10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 3, 2004
Umphrey finds family in Sin City
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer
It's not often that a group of peo-
ple younger than 21 gets so excited
about going to Las Vegas. Generally,
drinking, gambling and getting mar-
ried are the primary reasons to head
out west to Sin City. But, all that
will change this weekend when male
gymnasts from around the country
head to Nevada to participate in the
annual Winter Cup.
Michigan's focus will be on the
three gymnasts - Geoff Corrigan,
Andre Hernandez and Justin Laury -
who have a chance to make the Senior
National Team. But the meet is special
for Michigan's Eddie Umphrey and
Gerry Signorelli for different reasons.
Umphrey will have the opportunity to
compete in front of his parents for the
first time this season, and Signorelli
will simply be competing for the first
time this season.
"I don't see my family that much
because they live all the way across the
country," Umphrey said. "I get to see
them maybe two weeks for Christmas
and two weeks over the summer and
that's about it. So it will be really nice
to see my parents again. It's always
nice. I love competing in front of my
Michigan coach Kurt Golder
explained that all of the gymnasts tend
to compete well when they have a fam-
ily cheering section. But he added that
it is especially important to Umphrey
because his family lives in Albu-
querque, New Mexico.
"He lives a long way from here, so
his parents don't get to come to a lot
of meets," Golder said. "It probably
means more to him for them to get
to this one meet than it does for the
other guys whose parents come a lot
Signorelli is in an entirely differ-
ent boat. The last time he competed
was in the Maize and Blue
Intrasquad scrimmage on Dec. 13.
He had high hopes at the beginning
of the season, but tore his pectoral
muscle while training at home over
break. The injury was originally sup-
posed to keep him out for 10 days,
but it has sidelined him for more
than a month and significantly
changed his role on the team.
"I've been watching the team
compete all year, and now I finally
get to contribute a little bit," Sig-
norelli said. "It has been a different
role cheering the team on. But now
I'm just hoping to contribute. I'm
really excited because it's a fun
"Usually, I enjoy this meet a lot
because it's a chance to go out and
show yourself off. But this time I am
using it as a stepping stone to get back
Golder, who expected Signorelli to
be out for much longer, has been
impressed over the last couple of
weeks with the sophomore's effort,
which has allowed him to come back
and enter in four events this weekend.
"(Signorelli) has been pleasantly
surprising me with how fast he has
been coming back," Golder said.
"He had to come back very slowly,
but the last week he really poured it
on and I was really pleased with all
of the progress that he made last
week. We'll just have to see. I expect
him to do really well."
Even though they are headed to Las
Vegas, the gymnasts haven't lost focus.
They plan on staying off "the Strip,"
while they are out West.
"We try to stay away from the
Strip because it could get distract-
ing," Signorelli said. "We stay a few
miles off the Strip and don't really
go in there."
"I've been to the Strip a few times
and I have seen it all," Umphrey said.
"But this weekend I have so much
work to do with homework and exams.
I think the only time I'm going to be
able to get out of my room is just to go
to the meet and just to come back and
hit the books."
Finally, Henson agrees
to try football instead
NEW YORK (AP) - Drew Henson
has agreed to leave the New York Yan-
kees to pursue a career in the NFL.
Henson's agent, Casey Close, told
the Yankees the third baseman is quit-
ting after three mediocre seasons in
the minor leagues, a baseball official
said Monday on the condition he not
Henson, a former Michigan quarter-
back, will forfeit the $12 million he is
owed from the contract he agreed to
with the Yankees in 2001, the official
The NFL's Houston Texans, who
hold the quarterback's rights,
announced Monday that Henson
would work out with the team on Feb.
12 in a showcase for the other 31 NFL
The Texans drafted Henson with a
sixth-round pick last April and already
have a young, developing quarterback
in David Carr.
"It's going to be open to every team
in the NFL,' "Texans general manager
Charley Casserly said. "Then, after
that, we will find out what teams are
interested and negotiate a trade."
Casserly said a trade could be made
no earlier than March 4 and no later
than April 24, when the NFL draft
This weekend, junior Eddie Umphrey will have the chance to compete with his
family In the audience when the Wolverines travel to Las Vegas for the Winter Cup.