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October 26, 2006 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 9A

Unlikely duo
teams up to pen
inspiring book

Jack Johnson moved up to forward in the third period of last Friday's 4-1 loss to Miami. The sophomore scored Michigan's only goal of the game as a forward on the
power play. Senior Tim Cook (not pictured) has also moved from defenseman to forward for the Wolverines this season.
Wealth of defensemen lets
Berenson shift players up

Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan dropped a 4-1
loss to Miami (Ohio) last Friday,
the back of the net was hard to
But one thing the sixth-ranked
Wolverines never have to search
for is a quality defenseman. They
have seven, possibly eight players
ready to step in at any moment
and defend Michigan's zone.
So late in the third period, with
typically prolific Wolverine scor-
ers like T.J. Hensick and Chad
Kolarik struggling to light the red
lamp, Michigan coach Red Beren-
son dipped into his deep defense
corps. He sent Jack Johnson to
the forward position, hoping for
an offensive spark.
The sophomore blue liner is
known for his menacing hits and
slick defensive moves. But John-
son's offensive numbers showhe's
capable of flourishing at forward,
"Everyone knows the ability
Jack has to make big plays and cre-

ate stuff on his own," said senior
captain Matt Hunwick, who often
skates with Johnson on the top
defensive pairing. "Being up front,
it kind of gives him more freedom
to join the rush every time. He gets
the puck in his hands a little bit
more often, and that puts him in a
position to score."
That's exactly what Johnson
did on Friday, notching Mich-
igan's only tally of the game, a
power-play score with less than
two minutes to go in the third.
The hard wrister from the left
faceoff circle zoomed past Red-
Hawk goalie Jeff Zatkoff to spoil
his shutout.
Last year in his freshman sea-
son, Johnson ruined many oppos-
ing netminders' nights by racking
up 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists),
the most ever for a freshmen
defensemen at Michigan.
And with so many defensemen
able to roam the blue line, Beren-
son and his assistant coaches have
talked about putting Johnson up
front since practices started this

"Jack is a special player,"
Berenson said. "He definitely
could be a power forward. I think
he could be an effective forward.
Right now, he's been playing a
lot of defense. He sees himself
as a defenseman ... but he has the
skills to be a forward."
Still, defense is Johnson's bread
and butter. His ability to patrol
the zone and make smart plays
- with and without the puck -
make him highly valuable to the
Michigan blue line.
Johnson doesn't seem to have
any strong emotions when it comes
to playing forward, saying he is
first and foremost a defenseman.
"I thought it was a fun expe-
rience," Johnson said. "I wasn't
really sure exactly what to do at
all times, but I just figured we
needed a goal so I was looking to
create some offense."
Johnson wasn't the only back
liner playing out of position on
Friday. Senior Tim Cook has
checked in as a forward three
games this season.
Up to his elbows in defense-

men, Berenson has had to decide
what to do with everybody. The
longtime Michigan coach, always
an advocate of player develop-
ment, has opted to give freshmen
Chris Summers and Steve Kamp-
fer quality ice time.
This doesn't leave much room
for Cook on the blue line, but
Berenson likes having the veteran
as a forward because of the intan-
gibles he brings.
"Cookiegivesus somethingthat
the average player can't," Beren-
son said. "He's a team player, he's
enthusiastic. He'll do whatever it
takes to help the team. He's grow-
ing with that position, too - he
never played forward before. But
you can see he knows how to play
the game."
In the long hockey season, it's
hard to know how much time
Cook and Johnson will see as
forwards. There's no telling what
injuries or other roster changes
could happen. But if Berenson
needs two defensemen to jump
up to forward, he won't have to
search to find them.

Daily Sports Editor
It was a chance meeting.
AnnArborNewsreporter Stephen
Rom, a fresh graduate of the Uni-
versity, went to the Marie Hartwig
Building to talk to Jamie Morris,
then director of sports marketing.
Rod Payne, a former Michi-
gan center and 1996 team MVP,
had come back to his old stomping
grounds after retiring from the NFL
following a Super Bowl champion-
ship with the Baltimore Ravens.
The two, who appeared to be
polar opposites, started talking
and kept talking in the ensuing
Even though the first meeting
lasted just a few minutes, Payne
and Rom's friendship blossomed
through good times and hardship.
They recently co-authored a book,
"Centered by a Miracle," detailing
the lessons learned through their
life experiences.
Rom originally thought to use
the friendly conversation as an
opportunity to write an article
about a former Super Bowl champ
back in town. But as Payne con-
tinued to spend time with Rom, a
relationship formed.
Little did Rom know how much
that meeting and budding friend-
ship would end up influencing his
life when six months later, devas-
tating news arrived.
At the UCLA Medical Center the
day after Christmas, Rom received
a startling report from doctors. He
had leukemia.
The Los Angeles native, who
had already survived a year-and-
half battle with cancer when he
was 9, went to the hospital with
what he thought were common
flu-like symptoms.
"I had thought I was finally get-
ting somewhere in life," said Rom,
who will be at Barnes & Nobles for
a book signing this Thursday. "I
just was lost. ... What's the point
of even trying (if) whenever you
get somewhere, you get the carpet
pulled out from under you."
From his 10th-floor room, Rom
knew what had been scheduled as
a 10-day vacation would now be
prolonged. So he decided to call
Payne, who was supposed to pick
him up from the airport on his
return trip to Ann Arbor.
He never expected what would
happen next.
Two days later, Payne walked
into Rom's hospital room, dropped
his Ravens duffle bag on the
ground and set up camp. He had
come to help his teammate in life.
"He came over to my bed and he
leaned over - it was the weakest
I've ever been - and he gave me
this bear hug that just squeezed
life back into me," Rom said. "And
those clouds that were filled in
my head just disappeared. There
was suddenly a fight. I was a com-
petitor now, and I had a champion
beside me."
And the friendship, which Rom
never expected to amountto much,
blossomed through the 10-month
ordeal. A journalist bent solely on
personal success learned the valu-
able lesson of teamwork from the
ultimate teammate.
After a Michigan career in
which he played the second half of

and Rod
Who: Steve Rom
When: Thursday at 7:30
Where: Barnes & Noble
Address: 3235 Washt-
enaw Ave., Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48104
Who: Rom and Rod
When: Sunday at 1 p.m.
Where: Borders Books
& Music
Address: 34300 Wood-
ward Ave., Birmingham,
Ml 48009
a Michigan State game with a bro-
ken hand, Payne spent four injury-
plagued years in the NFL. In his
short time as a professional foot-
ball player, the All-American went
under the knife a dozen times. The
worst was a double-knee surgery
performed so he could rehab in
time for the 2000 season.
The Super Bowl champion used
his knowledge of pain to continu-
ally encourage Rom when the
chemotherapy or numerous blood
transfusions seemed too much for
the journalist to bear.
"When your best friend's down
like that, you just respond and give
your friend all the love and sup-
port that they need," Payne said.
"You don't ever really think about
what you'll do. You just do what's
on your heart."
Then, the good news came -
something Rom never doubted from
the moment Payne's 6-foot-4 frame
graced his bleached white hospital
room's doorway. The doctors had
found a blood donor in the form
a woman living in Germany. And
after10 months ofwhathe describes
as living hell, Rom left the hospital
100-percent free of leukemia.
But where most heartfelt sto-
ries end, Rom and Payne's had just
Rom, armed with a new lease on
life, looked at his battle with leuke-
mia as a blessing in disguise. All his
life, he never felt as alone as he did
the moment the doctor informed
him of the news of his illness. But
he came to discover - with Payne's
help - that he had been sitting on
the sidelines of life. Rom no longer
wanted to just report other's mis-
fortunes. He, along with Payne,
wanted to inspire.
The former Michigan Daily
writer and the former Michigan
football player had already dis-
cussed writing a book about the
relationship between athletes and
journalists. They decided to take a
new angle on the tale.
"(We hope people) understand
how to be the best friend that you
can be to someone," Payne said.
"Especially when circumstances
like gender or race, when all those
things seem to matter most, the
real meat of any relationship is
just the care of one person for

Sticking together, seniors reminisce

Daily Sports Writer
Four years ago, all four of the
seniors on this year's Michigan
field hockey team attended one of
the biggest field hockey recruiting
events in the country.
"All our families got together
with the coaches out in Califor-
nia, and had a 'beginning' dinner,"
senior Jill Civic said. "Ironically,
our families are trying to have
another one of those to try and
bring it to a close. We came in as a
special group, and we plan on leav-
ing just as tight."
No one can help smiling, though,
when they think of how different
the seniors are from each other.
Tri-captain Mary Fox is the
fiercely competitive forward. Fel-
low tri-captain Kara Lentz is the
consummate defender, hitting the
long ball with accuracy. Versatile
Jill Civic, who plays mostly defense
but is effective at any position, is a
relaxed balance to the fire of Fox
and Lentz. And in goal is Beth

Riley, the team's rock.
"Personality-wise, Kara and
Foxy are larger than life," Michi-
gan coach Nancy Cox said. "Beth
Riley and Jill Civic are true (laid-
back) people. They come to work,
they get their work done and they
do it very silently, but with incred-
ible emotion and incredible convic-
These past four years have never
had a dull moment thanks to this
class, according to Cox. Riley can
attest to that. One of her favor-
ite field hockey stories occurred
because she was trying to get onto
the field faster.
"My freshman year, I would try
really, really hard to put on my
stuff really quickly, because (for-
mer head coach) Marcia (Pankratz)
kind of scared me," Riley said. "I
wanted to be out on the field for
practice as quick as I could. Molly
Maloney, the other goalie, would
always beat me out to the field, soI
would get in trouble because I was
always the last one out there. Mar-
cia would be like, 'Why aren't you

out here on time? Molly can do it!
You can do it!'
"So the one time I get out there
maybe half a second earlier than
Molly, I'm racing out the door try-
ing to get there fast - and there's
this nice little net around the field.
I was running, I had all my stuff in
the net onto the field. Face-planted
on the field. The whole team's run-
ning their lap for warmup, and I
This Sunday will mark the
foursome's final regular-season
appearance at Ocker Field. Luck-
ily for them, it won't be their last
time competing at Michigan - the
Big Ten Tournament will be held in
Ann Arbor the following weekend.
Nonetheless, it will be a poi-
gnant day for everyone. All four
seniors will be honored on the field
with their parents before the game.
After the ceremony, all the Wol-
verines will put emotions aside in
order to focus on their final regu-
lar-season Big Ten contest, against

Over the years, Michigan has
beaten numerous opposing teams
that let the tremendous sentiment
of Senior Day overwhelm them.
These Wolverine seniors are deter-
mined notto let their big dayendon
a bad note.
"Last year we experienced, for
the first time since we got here,
seeing our seniors and our team
losing on Senior Day," Civic said.
"We lost to Louisville last year, and
that was probably one of the worst
See SENIORS, Page 11A

Friday, October 27,4:00 - 6:00 pm

Iy Northwestern?
ssionate About Your Future
Natural Health Care!

This fall, the Ford School moved into its newly-con-
structed home on the corner of State and Hill Streets.
The 80,000 square foot Joan and Sanford Weill Hall
was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects in the
tradition of the Michigan Union and Michigan League.
Features include a 200-seat auditorium, a 2-story read-
ing room, stone terrace and courtyard, sophisticated
educational technology, and custom woodwork. With
its new space, the Ford School is adding an under-
graduate major, growing its faculty, and expanding the
scope of its educational programming.
Brief program at 5pm on the architecture and interior design of Weill Hall with remarks from
Rebecca Blank, Dean of the Ford School, and Sue Gott, University Planner.
Available for questions will be three key staff members from the U-M's Architecture, Engineer-
ing, and Construction Division: Doug Koepsell, Assistant University Architect. Janet M. Sawyer,
Senior Project Manager, University of Michigan Construction Management. Renee Cruse, Senior
Interior Designer, University of Michigan Interior Design Services.
Light refreshments served. Student tour guides stationed around the building.
Free and open to the public.

"Northwestern Health Sciences University is committed to
being the nation's university of choice in natural health care
education. Northwestern features an exceptional curriculum,
outstanding faculty, groundbreaking research, and a wealth of
clinical training opportunities for our students'
- Mark Zeigler, DC, President
2501 West 84th Street, Bloomington, MN 55431
(9521800) 888-4777, ext. 409 - www.nwhealth.edu
Northwestern Health Sciences University offers exceptional programs in CHIROPRACTIC,

Joan and Sanford Weill Hall
735 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091
734-764-3490 (p)

Gerald R. Ford
School of Public Policy

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