OctAober 3, 2006
Hood excels in special role for Wolverines
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Editor
Ask Darnell Hood how he
thinks opposing teams feel when
they have to face him, and he'll
give you an honest answer.
"I couldn't imagine going
against myself," Hood said.
Though his response may not
be drenched with modesty, it cer-
tainly isn't without reason lack
The fifth-year senior has been
a mainstay on special teams
since his freshman season. Even
though his tenure at Michigan
has been different than he imag-
ined it would be, he has com-
pletely embraced his role with
"I have accepted my role,"
Hood said. "If it's meant for me
to go on to the next level, then
I will. I don't play for individu-
al-type accolades. I play to win
each game. If I am called out
there for defense, trust me, I am
ready for it."
Hood, who came to the team
as a highly-touted cornerback,
is involved with every unit of
special teams. He plays a cru-
cial role blocking for Steve
Breaston on returns, he's one
of the first to get to oppos-
ing returners on kickoffs and,
maybe most importantly, he's
Michigan's most-feared gunner
Fifteen of Hood's 29 career
tackles have come on special
teams. Senior Carl Tabb is the
only Wolverine with more career
special teams tackles.
What may be most impressive
for Hood is that opposing teams
constantly choose to guard him
with two players during punts.
"I expect it," Hood said of pre-
paring for double-teams. "I still
don't see a double-team as being
a challenge for me. That is how
I prepare for the game. I cannot
be defeated whether it's one guy
or two guys. My goal is to get to
the ball, whether it's to create a
turnover or make sure they get
no yards after the catch. That is
the way I attack the game."
In Michigan's home game
against Wisconsin two weeks
ago, the Detroit native, who has
six tackles this season, showed
just how dangerous he can be.
Following a booming punt off
the foot of freshman Zoltan
Mesko, Hood raced to the ball.
When the Badger returner bob-
bled the ball, Hood pounced
on him, completely freeing up
the ball for teammate Turner
Booth to fall on and complete
"He's coming out there ready
to hit somebody and he's fun to
be around," senior and fellow
special-teamer Brian Thompson
said. "He's just exciting, has a lot
of character and gets everyone
excited around him."
Hood may not be one of the
Fifth-year senior Darnell Hood has become a mainstay on special teams for the Wolverines and is currently second in career special-teams tackles.
most recognizable Wolverines
to the general public, even
though he's always one of the
first to emerge from the tunnel
and grab the banner before each
game. But his teammates and
coaches constantly give him
credit for doing all the little
things for the team.
"Well, he's one of those guys
that puts everything he has into
every play," Michigan coach
Lloyd Carr said. "You couldn't
put a value on what he's done for
Hood's role extends beyondthe
playing surface. Besides being
named a special teams captain
this year, he's also one of Carr's
"favorite people on the team."
This is due not just to making
tackles on the field, but to what
he's meant to the program off the
field as well.
"He's a great role model for
everybody on our team," Carr
said of Hood, who had the honor
of carrying the Little Brown Jug
into the locker room following
Saturday's win against Minne-
sota. "He takes his academics
very seriously. He's going to
graduate here shortly. He has a
wonderful attitude. He's quite
"He can do (impressions of)
all the coaches - except me -
so he's a fun guy to have around.
I think a lot of him as a person,
more than anything else."
Fuzetti finding other
ways to assist varsity
By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
Mauro Fuzetti ranks second
on the Michigan men's soccer
team in one of the offensive cat-
But it's not exactly the cat-
egory the freshman had in mind
coming into his first year as a
Fuzetti is second on the team
in assists, tallying three in the
first half of the season - just one
behind team leader sophomore
Steve Bonnell. But the Houston
native came to Michigan expect-
ing to be a scorer, not an assist
"(Being a goal scorer) was my
role before coming to Michi-
gan," Fuzetti said. "That is why
it's been so frustrating - com-
ing from being that guy that the
team depends on to score and
then only getting one goal so far.
But hopefully that will change
At Stratford High School in
Houston, Fuzetti was a three-time
team MVP and clearly the go-to
guy for offense.
Even though Fuzetti has
notched just a single goal this
season for Michigan, it could
not have come at a better time.
The rookie scored Michigan's
first goal against No. 14 Ken-
tucky on Sept. 13. Fuzetti's
early goal proved vital, as
Michigan went on to upset
Kentucky in overtime, 2-I.
Fuzetti described the upset
victory as his best experience of
the season so far.
But since then, Fuzetti has yet
to convert, and instead is find-
ing himself to be the key No. 2
man. (He assisted both goals in
Michigan's 2-0 victory against
Northern Illinois on Sept. 1).
Even though Fuzetti would like
to find the back of the net more
often, his selfless attitude puts the
team's interests above his own.
"I love scoring, who
doesn't?" Fuzetti said. "But if
I contribute by getting assists,
then I'll do that too."
One of the other players
Fuzetti often looks to find for
a key pass is fellow freshman
Peri Marosevic. Already tally-
ing an assist on one of Maros-
evic's team-leading five goals,
Fuzetti seems to have found a
partner in crime in the other
rookie forward. Marosevic even
said that Fuzetti motivates him
to make something happen for
the Michigan offense.
Similarly, Fuzetti has found a
counterpart in Marosevic - the
tandem is often seen leading the
Wolverine attack up the field
toward the opponent's net.
"I guess you could say we are
a duo," Fuzetti said. "We like to
work together. We're together
everyday, almost the whole day.
That helps off the field also."
After having taken a total
of 20 shots - seven of them
on goal - so far this season,
Fuzetti has been unable to find
his shooting form. Often, the
freshman gets a clear look at
the goal, but gives too much leg
and lifts the ball just over the
While he is working through
his scoring jitters, Fuzetti has
contributed in other,. perhaps
less likely, ways. Having started
in the majority of the games so
far this year, Fuzetti is not only
an offensive weapon but a key
defenseman as well.
"(Coming into Michigan),
defending was my biggest con-
cern," Fuzetti said. "But I think
I have contributed. I've gotten a
lot better since I have been here.
It's helped the team out a lot,
especially on the left flank."
Michigan coach Steve Burns
echoed Fuzetti's thoughts on his
"We knew Mauro was a tal-
ented, attack-minded player
when we recruited him," Burns
said. "But we didn't know if he
had the personality to command
a position on the team. We were
also concerned about his defen-
sive ability. But he has respond-
ed to those challenges."
After two consecutive score-
less contests, Fuzetti and the Wol-
verines return to the U-M Soccer
Field looking to strike gold against
the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame
Wednesday at7 p.m.
Freshman Mauro Fuzetti Is contributing steadily during his first year with three assists, just one off the team lead.
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DETROIT (AP) - Hundreds of
fans braved the rain to salute the
Detroit Tigers during a downtown
rally on the eve of the team's first
playoff appearance in nearly two
While the Tigers were in New
York preparing to face the Yan-
kees in Tuesday's first game of the
American League Division Series,
the club hosted a free rally outside
Comerica Park. The team clinched
a playoff berth Sept. 24, but the
season ended with a five-game los-
ing streak that left the Tigers as the
American League wild card entry.
The disappointing finish -
Detroit had the best record in its
division for much of the season
- didn't bother Bill Schultz of
Grosse Pointe, who came to the
rally after buying tickets for pos-
sible ALCS games here.
"It's alot easier to bea fan now,"
he said. "I wanted to come out and
support them. This has been a fun
Longtime former Tigers broad-
caster Ernie Harwell,MayorKwame
Kilpatrick and actor Jeff Daniels
were among those on hand to wish
the team well. The mayor likened
the team's resurgence to the come-
back of the city's downtown, which
hosted last summer's All-Star game
and the Super Bowl in February.
The Tigers' last playoff appear-
ance came after their 1987 AL
East division title, but ended with
a loss to Minnesota in the ALCS.
Since then, Detroit largely has
been a baseball ghost town, with
just three winning seasons and
four 100-loss seasons. The 2003
team was one game better than the
1962 New York Mets' worst record
in baseball's modern era.
Cheryl Creevey homeschools her
l-year-old son, Jameson, in subur-
ban Lake Orion. Monday's lesson
included a field trip to Detroit.
"He loves baseball," she said.
"He's been following them as long
as we can remember."
The Tigers are heavy underdogs
to the Yankees, who are making
their ninth straight playoff appear-
ance. The news didn't faze James-
"I wanted them to play the Yan-
kees:' he said. "They have a good
chance to beat them."
Game three of the best-of-five
series is Friday and will be the
first playoff game at Comerica
Park, which opened in 2000. The
club broke its season-attendance
record at the ballpark this sum-
mer as 2.5 million fans passed
through the turnstiles, the most
since Detroit's last world cham-
pionship season in 1984.
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