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October 08, 2002 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-08

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Octoer , 2002
michigandaily.com
sportsdesk@umich.edu

POreRTSigtnap

8

Broken wrist sidelines Shouneyia
Center will miss first
four to eight weeks
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer

DAVID
HORN

Ding dong! The wicked
witch is finally dead!

When John Shouneyia stepped off the ice hold-
ing his right wrist in the second period of Michi-
gan's exhibition game against Toronto, many
wondered if the senior alternate captain would
return the next period.
Yesterday, the team announced that he might not be
back until December.
Michigan coach Red Berenson confirmed that the
senior's wrist was fractured on Saturday and that he
will have surgery tomorrow morning to repair the
broken wrist.
According to Berenson, the surgery will involve a
pin being placed into the junior center's wrist. Michi-
gan's top returning scorer is expected to be out four to
eight weeks. The injury occurred on a clean play,
when Shouneyia jammed his wrist while getting hit
on a shot.
"It's not an uncommon injury, but it's still serious,"
Berenson said.
,Shouneyia was seen yesterday in the stands with
his sweatshirt sleeve covering the wrist and hand
entirely. He didn't mention surgery when asked about
the injury, but he did say he would be meeting with
the doctors tomorrow.
In his absence, Michigan will again need to find
new people to play larger roles. The Wolverines just
were starting to figure out who would fill the holes
left by the early-departures of Mike Cammalleri and
Mike Komisarek when Shouneyia went down.
"The good thing is we have some depth and we
have some players who can play different positions,"
Berenson said. "Because of the way (Andrew) Ebbett
and (David) Moss are playing at center - (Milan)
Gajic is playing pretty well - we can move Dwight
Helminen back at center. Even though it gives us
three sophomores and a freshman at center, I still like
our centers. We're not going to be the same without
Johnny, but we can still put a pretty good lineup on
the ice."
This may turn out to be a blessing for some indi-
viduals, as it will mean more ice time and new line
placement for several Wolverines. This is especially
true for Gajic, who could establish himself as the

FILE PHOTO
For the second year in a row, Michigan will have to play a significant number of games without its top center.
Last year, Mike Cammalleri missed much of the second half of the regular season with mono.

Three types of baseball fans -
Yankees fans, Diamondbacks
fans and brainless fans - are
bemoaning this week: We survived a
work stoppage and the ensuing
Armageddon that would have ensued
- for this?
For a League Championship Series
that features two teams representing
cities that, if their populations were
combined,.could fill Michigan Stadium
just six times?
Awesome. Take that, Bud Selig.
No bombs from Bernie! No Rocket
or Rivera! No web gems from Jeter, for.
Christ's sake! No. I won't watch it. I
won't. I can't..
Thank God - it's about time.
There will be no rematch of the clas-
sic 2001 World Series, in which all the
Scott Brosius/Paul O'Neill/etc. heroics
and Byung-Hyun Kim misfires could-
n't keep Randy Johnson and Curt
Schilling - the best one-two punch
ever (yeah gramps, we all know about
Koufax and Drysdale. We don't care.)
- from showing the Yankees how they
should have been spending their
money these last two years.
There will be no resurrection; no
Bronx phoenix will rise from the ashes
to reclaim its glorious perch at the top.
of the world. That bird has flown, Mr.
Steinbrenner. It's now called the South
Bend phoenix, and hopefully it won't
return to the Bronx for many years.
The Roman Empire has officially
fallen, and in its place are small tribes
of little wealth but high aspirations.
The tribe from Minneapolis is play-
ing in the spirit of perseverance and
survival - decontraction satisfaction.
If only the Expos had held on (from
like May, when they were making a
push for the N.L. East title), a Montre-
al-Minneapolis indoor World Series
might just make Selig's head implode.
The tribe from Anaheim is playing
for all the journeymen and overachiev-
ers who have ever played in the big
leagues. Adam Kennedy - a career
.267 hitter - batted .312 for the
Angels this season. Jarrod Washburn
- who has never won more than 11
games and whose career ERA was
4.31 before this season - went 18-6,
striking out 139 with a 3.15 ERA The
seasons of those two is typical of what

the Angels are doing - they've been
smoking all year long. If they can find
the mirrors this week ... ? Stranger
things have happened. Manager Mike
Scioscia worked the solid containment
encapsulator at the Springfield Nuclear
Power Plant with Lenny and Carl, after
all.
The tribe from St. Louis is playing
for love and remembrance. The Cards
have lost radio announcer Joe Buck
and starting pitcher Darryl Kyle, both
of whom passed on earlier this sum-
mer. Theirs is the kind of storybook
season that sportswriters drool over,
and everyone with a heart should be
rooting for them.
And the tribe from San Francisco is
led by the greatest player of our gener-
ation, who can solidify his legacy
among the greats if he can do some-
thing this October that he's never done
before: win.
The stories are multitude, and are
dramatic. The musty, pinstriped repeti-
tiveness of Octobers past has been
dusted away by the October that almost
wasn't. As a Mets fan, my season
ended sometime in July, around the
time our bullpen was rounding up
money in the clubhouse to buy another
ounce. But when'the mighty fell last
week my attention is turned back to the
Great American Pastime.
"America has rolled by like an army
of steamrollers. It has been erased like
a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again.
But baseball has marked the time ..."
The Yanks have finally been erased.
The baseball Gods are smiling on
baseball fans, and are treating Bud
Selig (and his cadre of ownership) like
they stole fire, defecated on Olympus,
diddled Athena and tried to contract
the Twinkies. Oh wait.
Will anyone watch baseball this
week? Probably not in New yrk.
Should everyone watch baseball this
week? Abso-freegin-lutely. October
baseball and a smattering of teams to
rally behind - thanks for the years
of reruns, Yanks, but I like my
(post)seasons like this one is turning
out to be: Original.
David Horn can be reached at
hornd@umich.edu.

6

team's most exciting player to watch in Shouneyia's
absence.
Gajic has already been tested and has proven that
he can handle being on a top line. The sophomore had
three goals in the two exhibition games this past
weekend while being teamed up with senior captain
Jed Ortmeyer.
Gajic "is one of our top centermen," Berenson said.
"At least right now we've put him in that situation to
see whether he could handle playing with Ortmeyer.

That puts him in a big role on a big line."
Although his leadership as a captain will be missed
over the first portion of the season, Shouneyia is con-
fident that the Wolverines will be able to stay just as
strong without him.
"The character on this team is really phenomenal,"
Shouneyia said. "The guys, no question about it, are
going to come together whether I miss one game, or
two or three. They'll pick up the slack. There's plenty
of guys who can fill a role and they'll do just fine."

Secondary smells Nittany Lions blood

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Editor

Michigan senior safety Charles Drake
is often jokingly labeled a "dirty player"
in practice by his teammates.
"I wouldn't call it dirty, but I do get
my share of licks and hits in when
they're not quite expecting it," Drake
said. "Although I may catch some unas-
suming freshman off-guard, the older
players know that us in the secondary
are just trying to simulate game-like sit-
uations."
But the amount of swagger, trash talk
and late bumps at practice by members
of he secondary - which Drake has
nicknamed "The Wolf Pack" - doesn't
rub all Wolverines the right way.
"We get sick and tired of it as
receivers," Michigan tight end Bennie
Joppru said with a grin.
Michigan's safeties seemed to be in
attack mode in their last game, when
Drake, Cato June and Julius Curry each
recorded sacks. In addition, two inter-
ceptions by cornerback Marlin Jackson
and another by Drake translated into
three Michigan touchdowns.
But against an explosive Penn State
offense this Saturday, the "Wolf Pack"
knows it has to be careful not bite on
play-action fakes.
By going for the kill instead of
sticking in their right positions, the sec-

ondary could be victimized by big
plays on play-action - something that
has been an Achilles heel for the
defense all season long.
"That's something that (Penn State)
is probably going to focus on after
watching film," said senior safety
Julius Curry.
Penn State might be the most balanced
team Michigan has faced so far. The Nit-
tany Lions average nearly five yards per
carry on the ground, but they also stretch
the field with 260 yards in the air per
game. Add intangibles like quarterback
Zack Mills' scrambling ability and tail-
back Larry Johnson's playmaking skills
out of the backfield, and it seems even
more important for Michigan safeties
and linebackers to stay at home in their
zones and not overpursue.
Mills "doesn't really stay in the pock-
et much, but when he does he throws the
ball very effectively," Curry said. "He
can throw off his back foot 40-50 yards
pretty precisely and he can run the
option real well. We're going to have a
big challenge ahead of us."
Despite Mills slightly spraining his
shoulder and Johnson hurting his
knee in the Nittany Lions' 34-31 win
at Wisconsin last Saturday, the
Wolverines are expecting nothing but
the best from a dramatically improved
Penn State offense.
Michigan shut out the Nittany Lions

20-0 last year in State College, and the
Wolverines have won the past five meet-
ings between the two schools.
But while legendary coach Joe Pater-
no hasn't reinvented the wheel offen-
sively, he helped invigorate his team's
efficiency - which is the main reason
Penn State is 4-1 after five games
instead of 1-4 like it was a year ago.
The Nittany Lions have nearly dou-

bled their total offensive yardage per
game (283.6 to 435.8) and dramatical-
ly increased their average point total
(13.8 to 37) compared to this point last
year. They've done this by racking up
nearly 100 more yards rushing and two
more yards per carry. And while
they're throwing fewer passes, they're
more efficient - passing for 50 more
yards per game.

0

Favortes hope to
boost- Big Ten status

By Mike Wolking a
For the Daily

Is the Big Ten back? With Iowa's
jump to No. 17, the conference now
boasts five teams in the Top 25. While
Michigan and Penn State are the only
two that face each
other this weekend, AROUND
there are a number
of exciting games to The Big Ten
be played this week.
MICHIGAN STATE AT No. 17 IOwA, SAT-
URDAY, NOON, ESPN: There are two sure
things people have been able to count
on in East Lansing recently: Wide
receiver Charles Rogers will have a
touchdown reception, and head coach
Bobby Williams will be on the sideline

looking confused regardless of his
team's play. Expect more of the same on
Saturday, when Rogers tries to extend
his NCAA record by catching a touch-
down for the 14th straight game against
an Iowa pass defense ranked last in the
Big Ten.
Believe it or not, the Spartans actual-
ly lead the Big Ten in total defense,
holding opponents to 285 yards per
game, but that won't be enough to stop
a Hawkeyes team that posted gutsy
wins over Penn State in overtime and
Purdue on a last-minute drive. The
Spartans will lose their first road game
of the year in a shoot-out against an
Iowa team that looks more and more
like a contender every week.
Iowa 41, Michigan State 28
See BIG TEN, Page 9

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Senior safety Julius Curry and 'The Wolf Pack' will be on the prowl this weekend.

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