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January 30, 2008 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-30

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 9A


'M' hockey coach
Berenson has taken
hoops coach Beilein
under his wing
Daily Sports Writer
Since first-year men's basket-
ball head coach John Beilein came
to Ann Arbor last year, Michigan
hockey coach Red Berenson has
offered him his keys - to his house
and to victory.
Beilein was hired in mid-April,
just before Berenson left Ann Arbor
onvacation. Knowing Beilein would
otherwise need to rent a hotel room,
Berenson offered Beilein the use of
his home.
"I did not take him up on it,"
Beilein said. "I didn't want to move
again out of the hotel, but he was
just all of a sudden very helpful."
And Berenson hasn't stopped
trying to help Beilein find success at
When Beilein took over as Mich-
igan's men's basketball coach last
spring, he knew restoring Michigan
basketball to glory would be a mon-
umental task.
And Berenson knows all about
returning a once-great program to
prominence. In 1984, he took over
a program that hadn't been to the
NCAA Tournament in eight years
or won a conference championship
in twenty.
Berenson realized the program
didn't just need a coaching change.
It required a complete change of
culture - different players, more
support and better commitment.
It took three years for Berenson's
teams to get above .500 and six for
the Wolverines to reach the NCAA
Tournament. He hasn't missed
those standards since.
"There's a lot of things that go
into winning," Berenson said. "But
it starts with the coach and his
Berenson has given the same
advice to Beilein. After a 5-15 start,
few would question Beilein if he
altered his coaching philosophy
- many have even suggested it. Few
except Berenson, that is.

Blue looks to
improve faceoff

Daily Sports Editor
Michigan hockey coach Red
Berenson has said all season that
his team has a "laundry list" of
areas where it needs to improve.
But one facet of the game has
given the Wolverines fits all sea-
son: faceoffs.
Winning just 48 percent of its
draws, No. 2 Michigan is the only
team in the USCHO.com poll's
top five with a faceoff winning
percentage below .500.
While draws weren't the pri-
mary reason the Wolverines just
wentthroughtheirworstseries of
the season last weekend against
Michigan State, the coaching
staff is making improvement in
the circle a priority.
"It's not something you can
just say, 'OK, we have to be bet-
ter on faceoffs,' " Berenson said.
"You work on it, try to get better
and hopefully we will."
The players do a lot of one-
on-one work with each other
after practice, but it's difficult to
simulate game situation faceoffs
without a full five-on-five. While
there's just one person taking
each faceoff, it's often one of the
other four players on the ice who
ends up securing the puck to gain
Since each game features so
many faceoffs -- usually at least
60 - it's easy to write each one
off. But faceoffs and puck posses-
sion are critical on special teams
- an area where Michigan strug-
gled mightily against Michigan
State last weekend.
"On the power play, when we
needed a goal in the Michigan
State game (Friday), we couldn't
win a draw in their zone and they
gotit outright away," senior Chad
Kolarik said. "On the penalty kill,
if we can win it in our zone, we

might have won that game Satur-
day night with those two power-
play goals they had."
Inexperience is one of the rea-
sons Michigan is struggling in
the circle.
Senior captain Kevin Porter
had never played center before
this season, and taking faceoffs
is a skill he's had to learn along
the way.
Freshmen Matt Rust and Louie
Caporusso are centering Mich-
igan's second and third lines.
Both are still adjusting to the
strength, quickness and instinct
needed to consistently win draws
at the college level.
"You come into college and
you're taking faceoffs against
guys that have been doing it for
a while at this level," associate
head coach Mel Pearson said.
In response to its faceoff short-
comings, the coaching staff has
started to look beyond the regu-
lar centermen to find success.
Kolarik recently started tak-
ing more draws in the offensive
zone when the top line is on the
ice. Freshman Carl Hagelin, who
played center while Caporusso
was injured in November and
December, has also been taking
"We're-just trying anybody we
can that we think can do a good
job and get that puck possession,"
Pearson said.
With Michigan's biggest
games of the regular season
ahead, against Miami (Ohio) and
Michigan State, faceoffs will
become even more important.
In one-goal games, the kind that
are all too common come playoff
time, the ability to control the
puck off faceoffs in all zones will
be critical.
So when the regular season
ends on March 1, 48 percent
won't be good enough.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein has received valuable support and advice from hockey coach Red Berenson.

In conversations with Beilein,
Berenson has stressed the impor-
tance of sticking with what has
"'You do the things that got
you here," Berenson said. "You've
been successful somewhere else by
coaching basketball the way you
coach it. Then do it here. That's why
we brought you here."
A few weeks ago, Berenson
watched a Beilein-led practice at
Crisler Arena. Even though the
native of Regina, Saskatchewan
grew up on the ponds and not the
parquet, lessons of effort and team-
work translate between sports. He

left Crisler Arena impressed with
Beilein's intensity.
Berenson called Beilein the next
day and offered thoughts on how
the coach could harness that energy
for an entire game.
"Just take minutes in the game
and say, 'OK, this is what we're going
to do,"'Berenson said. "'We're going
to win this minute or five minutes
or whatever it is. And let's build on
that.' Because they can do it."
Beilein has already passed the
message on to his team.
The hockey coach isn't the only
Michigan head coach who has
opened up to Beilein. After almost

every other game, retired foot-
ball coach Lloyd Carr calls Beilein
with encouragement. And during
Beilein's track workouts in the fall,
track coach Ron Warhurst estab-
lished a bond with the new coach.
The three coaches combined have
71 years of combined head-coaching
experience at Michigan.
All of them have told Beilein the
same thing: do it your way.
"Don't lose sight of how you think
it should be when you get it going
because there is going to be a lot of
turmoil in between," Berenson said.
"It's not going to be a perfect sea-

Gym parents make sacrifices
to watch sons compete

Sophomore Andre Schultz took first place in two events in the Jan.18 meet against Michigan State.
Schultz excels in both class and pool

* Brazilian swimmer
sets sights on
2008 Olympics
For the Daily
For sophomore Andr6 Schultz,
collegiate swimming is a family tra-
His mother swam in college in
Sao Paolo, Brazil because she con-
sidered it
healthy exer-
cise with little SCHULTZ
threat of inju-
ry. Schultz
and his three
older siblings
followed suit,
but none of
them expect-
ed to be so YEAR:
talented. Sophomore
"My sis- HOMETOWN:
ter was the Sao Paolo, Brazil
Champion EVENTS:
back in Bra- IM/Free
zil." Schultz
said. "So
growing up
(she was) someone I wanted to be
like. But it turns out. I got to be bet-
ter than her."
While he can kid around about
his bigsister, his impressive resume
is no joke.
Schultz was an NCAA All-Ameri-
can honorable mention for both the

200-yard backstroke and 400-yard
individual medley last season. On
Jan. 18th, the Sao Paolo native won
two events against Michigan State,
taking first place in the 200-yard
backstroke with an NCAA consider-
ation time (1:45).
Swimming may be their most
noteworthy accomplishment, but
Schultz and his family have never
allowed it to define them.
His mother is a doctor, his father
an engineer, and his brother is fol-
lowing his two uncles into genetic
"My family has always been about
academics," Schultz said.
Even his champion sister was
pushed by her parents to focus more
on her studies. She is now a medical
student in Brazil, and Schultz said
he thinks it was the right decision
for her.
Somehow, Schultz needed to find
a balance between continuing his
family's tradition of academic excel-
lence and following his own passion
in the pool. That's where being a
student at Michigan helps.
Schultz said he has no regrets
about leaving the busy streets of Sao
Paolo. He likes it more in AnnArbor,
where he has thrived.
"He is the quintessential student-
athlete," Michigan coach Bob Bow-
man said.
Though only one of his broth-
ers has been able to visit or attend
a meet, Schultz's family is surely
proud of how he has continued the
family's tradition of scholarly suc-

An NCAA Academic All-Ameri-
can, the mathematics major also
received the 2007 Michigan Ath-
letic Academic Achievement Award
and has a 3.6 grade point average.
Bowman believes Schultz has a
clear picture of where he wants to
go in life, but Schultz isn't sosure.
"I don't know exactly where I'm
going or where I will be in five or
10 years," Schultz said. "But I think
I'm covering all the angles. I plan
on swimming as long as I can, and
after that, I plan on following a col-
lege career, maybe research like my
uncles and my brother or even be a
professor. I think I'd enjoy that."
As far as his goals for the swim-
ming season, Schultz is more specif-
ic. He wants to swim an automatic
qualifying time in each of his three
events for the Big Ten and NCAA
And after Michigan wraps up its
season in March, Schultz has his
sights set on the 2008 Olympics in
Beijing. He tried to posta qualifying
time a year and a half ago and was
just .93 seconds too slow in the 200-
yard individual medley.
"After I moved to Michigan, it
took some adaptation and I haven't
been able to drop this time, but I am
training better than ever," Schultz
said. "I am really confident."
There are two more chances for
himtoqualifyforthe Brazilianteam
- one inApril, the other in May. But
shot at attaining Olympic glory. He
won't attend the April competition
if it interferes with finals.

By car or by plane,
parents travel from
around U.S. to
attend meets
Daily Sports Writer
Vince Catrambone used to get a
just few hours of sleep per night.
He woke up at 3 a.m. to deliver
newspapers, then moved on to his
job at DHL, driving a package-
delivery truck until the evening.
Then there was more driving
to do - a 70-mile round-trip trek
from his family home in Deptford,
N. J., to Feasterville, Pa., where
he would pick up his son, Joe,
from gymnastics practice. Around
10:00 p.m., the two would arrive
home - where dinner, and Joe's
homework, awaited.
In the gym parking lot, while
he waited for practice to finish,
Vince caught the few hours of
sleep that would get him through
the next day.
"All in all, it turned out to be
good because of what Joe's accom-
plished as a gymnast," Vince said.
"We got to bea part of all of it, over
the years. It was all well worth it."
Vince belongs to a small, tight-
ly knit group: Gymnastics par-
ents. You can find them at every
Michigan men's gymnastics meet,
enthusiastically supporting their
They come thousands of miles
to watch the team compete, some
traveling as many as 10,000 miles
a season. They live and die with
each routine. They know the ins
and outs of the sport better than
anyone outside the team.
And through their unique jour-
neys, the parents have built strong
"Every gymnastics parent has
sacrificed a fair amounttto get their
kids where they are," said Con-
nie Thompson, mother of junior
Jamie Thompson. "It's a small
community. It's not an inexpen-
sive sport. It's a sport that requires
a tremendous amount of commit-

Parents Shawn Caldwell and Connie Thompson travel thousands of miles each
season to cheer on their sons, Kent Caldwell and Jamie Thompson, who compete
for the Michigan men's gymnastics team.

ment, from the gymnasts and the
Behind most successful gym-
nasts are supportive, hard-work-
ing parents who often surrender
as much time, or more, than their
sons. Before college, good gyms
are often far from home, requiring
long drives to practice and meets.
And gymnastics often super-
sedes normal childhood events,
forcing young gymnasts to miss
birthday parties or cut their holi-
days short.
With their sons part of a large
team, the parents have now
formed a "team" of their own
- making little vacations of road
trips, staying in the same hotels,
forming Michigan cheering sec-
tions at away meets and gathering
for post-meet dinners.
And the closeness extends
beyond just the Michigan parents.
Most ofthemhave been involved
in the gymnastics community for
nearly 20 years.
"We are a close-knit family,"
said Linda Rosso, junior Ralph
Rosso's mother. "I wasn't able to
go to the Windy City meet, and
I had three phone calls to let me
know how Ralph did - one from
an Illinois team mom, one from

a Minnesota team mom and one
from Michigan."
Shawn Caldwell worried she
wouldn't see her son, Kent, when
he left Charlotte, N.C., to go to
school. Now, she's in her third
season of traveling to most of his
meets, home and away, sometimes
joined by her husband and young-
er sons.
"I look forward to going to
wherever he is, and actually look
forward to winter because I get to
see him more often then," Shawn
Parents are privileged insid-
ers of the distinctive gymnastics
world where, thanks to its small
size, fierce competitors often
morph into best friends once the
meet ends.
Present from the very begin-
ning, parents see a side to the sport
casual fans might miss.
"Over the 15, 20 years that Joe's
been competing, we've watched a
lot of these kids grow up from the
age of four years old," Vince said.
"You look at the progress that
they've made from such a young
age up to the college years now,
and it's remarkable how they've
all stuck together and remained

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