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October 01, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-01

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I

8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Stanko leads by listening

Ilitch not the only one

By Phil Kofahl
For the Daily
Coaches all over the country will tell you
leadership in an athlete isn't always something
you can teach.
Leaders aren't always the most vocal or out-
spoken, but they have the respect of their
teammates.
A select few will have the honor of being
named team captain once.
Nick Stanko, on the other hand, is entering
his third year as team captain of the Michigan
men's cross country team.
Stanko, a fifth-year senior out of Roosevelt
High School in Wyandotte, couldn't be more
respected.
He is able to do more for his team by listen-
ing rather than talking.
Stanko gives coach Ron Warhurst feedback
from his teammates on how they are handling
practice, school and the rigors of being a stu-
dent-athlete.
"He guides the team, he tells them where
,we're gonna meet, what to wear ... it's like
having an assistant coach, it's great,"
Warhurst said. "He takes care of business; he's
totally respected by everybody."
Stanko feels lucky to be part of a team that's
close knit and whose members are open with
each other - something that hasn't always
been there.
"When I joined the team my freshman year,
there were a lot of individuals on the team with

a different mindset," Stanko said. "We were
successful, but it was a group of individuals.
"The past couple years, though, we've come
together and really raced as a team."
During his freshman year, he went with the
team to the NCAA championship meet as an
alternate. It was there that he got a real taste
of big-time competition and what it takes to
get there.
Stanko has grown up right along with the
team and is on track to graduate this spring
with a degree in art and design.
Along with the responsibilities of being a
student-athlete, Stanko walked down the aisle
this summer and became a student/athlete/hus-
band. He will tell you, however, that this addi-
tion to his already busy life was more than
welcome.
"It's been great," Stanko said. "She's very
supportive of me, and she's involved with the
team."
He has plans of putting his degree to good
use after graduation, but he'd also like the
chance to coach.
No matter what he does, Warhurst is certain
that his captain will excel.
"He was always a very mature kid, and he
had an insight about himself that is very aware
of what he's doing and where he's going,"
Warhurst said. "He's much more mature than a
21-year-old."
Until then, Stanko is staying focused on the
task at hand: leading the Wolverines in a sea-
son in which anything is possible.

at fault in1 T
BURKE
Continued from Page 7
Tigers one attempt at a big name came
and went like so many losing seasons.
And even Comerica has become an
excuse. Ilitch has constantly cited the
debt from building Comerica as a rea-
son why more big-name baseball free
agents aren't courted to Detroit.
As far as I can tell, Ilitch isn't the
only one to blame - though seeing the
Wings with one of the NHUs highest
payrolls and the Tigers with one of
MLB's lowest is quite a conundrum.
Where the Red Wings and Tigers
have spent money has gone a long way
toward explaining this "Win Some,
Lose a Whole Lot" story, and that falls
on others in the front office.
The Wings always sign big-name tal-
ent. The Tigers, meanwhile, had out-
fielder Bobby Higginson making $12
million this year (Higgy batted under
.240 this year), third baseman Dean
Palmer making $8.5 million (he's
played 30 games in two years) and
Steve Sparks and Craig Paquette com-
bining for more than $7 million (both
were released).
During the winter, Detroit fans are
joyous while watching the Red Wings

igers' mess
challenge for the crown. But when the
hockey season ends, it's back to Tiger-
Town, which is like the anti-Disney late-
ly - it's the Crappiest Place on Earth.
It's hard to decide what to do. Many
Detroit fans want to run Ilitch out of
town, except for the fact that he's
brought three titles to Detroit with the
Red Wings.
How angry can you get at that?
But the Motor City is starting to run
out of patience for its minor league-at-
best baseball team.
Maybe Ilitch is finally getting the
message. Last week, he told The
Detroit News, "I'm going to do what's
necessary to field a good team."
Sounds great, but it leads one to
wonder where he's been for a decade.
The easy answer seems to be that
he's been too caught up in his hockey
team to worry about the Tigers.
This offseason might be his last
chance to prove that he cares about
baseball, too - before the Tigers' long
and distinguished history can no longer
be heard over all the laughter about the
jokes of the league.

4

.4

SETH LOWER/Daily
Fifth-year senior Nick Stanko has been named Michigan's
team captain for the third straight year.

- Chris Burke can be reached at
chrisbur@umich.edu.

4

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