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April 06, 1995 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-06

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 6, 1995

Lacrosse looks to harvest Wheaton Saturday.
Wolverine laxers confident heading into final home game of the season at Oosterbaan

By Dorothy Chambers
For the Daily
A sweep of the Big Ten Regionals
and a strong performance in the Pitts-
burgh Invitational has the Michigan
men's lacrosse team riding a wave of
confidence.
And with the Big Ten champion-
ships right around the corner, the Wol-
verines would like to continue riding
the crest of that wave.
Wheaton pays avisittoOosterbaan
Fieldhouse 10 p.m. Saturday for the
Wolverines' final home game of the
year.
Michigan is a little unsure of what
kind of team Wheaton will bring to
Ann Arbor, but according to Wolver-
ine coach Bob DiGiovanni, the Chi-
cago-area club team shouldn't be too
much trouble.

"I don't like to under cut another
team," DiGiovanni said. "I just have
not heard that they're strong, so I'm
assuming that we'll be able to play a
fairly strong game against them."
Sunday, Michigan travels to
Western Michigan for an afternoon
matchup with the Broncos. The
Wolverines haven't had much of a
problem with Western in the past,
and DiGiovanni doesn't want to look
past the Broncos.
"I don't ever want to take anybody
lightly, because you never know,"
DiGiovanni said. "They could have a
couple players you're not aware of and
they could really give you a lot of
problems."
If Wheaton and Western Michigan
don't put up much of a fight, Michigan
would just as soon use the weekend as

a tune-up for the Big Ten Champion-
ships. DiGiovanni is pleased with the
way the team has been playing lately,
but a few little things remain to be
cleaned up.
Since the championships are an
outdoor tournament, the Wolverines
are especially intenton using the West-
ern game to practice their play~on natu-
ral grass. The ball bounces diffrently
on the artificial turf atOosterbaan. This
rare chance to play on the grass gives
the Wolverines an opportunity to prac-
tice scooping ground balls.
In addition, Michigan will also look
to improve its play with the extra man.
"We have not been able to turn that
power play the way we should,"
DiGiovanni said. "We play really good
defense and we also can score a lot but
unfortunately you get into atight game

and whether you can score on man-up
or not often makes the difference."
The Wolverines also want to keep
the ball under control this weekend and
concentrate on clearing the ball and
avoiding turnovers.
"We've been working on some@
clears," seniorJohn Kolakowski said.
"We've been having a little trouble
getting the ball up and down the field,
so we'll try to work on that some."
However, DiGiovanni stressed that
he would only use this weekend to
fiddle with the team's small problems
if they found themselves sitting on a
big lead.
"If we can get up in these games
we're going to kind of use them as
practice games," DiGiovanni said."But
you can't do that unless you get up and
stay up."

The Michigan men's lacrosse team takes on Wheaton Saturday.

DiGiovanni fights through injury-plagued career

..r

By Chris Carr
Daily Sports Writer
Last spring, then junior attackman
and co-captain of the Michigan men's
lacrosse team Tony DiGiovanni, was
returning to the field after having mi-
nor arthroscopic surgery on his right
knee, which forced him to sit out his
sophomore campaign.
After working hard in rehabilita-
tion, DiGiovanni was looking forward
to the start of the season. But it all
would be extremely short-lived.
In the first game of the year,
DiGiovanni tore his anterior cruciate
ligament and put his equipment away
for yet another season.
"Even though we won the Big Ten
Championship, I felt empty because I
could not contribute on the field,"
DiGiovanni said. "This year, I put it
(the injury) out of my mind and just
played."
In this, his final campaign,
DiGiovanni has switched positions
hoping to avoid re-injuring his knee.
"Before this season, I drove to the
goal more," DiGiovanni said. "Now
because of my knee, I play on the
crease so Idon't have to run around as
much."
Although he is no longer a team
captain, DiGiovanni still plays an inte-
gral role in the Wolverines' quest for
their sixth-consecutive Big Ten Cham-
pionship.
"Tony has been a real inspiration
for us this year because he plays so
hard," senior co-captain John

Kolakowski said. "His leadership and
presence on the field motivates every-
one on the team.
"In a huddle during the champion-
ship game at the Pittsburgh Invitational
this past weekend, coach (Bob
DiGiovanni) told us,'Ifeveryoneplayed
as hard as Tony we'd be winning by 20
goals,' and it's true."
10l felt empty
because I could
not contribute on
the field"
- Tony DiGiovanni
Michigan lacrosse player
Tony DiGiovanni's lacrosse back-
ground is not as deep as other players'
because of the lack of support for the
game in the midwest. He only played
one year before coming to Michigan
because his high school did not have a
team.
"I played lacrosse with my broth-
ers, but we never had any organized
games," DiGiovanni said. "In high
school, though, a bunch of us started a
team."
DiGiovanni has stayed involved
with lacrosse at his old high school,
Ann Arbor Pioneer, by coaching the
school's freshman team.
"Lacrosse is a great game,"
DiGiovanni said. "It is a growing sport
and once kids start playing at younger

ages, maybe it will be as big as it is in
the east."
However, the new gender equity
philosophy might curb the growth
of lacrosse. With this mind set, uni-
versity administrations are focus-
ing on increasing female involve-
ment in sports by creating more
women's varsity teams.
"When ho Schembechler was
athletic director, lacrosse was at the
top of the list to become a varsity
sport. But with the new gender eq-
uity program, it doesn't look like
that will happen now."
Despite the lack of a varsity label,
Tony has enjoyed his years on the club
team.
"Besides lacrosse being an awe-
some sport, the guys on the team are
great," DiGiovanni said. " It's a lot of
fun because club sports have a lighter
atmosphere.
"We have also won Big Tens every
year I've been here, so we've consis-
tently done well."
DiGiovanni's involvement with the
lacrosse team at Michigan has been
enhanced because of his unique rela-
tionship with the coach, who happens
to be his father.
"I enjoy having my dad as my coach
because our relationship has become
closer," DiGiovanni said. "I don't see
him as my father on the field because
he interacts with me in the same way as
the other players."
The pair works hard trying to
downplay their father-son relation-

ship on the field.
"We honestly try to keep our rela-
tionship like any other player and
coach," Bob DiGiovanni said. "It is
tough sometimes, but it is better for
him, me, and especially the team."

Michigan men's lacrosse team moves
closer to losing one of its most inspira-
tional players to graduation.
DiGiovanni is the heart and soul of the
Wolverines and he will be difficult to
replace next year.
"The sens Af camaraderie that he

fosters among the team will be missed,"
Kolakowski said. "He is a great guy
and everyone looks up to him."
"I always give that extra effort,
hoping that it will be contagious and
make my teammates play harder,"
Difiovanni said

- K

Standing tall at short MICHAEL
Detroit Tiger shortstop Alan Trammell helped out at Michigan's baseball practice yesterday, instructing infielders
and hitters. Trammell has had some time off due to the major league players' strike and was asked by his friend,@
Michigan coach Bill Freehan, to give some pointers to the Wolverines. "I just think it's great for the kids,"
Freehan said. "I think they were pleasantly surprised."
Dance your way to the Olympics?

This This
is your is your
brain. brain
after
taking
summer
courses
at
GVSU.
If you're coming home to West Michigan for the summer, consider this:
Grand Valley State University provides expanded course offerings at campuses
in Allendale and Grand Rapids, and Centers in Holland and Muskegon.
Need more credits? Schedule yourself out of a course? Want an elective
not offered by your college or university? You don't have to be an Einstein to
see the opportunity this presents.
You can: Register as a GVSU guest student, enroll by phone, and take
the classes you want because tuition is affordable. And you'll be taught by uni-
versity faculty, not graduate students.
You cannot: Transfer credits your school won't recognize, so please,

once had a girlfriend who
wanted me to take ballroom
dancing. I didn't, of course. I
thought it was dumb. Now, it turns
out that if I had, I could have been
training for the Olympics.
Earlier this week the International
Olympic Committee's executive
board gave
provisional
approval - the
first step
towards
becoming part
of the
Olympics - to
RYAN ballroom
WHITE dancing.
White on Yep, you
Target read that right.
Ballroom
dancing.
It could, one day, become part of
the summer games and join speed
walking atop the list of events that
NBC will put on pay-per-view, and
no one will watch.
The IOC has done dumb things in
the past, namely ice dancing, curling,
svchronized swimming and ning'

Ballroom dancing isn't a sport,
it's not a game, I'm not even positive
that it's legal in some parts of the
country, but you might be able to win
a gold medal in it one day.
There is a possibility that the
International Dance Sports
Federation could gain recognition in
two years.
Dance sports? Isn't that an
oxymoron?
Maybe, just maybe, however, I'm
looking at this the wrong way.
Someone, somewhere obviously saw
something in ballroom dancing that
made them think, "I want to see this
at the international level."
Perhaps they saw marketing
potential and endorsement
opportunities.-
Nike could introduce the Fred
Astaire Air Wingtips and Reebok
could issue the Ginger Rogers Pump
pump.
In an attempt to attract a younger
crowd, Michael Jordan and Larry
Bird could have a dance-off with the
winner getting a Big Mac, and the
IOC could draw in Generation X by
Betting Beavis and Butthead to waltz

as quickly as possible. I can hear the
commercials now, "Gatorade is
thirst-aid, for that deep down dancing
thirst."
After all that, it wouldn't take
long before the kids in the cities were
putting down their basketballs and
footballs, leaving the playground and
heading to the ballrooms of America
- wherever those are.
But what about television? Would
people actually watch ballroom
dancing? Well, they watch bowling.
It would actually fit nicely into *
ESPN 2's programming. Before long
we'd be hearing, "That ... that's a
spin," on SportsCenter.
The next logical step would, of
course, be the NBRDA (National
Ballroom Dancing Association).
And at that point, I think we
would all begin to hope that
money doesn't ruin the dancers
love of competition.
Maybe the IOC is right after all.
Francois Carrard, the director
general of the IOC, compared
ballroom dancing, in terms of
physical activity and training, to
synchronized swimming and ice

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