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February 17, 2000 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-17

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 17, 2000 - 9A

4Writers fall
miserably
to athletes
e were somewhere in western
Pennsylvania, the Reverend
f Cleophus playing on the
radio, when it happened.
"Do you see the light?" the
Reverend asked.
"Do you see the
light?"
I saw the light.
I turned to fellow
sports writer T.J.
Berka in the seat
next to me as we
orve to State JOSH
ollege for the KLEIBM
Michigan-Penn Al
State game back in A w
November.
"Playstation!" I declared.
"Playstation!"
And the Daily Football Writers-
Michigan Football Team Playstation
Tournament was born.
The logistics still had to be worked
at. But with a little hard work, we
were able to put it together, and the
tournament took place on Feb. 5. We
got Jon Schwartz, a young Daily sports
writer, to be our impartial scribe and
comer the event.
The story was supposed to run that
Monday. But then Tom Goss had to
resign. And Jamal Crawford had to get
ilisome trouble. Suddenly, there wasn't
sace for the all-important event.
Thankfully I have 18 inches every
*er week to print whatever I want. So
the rest of this column isn't my writing,
but Jon Schwartz's. Sit back, relax and
enjoy. And if you want to play some
Playstation, give me a call. Now, I turn
it over to Schwartz:
Pit two out-of-work-journalists
against several representatives from the
Orange Bowl champion Michigan foot-
ball team, and what does it equal?
Another victory for the athletes.
Playing on the frozen tundra of
Josh Kleinbaum's house. two of the for-
rarer football writers faced off against
Jeff Del Verne, Scott Panique and
Bennie Joppru in a tournament of
NCAA 2000 on Sony Playstation.
At the end of the day, Del Verne
was crowned the victor.
The afternoon began with Del
Verne's Tennessee taking on
Ileinbaum's Texas. Del Verne was
king to prove himself after listening
to Kleinbaum talk smack at the press
conference at Rick's Wednesday night.
It didn't take long to realize that
talk was about all that Kleinbaum had
going for him. The Michigan kicker
built a quick lead in the game that
included six Texas passes thrown for
interceptions and career-making games
by Tennessee wide receivers No. 80
No. 14.
Del Verne made the boring game
interesting by dominating Kleinbaum
in the trash-talk department. He
claimed that he should be paid back for
the gas money he used to get to the
game and called Klinbaum's lead in
time of possession after the first quarter
a sign that there really is a 'moral vic-
tVy everywhere.'
"Daily Sports, it's FANTASTIC,"
Del Verne said.
But after Kleinbaum closed the gap
49-11 and claimed that he had Del
Verne right where he wanted him, the
journalist couldn't score another tally
and ended up falling, 70-11.

"I've seen some ass-whoopings, but
this is ridiculous!" Del Verne said.
The next game matched Panique
and the Volunteers against Berka and
the Wolverines. After the Vols got off to
a quick 7-0 lead, Berka made the mis-
4we of running a quarterback draw
with No. 10, a player with attributes
similar to those of Tom "Wheels"
Irady. The odd, Troy Nunes-styleplay
brought up a third-and-43, which Berka
was able convert for the first down.
But Berka could do nothing at the
end other than plead to his team to stop
fumbling. The game left the restless
fans angry at the concessions stand,
which was run by Mr. Spots, for not
having delivered within an hour.
* Panique's focus remained on the
game as he mounted an 85-40 victory.
"Berka had some serious offense,"
Panique said. But he wasn't able to
speak so highly of the Michigan
defense. "Michigan prides itself on
securing the ball, and they definitely
didn't secure the ball.
After Berka's sorry loss, Kleinbaum
and Joppru matched up in an exhibition
me, but by then, attention had moved
Wer to Kleinbaum's pool table.
Joppru won 72-42, despite
kleinbaur getting off to the Daily's
first lead of the day. But by that time,
the afternoon was over.
The football players went after the
writers, claiming that they talked a

'Intensit' to key 'M'
in weekend matches

How they match up
Both Penn State and Ohio State
sport respectable individual match-
ups for M' this w eekend,

Softball leaves gym,
heads for warmth

By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
The long and winding hallway to the
Michigan wrestling room in Crisler
arena ends with the team logo -- a mani-
acal-looking wolverine in a wrestling
singlet - on the entrance door.
That's usually enough to scare away
the timid, but this week there might as
well have been a disclaimer underneath
- "where the weak are killed and eaten
from now until the national champi-
onship."
The labored walk and haggard faces
of the team's best wrestlers isn't an aber-
ration, it's coach Joe McFarland's brand
of punishment/preparation after the
Wolverines' humbling 32-6 debacle
against Minnesota last Friday.
If Michigan lacks anything against
Penn State and Ohio State this weekend,
McFarland said it won't be intensity.

"The last couple of weeks, some
guys have been coming to practice with-
out being prepared to wrestle with the
intensity you need at this level -- and
that showed last Friday.
"But this has been our best practice
week all year. How many times do
coaches say that? But I really think it's
going to carry over to the weekend."
All the more important considering
one of Michigan's stalwarts, Damian
Logan, is still battling a neck injury suf-
fered against the Golden Gophers.
McFarland called Logan "doubtful"
for the weekend pending the outcome of
yesterday's examination. The results
were not available as of last night.
"We need him in our lineup,"
McFarland said. "We're having a hard
time - we need guys in our lineup."
Penn State is a perennial national
power but is down this year, stumbling to
a 6-10 record, 3-4 in the Big Ten. Ohio

PENN STATE
Jeremy Hunter
Jason Betz
Ross Hatcher
OIO STATE
Peter Rodgers
Nick Preston
MICHIGAN
A.J. Grant
Damian Logan
or Matt Michalski
Jason Rawls
Andy Hrovat
Joe DeGain

WGT RANK
125 1
141 11
197 10
165 13
184 7

125
141
141
165
184
197

6
9
18

State, a mediocre team in the country's
best conference, is 9-8 overall, 2-5 in the
Big Ten.
"They're both young programs that
are going to be tough in the next couple
of years," Mike Kulcz'cki said. "We'
want to beat them now and later."

By Sam Duwe
Daily Sports Writer
The friendly physician smiled
warmly as he examined his patient,
the Michigan softball team.
You look healthy and strong, he
said, but I'm concerned. It's a rare
disease called "cabin fever."
Perhaps you should get outside,
get some fresh air and just play ball.
Try that out, and call me in the
morning.
Following this advice, the
Wolverines left the indoor confines
of Oosterbaan Field House and trav-
el to sunny California.
"Right now we have a full practice
inside, but it's a different playing
outside and feeling the bounce of the
ball," co-captain Melissa Gentile
said. "As many games as you can
play during the winter months are
great. We just need to compete on
some real grass."
The Wolverines travel to Poway,
Cal. for the Campbell-Cartier
Classic.
This four-day, six-team tourna-
ment will mark the start of the 2000
season for the sixth-ranked
Wolverines.
"Although we're excited to be
ranked No. 6, the confidence that

our team holds this season comes
more from our players and attitude,
not from the ranking," Gentile said.
"I think that this team can accom-
plish a lot. We have a lot of depth
and talent."
No. 21 Stanford will mark the first
game of the season today. This week-
end will also entail encounters from
Cal. State Northridge, Long Beach
State, Pacific, Sacramento State and
No. I UCLA.
The last time Michigan competed
in The Campbell-Cartier Classic was
1998, when the Wolverines finished
second.
Coming off another 50-win sea-
son, Michigan returns 14 letterwin-
ners and eight starters, including
1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Kelsey Kollen and Big Ten Pitcher of
the Year Marie Barda.
Until the blanket of white melts
on Alumni Field and Big Ten play
ensues, the Wolverines will continue
to travel to warm places, including
Florida and Georgia in March. But
for the present, Michigan is out to
prove themselves to the softball
community.
"As I said, we're very confident in
ourselves, and we're looking forward
to coming back- on Sunday with six
wins," Gentile said.

Silverston preps Blue for Big Tens

By David Mosse
Daily Sports Writer

It's the calm before the storm for the
Michigan men's track team, as the
Wolverines close out their regular sea-
son at home in the Silverston
Invitational. Michigan is hoping for a
strong performance in their final tune-
up before the Big Ten Championships.
"Some guys need to be pushed, and
some guys need to be rested," Michigan
assistant coach Fred LaPlante said.
"But with 17 events, this is not a week
off."
The team is licking its wounds from
a disappointing showing this past
Saturday at the Michigan Intercollegiate.
Squaring off against the premier pro-
grams in the state, the Wolverines placed
fourth out of six teams.
"We all have our ups and downs,"
Laplante said. "I don't think there's a
team in the nation that has improved

every week"
Michigan's most impressive event
last week will also be the most watched
this week. Brent Scheffer and Charles
DeWildt placed first and second in the
pole vault, yet neither managed to qual-
ify for the NCAA Championships.
"There is definitely a sense of
urgency," DeWildt said. "We are run-
ning out of meets."
In addition, two of the elite vaulters
in the conference, both from Michigan
State, will take part in the meet, provid-
ing a sneak preview of what to expect at
the Big.Ten Championships.
The Wolverines also received indi-
vidual victories at the Intercollegiate
from Steve Lawrence in the 5000
meters and Jeremy Schneider in the 600
meters. But the storv of the day for
Michigan was injuries.
Sophomore Oded Padan made his
return after being sidelined for the first
five meets of the season placing third in

the triple jump. After the meet, Padan
complained of soreness in his leg but
has looked good in practice this week,
and coaches are pleased with his
progress.
At the other end of the spectrum,
sprinter Ike Okenwa and hurdler Josh
Sellers both sustained serious ham-
string injuries and will be held out of
this weekend's meet Their status for the
Big Ten Championship is very much in
doubt.
"We're taking it day by day,
LaPlante said. "But it's not looking
good, and if the meet was today, neither
of them could run."
As for the distance runners, head
coach Ron Warhurst has vet to make a
decision on how much he will use them
this week. But with Jay Cantin. Mike
Wisnieswski and Steve Lawrence all
safely qualified for the NCAA champi-
onships, don't expect to see any of them
carry their usual load.

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Mees' netters roll into Eastern

By Brian Steere
For the Daily
Some people believe that dreams
really can come true.
Michigan tennis coach Mark Mees
certainly does. After taking over the
position last June from Brian Eisner,
Mees expressed his jubilation.
"I have dreamed of coming back and
being the head coach ever since my
playing days at Michigan," Mees said.
"I am blessed to be able to live that
dream."
With his team heading into this
week's match against Eastern Michigan
at 4-0, Mees is definitely living that
dream.
The former 1983 All-American has
guided the Wolverines to an undefeated
start with a lineup that consists of both
youth and experience. Four seniors and
three sophomores make up the starting
seven that hopes to bring home a Big
Ten title.
"Obviously our main goal is to win a
Big Ten championship," senior Matt
Wright said. "It would be a great way to
end my career at Michigan"
Michigan's quick 4-0 start over non-
conference opponents, including No.
26 Washington and No. 40 Tulsa,
proves that the team is for real.
However, Mees knows that his players

have a long way to go.
"Everyone is excited about the quick
start to the season, Mees said. "But we
have yet to play our best tennis so it's
important for the guys to keep improv-
ing:'
The players have a chance to show
some improvement this Friday in a
home match against Eastern Michigan.
Michigan holds a 14-0 all-time advan-
tage over the Eales and a win this
Friday would give the Wolverines their
first 5-0 start since the 1978-79 season.
volunter in
INFO MEETING
Saturday February 19 Ann Arbor
Call for details
11CD (616)782-0450

Wright and sophomore Henry Beam
are both heading into the dual match
with perfect 4-0 records. Wright is com-
ing off his 80th career singles victory
against Washington and Beam enters the
match undefeated at No. 4 singles.

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