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March 27, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-27

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4

8 - Friday, March 27, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4

Air Force up first for 'M'

CH ANEL VON H ABSBURG-LOT HRINGEN/Da
Early-enrollee Will Campbell was the most highly-touted recruit (a five-star, according to rivals.com) in this year's class.
Campbell settling
in early at Michigan

By ALEX PROSPERI
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan football fans held
their collective breath on Jan.
3 as highly touted recruit Will
Campbell picked which school
he'd attend on national television
during the Army All-American
Bowl. Late in the third quarter,
the Detroit native was ready to
announce his choice.
Sitting before him were three
hats - one from Miami (Fla.), one
from Louisiana State and one from
Michigan. The hat Campbell put
on would be his school of choice.
As Campbell uttered the words
"My school is," he reached for the
LSU hat with his right hand but
snagged the Michigan cap with
his left.
Michigan fans were relieved
that day, but it wasn't the first time
Campbell had them on the edge of
their seats.
At a summer camp before his
junior year at Detroit Cass Tech-
nical High School, Campbell com-
mitted to play at Michigan for
then-coach Lloyd Carr. But last
September, Campbell announced
that he'd decided to reopen his
recruitment.
Six days before the Army All-
American Bowl, Campbell essen-
tially said Michigan was no longer
in the running. The announcement
was devastating to the Wolverines,

who were losing defensive tackles size (6-foot-5, 330 pounds), speed
Will Johnson and Terrance Taylor (five-second 40-yard dash) and
to graduation - the two had com- strength (515-pound squat and
bined for 64 tackles and 3.5 sacks 395-pound bench press). Camp-
last season. Michigan had just bell was a five-star recruit, the No.
three defensive tackles left on its 5 rated defensive tackle by rivals.
spring roster. But now it has four. com and the top-rated recruit of
Campbell is one of seven early- the 22 Rodriguez pulled in for next
enrolled freshmen participating in season.
spring practice, which concludes Campbell is Michigan's high-
with the spring game on April 11. est-rated defensive tackle since
Marques Slocum in 2005.
The rising freshman is happy
with the decision he made to gradu-
"The first day, ate early from Cass Tech, where he
played with Michigan rising sopho-
we ran like eight more cornerback Boubacar Cissoko
and incoming recruits Teric Jones
gassers. ... That and Thomas Gordon. But his first
few workouts weren't easy.
w as killing me. "Because I haven't ran in a long
time because of (business) and
everything, just eating, eating and
no workouts," Campbell said at
Rodriguez sees his presence as an signing day on Feb. 4. "The first day
opportunity. we ran like eight gassers and eight
"He's got to get in our type of forties, that was just killing me."
shape and learn some techniques As the NBC reporter spoke
and fundamentals that are rel- with Campbell before he selected
evant to our defense," Rodriguez his school, Campbell playfully
said on Mar. 21. "I think being flexed his muscles and pointed to
here early certainly helps him. If the crowd. His fun and outgoing
he has a great summer, particu- nature combined with a successful
larly because we're thin there, he's first season could make Campbell
going to be able to help us." a popular character at Michigan.
Aside from addressing a huge And for now, Michigan fans
hole in Michigan's defense, what shouldn't have to worry about
makes Campbell such an appeal- Campbell wearing anything other
ing player is his combination of than maize and blue.

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
It's a matchup that predates the
days of college hockey, one that
former Michigan and Air Force
coach Vic Heyliger would be torn
between.
Today's game won't be like the
defensive, gritty style of hockey
that dominated during the days
of Heyliger, who
won six National Michigan vs.
Championships
at Michigan from Air Forc
1944-1957 and Matchup:
went on to coach Michigan
at Air Force 29-11; Air
from 1968-1974. Force 27-10-2
Today's show- When: 3 P.M.
down between Friday
the Wolverines Where:
and Falcons in Bridgeport,
the first round Conn.
of the NCAA TV: ESPNU
Tournament is Live Blog:
expected to be thegame.
the opposite. blogs.michi-
Both top- gandaily.com
seeded Michigan
(29-11-0) and No. 4 seed Air Force
(27-10-2) play wide-open styles.
Both teams are led by Hobey Baker
candidates - Michigan's Louie
Caporusso and Air Force's Jacques
Lamoureux, who has an NCAA-
leading 32 goals.
The two teams face off in the
NCAA East Regional in Bridge-

port, Conn. today at 3 p.m. Last
year, the Wolverines won the East
Regional, beating Niagara 5-1 in
the first round and Clarkson 2-0 in
the quarterfinals.
"They're an experienced team,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said when asked about Air Force.
"Let's face it, they're excited about
going back and proving some-
thing in this tournament. They've
been there for two years. They're
juniors and seniors, and they want
to do more than just put a scare
into somebody."
The two offenses are compa-
rable - Michigan averages 3.63
goals per game while Air Force
averages slightly more with 3.69
goals per game.
The key for the Wolverines is
shutting down forwards Lam-
oureux, Brent Olson and Greg
Flynn, who power the Falcon
attack.
"We know that (Lamoureux is)
on the team - I'm sure that either
my line or Rust's line will play
against him and try to shut him
down," senior forward Tim Miller
said. "I know they have a big goal-
ie, and we're just going to have to
try and get to him."
Air Force isled in net by Andrew
Volkening, who has a .926 save
percentage.
Although the Wolverines are
playing a mid-afternoon game,
they aren't concerned about the

possible lack of attendance.
"Rightnow, whenyou're playing
college hockey, you need tobe able
to play in front of anyone," senior
forward Travis Turnbull said.
"Some of the best days when you're
a kid, there's no one is in the stands
but your mom and dad. I think if
you're playing college hockey, that
shouldn't be an issue."
To have any shot ofearningatrip
to the Frozen Four in Washington
D.C., Michigan must bounce back
from last weekend's poor perfor-
mance. The Wolverines showed
major kinks in their armor last
weekend against Notre Dame in
the CCHA Tournament title game,
allowing five unanswered goals en
route to a 5-2 loss.
Most of the team saw that col-
lapse against the Fighting Irish as
a wake-up call, but playing argu-
ably the worst period of the season
right before the NCAA Tourna-
ment isn't a good way to start a
playoff run.
But with the excitement of do-
or-die play underway, Berenson
thinks his team will recover.
"I think we'll turn the corner
here in the next few days," Beren-
son said on Monday. "I know that's
how I feel. I'm putting this game
behind us, knowing a little more
about Air Force and now there's
more talk about the tournament.
I think we'll get that excitement
going."

0

Blue ready to come back toA2

By AMY SCARANO
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend is big. And not just
for the players.
When asked what she is expect-
ing out of this weekend's home-
opening doubleheader against
Loyola-Chicago, Michigan junior
third baseman Maggie Viefhaus
was resolute.
"A lot of cheering, a lot of loud-
ness," the junior said. "It's so cool
because we actually get to pick our
own walk-up song and hear our
song. Everyone is there for you."
After 29 away games so far this
year, the 12th-ranked Wolverines
(20-9, 0-2 Big Ten) are more than
ready for their home debut against
Loyola tomorrow. Fourteen of their
22remainingregular-seasongames
will be played at home.
Michigan has been touring the
warmer parts of the country -
Florida, California, Georgia and
Nevada - patiently waiting for the
weather back home to improve.
The team was finally able to
move practice outside a week and
a half ago when temperatures
reached the 40s and 50s. While the
cold causes the field to be a little

bouncier than the warmer fields
they are accustomed to, the Wol-
verines are confident in their abil-
ity to adjust.
"We've been playing for a cou-
ple months now and even though
it's home, it's still dirt, still field,
the same game," freshman second
baseman Stephanie Kirkpatrick
said. "So either way, we're going to
play our best."
And Michigan is eager to get on
the field.
"The home opener is like open-
ing day in Major League Baseball,"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said. "And you know, we get good
crowds. We are definitely the best
attendance in the Big Ten, so it's an
exciting place to play."
Kirkpatrick, freshman firstbase-
man Amanda Chidester and fresh-
man outfielder Bree Evans will
make their home debuts.
"Not so much nervous, more
anxious," Kirkpatrick mused about
tomorrow's opener. "I'm excited to
play at home ... I think our whole
team is just pumped and ready to
play, especially the other fresh-
man."
It has been an up-and-down
season so far for Loyola (13-9).

The Ramblers lost four-games in a
row, went on to win four straight
and then lost two more until win-
ning Thursday. Now, without clear
momentum in either direction, the
Ramblers could pose a challenge.
"They are bringing a team that
pitches pretty well and looks like
they have some speed," Hutchins
said. "I think it would be a big mis-
take for us to look past them or to
think that we get to winbecause we
have a bigger name on our chest."
Distractions could be another
variable during this weekend's
highly anticipated doubleheader. It
willbe thefirstgame in monthsthat
the team is not constantly together
before the game, on the bus and in
the hotel room.
"Well, I think game-day atmo-
sphere is actuallythe onethingthat
is a little different for our kids,"
Hutchins said. "We don't have as
much control over them. We don't
go to a hotel like football does."
Having won just three of its
last six home openers, Michigan's
history provides no insurance for
what might happen this weekend.
The good news: all three of those
wins were against non-conference
teams.

A

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