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The Michigan Daily - Football

6 - The Michigan Daily - Football Saturday - September 17, 2005

STAFF PICKS
Predictions against the
spread for 9/17/05
Eastern Michigan (+30.5) at No.:14 Michigan
Arkansas (+31) at No. 1 Southern Cal
Rice (+41) at No. 2 Texas
Ohio (+35) at No. 4 Virginia Tech
No. 5 Tennessee (+4.5) at No. 6 Florida
No. 8 Florida State (-1.5) at No. 17 Boston College
San Diego State (+27.5) at No. 9 Ohio State
Michigan State (+7) at No. 10 Notre Dame
Oregon State (+13,5) at No. 11 Louisville
No. 12 Purdue (-7.5) at Arizona
No. 13 Miami (-7) at No. 20 Clemson
Connecticut (+17) at No. 16 Georgia Tech
Northwestern (+15.5) at No. 18 Arizona State
No. 21 Oklahoma (+7.5) at UCLA
No. 23 Fresno State (+3) at Oregon
No. 25 Virginia (-9) at Syracuse
Best Bet
Record against Spread

The

Natural

He wasn't a quarterback until high school, but Chad
Henne was born to be in this position
By Ian Herbert I Daily Sports Editor

Gabe
Edelson

Ian
Herbert

Eastern Michigan
Southern Cal
Texas
Ohio
Florida
Boston College
Ohio State
Michigan State
Oregon State
Purdue
Miami
Georgia Tech
Arizona State
Oklahoma
Oregon
Syracuse
Ohio
10-5 (0-1)

Eastern Michigan
Southern Cal
Rice
Virginia Tech
Tennessee
Florida State
San Diego State
Michigan State
Louisville
Purdue
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Arizona State
Oklahoma
Oregon
Virginia
Oklahoma
9-6(0-1)

Matt
Venegoni
Eastern Michigan
Southern Cal
Rice
Virginia Tech
Florida
Florida State
Ohio State
Michigan State
Louisville
Purdue
Clemson
Georgia Tech
Arizona State
Oklahoma
Oregon
Virginia
Louisville
7-8(0-1)

Stephanie
Wright
Eastern Michigan
Southern Cal
Rice
Virginia Tech
Florida
Boston College
San Diego State
Michigan State
Louisville
Purdue
Miami
Georgia Tech
Arizona State
UCLA
Oregon
Virginia
Louisville
8-7(1-0)

Bongo Man
Nahru Lampkin
Eastern Michigan
Arkansas
Rice
Ohio
Tennessee
Florida State
Ohio State
Michigan State
Louisville
Purdue
Miami
Connecticut
Northwestern
Oklahoma
Oregon
Virginia
Virginia
9M6(0.1)

It was the ninth game of his freshman year,
and Chad Henne's team was trailing in the
fourth quarter of the big game. He was just
a frosh, but he had already ledohis team to a 7-
1 record. And his imminent comeback would
shock his fellow students - who already idol-
ized their new' quarterback.
Michigan fans remember this scene from
just last year - the victory over Michigan
State. But for Henne's friends and family, Chad
Henne's story goes further back - to before
high school.
At home in Wyomissing, Penn., Henne
is a legend - "a folk hero," according
to his high school coach Jim Cantafio.
When he walks down the street, kids as young
as day-schoolers and as old as junior high stu-
dents come up to him to ask for his autograph.
Others around here idolize Michigan's star
quarterback, but they tend to stay away from
the signature requests.
"The older people around here don't because
they probably already have it," his mother,
Suzanne Henne, jokes about the autographs.
But his rise to legendary status took many
years. He led Wilson High School to a 34-9
record in his four years as the Bulldogs' signal-
caller. He threw for 7,071 yards and 74 touch-
downs and brought two league championships
to his high school. But as recently as a year
before entering his freshman season, Henne
wasn't even thinking about playing quarterback
for the Bulldogs.
He started playing football when he was in
the second grade, and, like most budding star
athletes, Henne kept a ball with him no matter
where he went. He played in the sun and in the
rain, but in his mind, the muddier the better.
"I reiember one game when he was probably
in third or fourth grade, and it was pouring down
raining - and they were playing in knee-deep
of mud," Suzanne said. "He came off the field,
and I took him home

PRO C R ASTINATION

STATION

"V

Before every football game this season, two of the Daily football
writers will take the weekend's matchup to the PlayStation 2 and then
let you know what happened.
* Play of the game - When Gabe Edelson was born and was des-
tined to be a Michigan Daily football writer. Sadly, he never really stood
much of a chance in the game.
* Player of the game - Eastern Michigan QB #11 was 15-for-28 for 294
yards and six touchdowns but also had 12 carries for 65 yards.

E. MICHIGoAN
NC GelAN

60
0

PRESS
CONFER ENCE
QUOTES:
Eastern Michigan coach Matt
Venegoni: "Please people of the
University of Michigan, I've never
owned a video gaming system
before. Honestly, I haven't. My
parents wouldn't let me. I'm not a
huge loser. I actually have a life. I
don't know what happened today. I
spend free time partying and having
fun, not playing video games and
pushing thick glasses up my nose."
"Girls of Michigan, I don't play with
my joystick all the time, I'm actually
quite social and cute (check out the
headshot right next door)."
"I will say that I'm happy I won, just
not by that much. Please trust me, all
I've said is true. I swear on a stack of
bibles"
Michigan coach Gabe Edelson: "No
comment."
Edelson proceeded to cover his face in
war paint, scream incoherent sentence
fragments and tear the locker room to
pieces. Five minutes later, he resigned.

I'm not media, I
just have a really
cool part-time job
'm jealous of you - all of you. term in quotes, because - let's be
I know I'm going to sound as honest - I'm not media. Those in the
selfish as Veruca Salt from "Char- press do not tailgate before games or
lie and the Chocolate Factory," but I openly cheer when Jason Avant makes
often find myself really a great grab - but I do.
wishing that I was sit- In fact, I would be embar-
ting in the student sec- rassed to call myself media.
tion. And yes, I'm well I'm more of a student of the
aware that Michigan game who happens to cover
lost last week, and that the team, something coach
the game was very bor- Carr probably doesn't mind
ing. Nonetheless, while hearing (Lloyd, I can take
I walk to the stadium over for Jim Brandstatter
on a Football Saturday, anytime). It's even possible
I constantly tell the he would trust me more,
other football writers MATT since I'm not like Jim
how sad I am to be VENEGONI Carty or Angelique Chen-
going to the press box. The Balls gelis, whose livelihoods are
I know, Iknow. based on the big story. Not
I'm insane. People would probably me. My livelihood is based on grades
pay their weight in gold for a chance and having fun, not whether my editor
to-cover the Wolverines and sit in loves what I do.
the press box (on the 40-yard line, So my mission now is to soak up
no less). But I've contemplated how as many aspects of the Big House as
much money I could get for my press possible.
pass (not that I would ever do that Bill Let me start by admitting this
Martin. I've read how I can be pros- cheesy but very honest fact: When the
ecuted). I think for the whole season, band takes the field, I still get chills.
I could get over a thousand for it, but It's like my first game every time.
that's not the point. It doesn't matter that it's no longer
My life as a student-section mem- August 2002, that Washington sucks
ber is over. I have to accept that my or that I'm a senior. I get goosebumps
last game was the Northwestern game - it's automatic.
last year - not exactly the way I But that probably happens to a ton
wanted to go out. But now, instead of people. Now that I'm no longer
of dwelling on what I can't change, I between sections 25 and 32, there are
look at what is different about being things that I notice a lot more. For
a member of the "media." I use that See VENEGONI, page 7

earth, Henne still managed to score a touchdown
in that game. But that was as the team's running
back. In fact, Henne was strictly a running back
and a linebacker for the first seven years of his
football career. It wasn't until the eighth grade
that Henne even thought about being a quarter-
back, and it was Cantafio who made him into
one. Cantafio, who said he thinks of Chad as a
son, has been coaching at Wilson High School
for eight years but has been a head football
coach for 26.
t was the winter of Chad's eighth grade
year," Cantafio explained. "I was very
concerned about my quarterback posi-
tion because the only quarterback I had - who
was my backup the previous year - was my star
wide receiver."
Cantafio desperately wanted to keep his wide
receiver, Ian Firestone, at his natural position,
and for good reason. Firestone, who boasted
4.4 40 speed coming out of high school, went
to North Carolina on a full scholarship before
transferring to Penn State. So Cantafio went
out looking for someone to throw Firestone
the ball.
Wilson High School has a long-standing tra-
dition of good football teams. The Bulldogs
travel up to an hour for games. They could stay
closer to home, but the schools in their area are
too small to compete. Even against the tougher
competition, Wilson has compiled 42 consecu-
tive winning seasons. So the thought of not hav-
ing an experienced quarterback heading into the
season scared Cantafio.
"I was sort of stressing a little bit to be quite
honest with you," Cantafio said. "And I started
asking questions: 'Who can throw the ball in the
eighth grade class? Who can throw the ball in
the eighth grade class?' And someone told me
that Chad Henne could."
Cantafio set up a meeting with Chad and his
father, Sheldon. The coach got someone to catch
the balls and watched him throw. It was shock-
ing. The eighth grader looked like a natural. So
on the first Monday in March of his eighth-grade
year, Henne finally became a quarterback.
From that day until after he graduated
from Wilson High School, Henne and Can-
tafio worked out together four days a week.
But even though they practiced all through-
out the winter on the fundamentals, Henne
still did not have the starting quarterback
job wrapped up until the last day of training
camp. Sound familiar?
Until then, Firestone was still running the
first-team offense, and Henne was relegated to
work with the second team. It wasn't until the
last day of camp that Cantafio made a change.
He told Firestone to stay at wide receiver the
whole game while Henne lined up under center.
"Well, at the end of the day, it was obvious
that was the best combination," Cantafio said.
"He threw the ball exceptionally well and looked
so comfortable. And from that day forward, we
made a decision that Chad Henne was going to
be the starting quarterback."
ven though he had been a quarterback for
a mere nine months, Henne had already
received an offer for a full ride from
Maryland by the end of his freshman year. It was
nowhere near the last. Cantafio said that Henne
was by far the most highly recruited player ever
to come out of Wilson, where players such as
Oakland Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins

and he was just
caked with mud.
Of course Chad
was like, 'That
was the best
game ever.' "
Strug-
gling to
find
foot-
ing in
the wet

'

He has traveled a long road to Michigan. But Chad Henne is i
quarterback. His high school coach called him the most recri
once played. The recruiting process for Collins appan
paled in comparison to Henne's, Cantafio said. had n
"Everybody offered him," Cantafio said. "I Fir
don't know what the number is, but every school time,
offered him. And a lot of schools didn't offer him follov
because they didn't think they had a chance." star q
His mother estimated that Henne received sylvan
35 scholarship offers by the time he finished go to
his second year at Wilson. Cantafio speculates ted th
that Chad was swayed toward Michigan by the to Sta
school's tradition of turning out pro signal call- it by s
ers and was finally convinced by quarterbacks "W
coach Scot Loeffler - who Suzanne describes "I wa
as a workaholic just like Chad. every
But the actual reason remains a mystery. Eve
He never told anyone - not even his parents home
- what he was thinking. He mentioned to his make
parents when he had narrowed it down to five that a
schools, but he didn't tell them whether he was ents h;
leaning toward Michigan, Penn State, Miami, Maize
Tennessee or Georgia until he verbally commit- Dame
ted to coach Lloyd Carr the summer before his ing th
senior year. State
"We had a hunch," Suzanne said. "When He
we went up to Michigan, we bought like comel
$250 worth of stuff. So we knew kind of. ninth
We thought, 'Why is he paying that much for seen (

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