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November 11, 2010 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-11-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 7A

With bowl game comes
valuable practice time

Rust brothers to face
off in weekend series

ractice? We talkin' 'bout
practice?
Well...yes.
The word "practice" has sort of
defined the Michigan football team
over the past
year and change,
due to a thor-
ough NCAA
investigation
that followed
from allegations
that the team
violated limits
on mandatory NICOLE
practice, among AUERBACH
other offenses.
At the con-
clusion of its own investigation last
May, the University instituted self-
imposed practice limitations: 130
fewer hours than the allotted time
over twoyears.During aNov.4press
conference following public release
of the NCAA's sanctions - one more
year of probation, bringing the total
to three, and no additional practice
time cuts - Rodriguez said the team
had thus far cut 32 hours.
That's a lot of talk about practice.
There's also been buzz around
campus about this little thing we
call bowl eligibility. For the first time
in three years, Michigan is going to
have a postseason.
"We talked about it and thought
about it," Michigan coach Rich
Rodriguez said after the Wolverines'
sixth win of the season. "That was
important for us, and it's important
for us now to understand that every
game after this is even more impor-
tant."
But the bowl appearance itself is
not the most important part of the
bowl-eligibility package. This sea-
son will be Rodriguez's first chance
to run practices past November, as
Michigan will get 15 extra practices
to prepare for its bowl game.
Each week, Rodriguez says he
sees improvement from his young
players in practice. He better - eight
freshmen and sophomores played
last Saturday.
And each game gives these young
players experience, but so does
each practice - more time to learn
schemes, understand the playbook,
work on fundamentals, all that good
stuff. And, of course, more bond-
ing for what already appears to be a

By MARK BURNS
Daily SportsEditor
When Michigan hockey senior
Matt Rust skates around in warm-
ups this upcoming Friday at Yost Ice
Arena, he'll see his little brother at
the opposite end of the rink - no,
not Michigan State.
Instead, freshman forward
Bryan Rust will be donning Notre
Dame's blue and gold, a team cur-
rently atop the conference, one
point ahead of the Wolverines (4-1-
1-0 CCHA, 5-2-3 overall).
It will be the first time besides
last year's game against the U.S.
National Team Development Pro-
gram Under-18 squad - in which
the younger Rust played for the Ann
Arbor-based program - that the
two brothers have faced each other.
Prior to playing for the USNTDP,
Bryan skated for Honeybaked, a
AAA program based out of metro
Detroit. While playing for the elite
program, Michigan assistant coach
Mel Pearson observed Bryan's
game. But Pearson and the Wolver-
ines didn't successfully secure the
younger brother's commitment.
"We talked to Bryan, and he was
a very good hockey player," Pearson
said. "We were well aware of him
when he played atcHoneybaked, and
then over at the U.S. program. He
made an early decision and unfortu-
nately, he wanted to get it out of the
way, and we didn't get a chance to
really talk to him a whole lot about
coming to Michigan."
Up until now, Bryan has played
in all nine games for the Fight-
ing Irish (4-1-1-1, 6-2-1), tallying
a goal and an assist while play-
ing on coach Jeff Jackson's third
line. And even though the broth-
ers have different styles of play
- with Matt playing a more defen-
sive brand of hockey compared to
Bryan's power-forward style -
both have something to prove in
the two-game series.
According to Matt, it's been the

ARIEL BOND/Daily
Senior forward Matt Rust will face off against his brother, Bryan, this weekend.

ARIEL BOND/Daily
Freshman safety Ray Vinopal made his first start in the Wolverines' loss to Penn
State. He, as well as the other freshmen, will benefit from extra bowl practices.

close-knit team.
"That bond you have with your
team is pretty tight, and being able
to extend that another month for a
bowl game I think is really impor-
tant for our seniors," Rodriguez said
Monday.
But while everybody's talking
about how great it is for the seniors
and coaches that Michigan will be
going to a bowl, don't forget about
the freshmen and sophomores.
They receive something invalu-
able from the extra time on the prac-
tice field - the potential to improve.
After all, isn't that what the coaching
staff has said all season?
That it's painful to play with youth
now, but man, next year they'll be
good?
Throw in extra practices and a
high-profile (or maybe not so high-
profile) bowligame, andthat can only
help. This is especially important as
the team looks to cutback on regular
practice time this year and next.

Why do some freshmen (like
quarterbacks Tate Forcier and
Devin Gardner) enroll early? It's not
because they're sick of high school or
want to miss prom.
It's for those extra 15 spring prac-
tices at Michigan. The extra time to
learn the system. The opportunity to
develop chemistry with teammates.
That kind of practice is invaluable
when, especially for a team so young.
Forcier earned the starting job
last year in large part because of that
extra practice time. He knew the
playbook best, and he'd worked with
the running backs and wide receiv-
ers more than Denard Robinson did
when he arrived in August.
Fifteen practices makes a huge
difference.
That's why the bowl game is
important - for those December
practices, not just the game itself.
- Auerbach can be reached
at naauer@umich.edu.

younger brother who's been "talk-
ing a little bit of smack."
"He sent me a little text, 'Matt,
you better be ready'," the older
Rust said. "I think he's a little
scared."
Matt added that he thinks that
in the back of Bryan's mind, "he
wants to make sure everyone knows
he did this himself" and didn't navi-
gate his way to Division I college
hockey because of his brother's suc-
cess or the name on the back of his
jersey.
And while it certainly sounds cli-
ch6, Matt admitted after Wednes-
day's practice, he thinks it's natural
for ayoungerbrothertobeovershad-
owed by an older sibling.With Bryan
finally making it to South Bend, he
could vault himself out of his older
brother's shadow and cement his
own identity in the CCHA.
"I personally think my brother is

a better player than me," Matt said.
"He's got a lot of skills and smarts,
and his hard work has paid off. The
kid has changed completely from
when he was younger until where
he is now."
As Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said Wednesday, both the Wol-
verines and the Fighting Irish are
trying to bounce back from a year
in which they finished in the lower
half of the conference, with Michi-
gan in seventh place and Notre
Dame in ninth. Both teams are
"looking to prove something" after
the less-than-stellar regular-season
finishes last season.
Just don't let the big brother fool
you - he won't be taking it easy on
Bryan.
"I've been letting him have it a
little bit this week and definitely
making sure he knows his role out
there."

A hot start for club golf team

Three months after
its founding, team
has won its first two
tournaments.
ByZACH HELFAND
For the Daily
It started in March with a
handshake over lunch in Prague
between two University stu-
dents studying abroad. There,
LSA seniors Roger Sauerhaft and
Kevin Buzard decided between
bites that the idea that they had
been floating around would
become a reality.
They would bring a club golf
team to Michigan.
Some 4,400 miles away and
four months later in Ann Arbor,
incoming freshman John Gordy
and sophomore Ryan Alger had
the same idea. They began mov-
ing forward.
"About a couple weeks into it,
we realized that two other kids
were doing the exact same thing,"
Gordy said. "So we just teamed up
with them."
Now, just three months since
its inception, the team has earned
a trip to the National Colle-
giate Club Golf Association Fall
Championship at Bryant Park
golf course in Greensboro, North
Carolina by winning its first two
tournaments. Coincidentally, this
course was the site of senior var-
sity golfer Lion Kim's victory in
the U.S. Amateur Public Links
Championship, which earned him
a berth in the Masters.
"At the beginning of the school

year, Roger was saying his goal
was for us to win a National
Championship, and I thought that
was kind of far-fetched," senior
Paul Sefcovic, who made the all-
tournament team at the second
event, said. "But once we won
those first two regional tourna-
ments, I was kind of thinking,
'We've actually got something
pretty good going here.' .. So I
think we've definitely got a shot."
The team won the first regional
tournament by six strokes, beat-
ing club teams from Wisconsin,
Dayton and Miami (Ohio), among
others, and later cruised to a
15-stroke victory in the second.
The team is currently undefeated
in tournament play, despite not
even existing long enough to be
included on the NCCGA website.
"Because it's our first year,
when we went to the Midwest
Regional Tournaments, the other
teams were kind of surprised that
Michigan was even there, because
they'd never heard of our team
before," Gordy said.
Perhaps the biggest reason for
the team's success is its depth.
During the summer, Sauerhaft,
the team's president, who is also
a member of the Daily's editorial
staff, worked to recruit members to
the newly formed club. With help
from the other original four, he sent
mass e-mails, talked to golfers that
he knew, and worked on getting
range times and sponsors.
Eventually, the pieces started
falling into place.
"Our biggest event was when
we were at Festifall, and we
brought out a golf bag, and just
seeing a golf bag out there, so
many people just came up to us,"

Buzard said. "We had alot of kids,
a lot of upperclassmen who came
up and they just said to us, 'Final-
ly, Michigan finally got a club golf
team.'"
As the club was getting off the
ground, golf company TourEdge
signed as a sponsor, and a local
golf facility called Miles of Golf
gave the team discounted rates.
"I really commend (Sauerhaft)
for the effort and the energy that
it's taken to follow through with
it, and obviously they've been
extremely successful," said Doug
Davis, vice president and co-
founder of Miles of Golf.
By the start of the season, the
team had enough talent to com-
pete with the best club teams in
the region.
"I know personally a lot of the
guys on the team that I played
with in high school," Gordy said.
"A lot of them were All-Staters in
high school and got offers to go
play in college, but just for one
reason or another wanted to go to
the University of Michigan."
While talented, the club of
about 30 members is not limited
to scratch golfers.
"We're really hoping ... that
someday we can actually work
with other clubs, other organiza-
tions and also less skilled golfers
on our team and really help them
in terms of their game and help
them fall in love with golf. It's
really to improve your game of
golf witha bunch of friends," said
Buzard.
For now, the team is concen-
trating on making sure that the
idea that began in Prague leads
to some nice hardware in Greens-
boro.

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