael
Jordan. You can't go
any further than that.'
- Reuben Davis on
teammate Junior Seau
season.
Lee, who outweighs Seau by 50
pounds and is one of the strongest
Chargers, was using 145-pound bar-
bells on each arm. Seau started off
at 160.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - At
different times during Sunday's NFC
itle game between Dallas and San
Francisco, television cameras will find
Jerry Jones, owner, general manager
and would-be coach of the Cowboys.
No matter how hard the cameras
try, they will not find the 49ers'
braintrust - owner Edward
DeBartolo, Jr. and his best buddy,
team president Carmen Policy. Un-
less San Francisco wins and they show
*up to accept the NFC championship
trophy.
"We darken the glass over our box
so the cameras can't get in," says
Policy. "The players are the show."
Last week, Jones came down from
his box to the field to berate an offi-
cial for a call. He holds marathon
Tuesday lunches for the media and he
split with Jimmy Johnson, at least in
art over who got the most credit for
wuildingatwo-time SuperBowl cham-
pion.
In his six years as the Cowboys'
owner, he has passed Al Davis of the
Los Angeles Raiders and Art Modell
of the Cleveland Browns for most

Seau

lines as Jay Novacek came up inches
short of the goal line and Modell
looking at Jones from the owners'
box to determine how the play came
out. Modell's explanation: He
couldn't see the goal line so he
watched Jones for his reaction.
Jones knows no bounds - it's an
upset if he walks past a bank of TV
cameras without stopping to say hello
and add a few thousand other words.
And his tongue may have been only
partially in cheek Tuesday when, dis-
cussing the difference between his
style and that of the 49ers' bosses, he
said:
"We're different in our approach
to free agency, a lot of different things.
The roles we play about the way we
approach our activity as ownership.
Mr. Policy and I as management. Mr.
Seifert and I as coaches."
Those differences became public
earlier this year when Jones led the
charge on Policy's manipulation of
the salary cap. San Francisco, Jones
said, was mortgaging the future by
signing veterans for the minimum
salary then adding incentives that

Bowl, the most we'll have from this
year in next year's cap is $1.6 mil-
lion," he says. "It will go up at least
that much for 1995."
Jones is a brash oilman, the son of
an wildcatter who made his own way
in the business before taking over the
Cowboys.
DeBartolo is the son of a construc-
tion magnate who got into sports and
took over the 49ers when he was 32.
Like his close-knit family, he's
built San Francisco into a family of a
different kind, headed by Policy -
his friend and lawyer for a quarter-
century.
The differences in management?
There isn't that much, despite
Jones' carping at the 49ers and the
occasional jibes back from DeBartolo.
"The approaches are different, but
the foresight is the same," says Leigh
Steinberg, the agent for quarterbacks
Steve Young of San Francisco and
Troy Aikman of Dallas, among other
players on both teams.

"That's pretty impressive," Lee
said. "And when you consider how
fast he is, his closing speed on the
field, it's really something special.
Closing speed is really a must for a
linebacker."
So is intelligence. The middle line-
backer in a 4-3 alignment is consid-
ered the quarterback of the defense.
Seau always must match wits with f
offensive masterminds, a task he en-
joys.
"Football is a chess game," he
explained. "I'm very good at chess. If
you move your pawn against my
bishop, I'll counter that move to beat
you.
"It's the same thing on the field. I
study so much film, I know exactly
what teams are going to try to do. I get
off on knowing exactly what a team is
going to run and stuffing the play."

. .... ..an .r. o . ii I i i

m

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