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October 05, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-05

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Wednesday
October 5, 2005
sports. michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

PR TSictigan til

11

After fumbling twice, safety
looks to RB's coach for help

By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Editor

After Saturday's win over Michi-
gan State was long over, senior Wil-
lis Barringer went to running backs
coach Fred Jackson for some advice.
Barringer fumbled the ball twice
during the game, and Jackson gave
him some pointers on how to hold on
to the pigskin.
But Barringer is not a running
back - not even close. Barringer is
the team's starting free safety. What
did he learn from Jackson? He said
that Jackson showed him exactly
how to hold the football. But that
wasn't all he learned.
"I'll probably just fall down,"
Barringer said when asked what he
would do the next time he got an
interception.
It's not often that a safety man-
ages to fumble twice in one game.
Most safeties are just lucky to even
touch the ball twice in one game.
Barringer took care of that with two
first-half interceptions.
"Well, Willis set a Michigan
record in that game. He caught two
passes and fumbled them both,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
At the very end of the first quar-
ter, the Spartans were trailing 14-7
when they tried to get a little fancy.
On first down deep in Michigan's

territory, the Spartans' Jerramy
Scott took the toss from quarterback
Drew Stanton and threw a pass deep
down the sideline intended for tight
end Dwayne Holmes.
Barringer stepped in front of
the pass and made the interception
before Holmes stripped him a sec-
ond later. The referee originally
called it an incomplete pass because
he said that Barringer never had con-
trol - but replay revealed that Bar-
ringer made the catch and Michigan
took over possession.
"I thought I caught it and I thought
I possessed it, but I guess they want-
ed to review it," Barringer said. "I
was just ready to go onto the next
play and just play defense."
Barringer got his second intercep-
tion on the last play of the first half.
Michigan was up by three and the
Spartans had the ball on the 35-yard
line. Stanton tried to get a Hail Mary
down the left sideline, and Barringer
was there once again.
"What goes through my mind is,
'Thank you,' " Barringer said.
Shortly afterward, the safety fum-
bled his second interception of the
game, but, just like the first time,
Michigan recovered it.
At the beginning of the year, it
didn't look like Barringer would
start. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3
seconds in high school, but, coming

into this season, he had made just a
handful of starts.
Even though the secondary lost
two starters last season, the free
safety position was actually settled.
Junior Ryan Mundy, a two-year
starter who even got significant
action as a freshman, had the posi-
tion all locked up. But a nerve injury
has kept him from seeing significant
playing time this year, and Carr said
that Mundy will be out the entire
season.
"I thought he would come back
some time this season at least, but
I just try to go in there and do as
much as I can with the team," Bar-
ringer said.
Carr said that Barringer proved
himself throughout spring and fall
practices, and, when it was deter-
mined that Mundy wouldn't play,
Barringer was named the starter.
"He is one of these guys that per-
severed," Carr said. "I don't think
there is a more likable guy on our
team. What he has done at a posi-
tion where there was a lot of ques-
tion about our secondary, and I think
what he has done has just been out-
standing. I personally couldn't be
happier for the guy because it hasn't
been easy for him."
And now that he has the ball, Bar-
ringer has no plans of fumbling it
away.

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Willis Barringer may not be a running back, but that didn't stop Fred Jackson from giving the free safety some pointers.

Ready or not, the NHL is back
with changes that aren't so bad

Shaky showing

leads

to disappointing finish

In my five-year-old mind, ice hockey
stood head and shoulders above
every other sport.
I lived and breathed hockey, reading my
beloved Islanders' box scores after every
game and anxiously putting stickers in my
skating-lesson book after each success-
ful session. I couldn't wait until the day I
would finally grab a stick, put on a helmet
and take to the ice, beginning my dream
of becoming an
NHL superstar.
But that day
never came. After
a few months, my
parents inexpli-
cably pulled me
out of ice skating i
lessons, and to
this day, I can't do
much more than
skate forward and MATT
turn left. SINGER
Sadly, my skat- Spitting Fire
ing lesson experi-
ence wouldn't be the last time hockey left me
disappointed.
I was seven years old in 1993, when my
dad managed to score a pair of tickets for
the Islanders' second-round playoff series
against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He brought
me to Nassau Coliseum, where I sat, wide-
eyed, as the Islanders skated to a victory in
front of an ecstatic crowd. On the way back
from the game, my dad asked me if I had a
good time.
"I liked it," I replied. "But it was a little
too loud for me."
Of course, Nassau Coliseum never got that
loud again because the Islanders haven't won
a single playoff series since they dispatched

the Penguins that year.
Fast forward to 2004. The Islanders
were finally decent again, looking poised to
finally win a playoff series. Of course, it was
too good to be true. They - along with the
rest of the NHL - sat out the season due to
a labor dispute.
So there you go - hockey and I'have had
a pretty rocky past. It's my first love, the one
that builds my hopes up, only to leave me
disappointed every time.
But still, I always seem to give hockey
another chance. Despite my heartbreaks
over the past 15 years, I can't help but be
just a little excited for the NHL's return
tonight (which ironically, coincides with
my birthday). Hoping to reclaim disil-
lusioned fans like me, the NHL has insti-
tuted the most dramatic set of rule changes
any major sport has attempted in decades.
The rule prohibiting the two-line pass?
Gone. Ridiculously oversized goalie pads?
Gone. Icing the puck to allow for a line
change? No longer allowed. And finally,
the most exciting new rule - ties not
decided in five minutes of overtime will
proceed to a shootout.
Traditionalists are screaming bloody
murder, claiming that the NHL is selling
out its truly loyal fans to fill up arenas. And
although some of these new rules do repre-
sent a sharp break from the NHL's past, the
league is in a tough position. In the wake of
the lockout, the NHL lost its TV deal with
ESPN, and instead inked a contract with the
Outdoor Life Network. Does anyone even
get the Outdoor Life Network? And does
hockey have anything to do with outdoor
life?
So, given the circumstances, it's hard to
blame Commissioner Gary Bettman and the

NHL's leaders for trying to broaden their
league's appeal.
Plus, nostalgia notwithstanding, the new
rules are pretty damn sweet. I know quite a
few die-hard hockey fans, ones who appreci-
ate the finer points of a neutral-zone trap or
a well-played puck behind the net. Not one
of them went to games hoping for a zero-
zero tie. It's not like the NHL doubled the
size of the net - the games won't turn into
circuses. But I'll trade in 2-1 games for 4-3
games any day.
And call me a product of the ADD-
riddled, MTV-addicted generation, but I
can't wait to see my first shootout in person.
There's no more exciting play in sports than
the penalty shot, but they come about once
in a blue moon. Now every game will have
the potential for an edge-of-your-seat, game-
deciding shootout. That familiar, empty
feeling of leaving an arena after a tie game
will become a thing of the past. And finally,
the loser of the shootout will still earn one
point, fair consolation for fighting hard for
65 minutes.
Of course, knowing my history, hockey
will probably find some way to disap-
point me. Maybe the revamped Islanders
will stink again. Maybe I won't be able
to find Outdoor Life Network among the
hundreds of channels on my satellite dish.
Maybe I'll never attend a game that ends
in a shootout.
But for today at least, I'll push my
doubts aside, open my arms and happily
welcome back the NHL, new rules and all.
- Matt has long since forgiven his
parents for canceling skating lessons - he
wouldn't have made the NHL anyway. He
can be reached at mattsing@umich.edu.

By Nate Sandals
For the Daily

The Michigan men's golf team headed into the
Memphis Intercollegiate Tournament on Monday
looking to build upon their home victory at the
Wolverine Intercollegiate last week with a road vic-
tory against many of the same universities.
Michigan finished ninth overall in the 15-
team field with a three-round total of 888, 12
strokes out of first place. Tournament host
Memphis University, led by individual winner
Keven Fortin-Simard, was the team champion
with a three-round total of 876, five strokes
ahead of second-place Southern Mississippi.
The Wolverines left the Colonial Country Club
in Cordova, Tenn., yesterday knowing there was
still a good deal of work to do to prove they can
consistently compete against top competition.
The team's performance was capricious
during the first two rounds on Monday, and
they entered the clubhouse tied for seventh.
That inconsistency continued into Tuesday's
final round.
"There was some good and some bad in
this tournament," Michigan coach Andrew
Sapp said. "No one played consistently well
for three rounds."
Tim Schaetzel was Michigan's lone bright
spot from the tournament. The sophomore
from Atlanta, Ga., followed up his fourth-
place finish at the Wolverine Intercollegiate
by tying for fifth in Memphis. He recorded an
even-par 216 over the three rounds.
But even Schaetzel suffered from some
erratic play. After shooting a 4-under 68 in
the first round, the sophomore followed with
a 5-over par 77 in the afternoon round. His
combined 145 earned him a share of seventh
place overall after the first day.

Schaetzel shook off the bad second round and
shot a 1-under 71 in the final round yesterday.
"The confidence that I carried over from
last week allowed me to have a selective mem-
ory and put the second round out of my mind
when I teed off for the final round," Schaetzel
said. "I tried to get into a good rhythm out
there. I wanted to shoot a lot of pars and take
advantage of birdie opportunities."
If Schaetzel was the bright spot from the tour-
nament, senior Christian Vozza was the opposite.
Vozza was the individual winner of the
Wolverine Intercollegiate and was expected
to have another strong showing in Memphis.
Instead, Vozza finished tied for 52nd with a
total of 230, 14 over par, for three rounds.
"It's hard for the team to do well when the best
golfer has an uncharacteristically poor showing,"
Sapp said. "We count on Christian to lead the
team, but he never found his game here."
In fact, Vozza finished with the worst
score of Michigan's five golfers. Senior
Brian Duff and sophomore Brian Ottenweller
tied for 33rd with totals of 224. Junior Matt
McLaughlin finished 51st, one stroke ahead
of Vozza.
Despite the disappointing finish, Coach
Sapp hopes that the team's struggles down
South will serve as a learning experience for
the final two tournaments of the fall.
"We have a short week before we head out
to California," Sapp said. "We've got to have
a short-term memory regarding this tourna-
ment and make sure we don't let the inconsis-
tency follow us out west."
The team hopes to focus on the positives
from Memphis as it spends the next five days
preparing for the Alister MacKenzie Invita-
tional at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.,
beginning on Monday.

Al

;

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