The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 5B
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Those who stay will redeem themselves
Nov. 27, 2011-
hose who stay will
Ryan Van Bergen
While his teammates mobbed
Courtney Avery, whose intercep-
tion for the
State on Sat-
walked to the TIM
sideline, his ROHAN
hands on his
He flipped off his helmet, col-
lapsed on the blue bench and
The crowd's roar was deaf-
ening as Jake Ryan pulled Van
Bergen close, whispering in his
ear. Then Craig Roh did the same.
They told Van Bergen how much
his leadership meant, how much
of an impact he had on them.
The fifth-year senior had to
answer for why the defense was
so bad for three years. Now, he
could stand proudly and boast
about one of the best units in the
"Michigan probably needed
this win to solidify what we've
done this season as a program,"
Van Bergen said after the game.
"This game is more than a win in
the win column. It's bigger than
that. It encompasses way more.
Our team feels like we finished
the season.... We went out the
way we wanted to go out.
"We put Team 132 in the books
forever. I think this team will
always be remembered as the
team that set a new standard and
re-established what Michigan
is supposed to be about. I'm just
glad I was a senior, being a part
Denard Robinson stayed.
When the game ended, he led
the sprint to the student section
to sing "The Victors." His 337
total yards and five touchdowns
will be a part of history, but Team
132 will remember how he willed
Michigan to finally beat the Buck-
Brady Hoke finally found bal-
ance for Robinson ina "make-
shift" offense, one that fit the
quarterback who once thought of
transferring before Hoke arrived
Now, the quarterback who had
been beaten up - by his critics
and by Big Ten defenses - smiled
wider than ever.
"I'm justglad I'm playing with
these guys because I wouldn't
rather be (anywhere) else," Rob-
"I'm glad I stayed."
Mike Martin stayed.
The team's best defensive play-
er on a few of Michigan's worst
defenses finally was a part of a
true Michigan defense.
Martin, Van Bergen and fifth-
year senior defensive tackle Will
Heininger stepped back from the
mob that started to rush the field.
"We just kind of stood out
there and soaked it in - what this
team had done," Martin said.
David Molk stayed.
He anchored the offensive line
Robinson turned to in the fourth
quarter when the Wolverines
needed to ice the game.
"We're going to ride you guys,"
Robinson told them. "You're
goingto win this for us."
Molk, the center with a mean
streak, became the lifeline of
Hoke's offense, protecting Rob-
inson and guiding a powerful run
game. The injuries that plagued
his career became an after-
When it was done, the usually
even-keeled Molk laughed the
"It's been a longtime," Molk
said. "I've been through a lot of
stuff. But then again, in the end,
you truly realize what this place
"I love Michigan, there's no
doubt about it. I don't care what
we had to go through. I love this
school. I love this university. I
love this team. I love my team-
mates. I love my coaches. This is
great. This is what college foot-
ball is. (I'll) never forget it."
Senior receivers Kevin Koger,
Junior Hemingway and Martavi-
ous Odoms all stayed, and they all
caught touchdown passes against
Those who stayed were around
long enough to see Hoke's count-
down clocks be reset - on Sun-
day, one of them read "zero" days
since Michigan lastbeat "Ohio,"
the other read "364 days" until
the next edition of The Game.
Many seniors watched the
finale unfold from the sidelines,
their reward for staying being a
kiss on the cheek from Hoke and
a personalized Michigan football
from the pregame senior day fes-
Still, those who stayed will
forever be known as Brady Hoke's
first team - Team 132, as he calls
them - immortalized just like Bo
Schembechler's first team in 1969.
When Schembechler told that
team, "Those who stay will be
champions," he didn't inherit the
110th-ranked defense. His quar-
terback wasn't an enigma.
We've learned that sometimes
those who stay will have to
endure. They will be ridiculed.
They will be embarrassed, play-
ing through the worst three
years in the history of Michigan
football. They will represent a
dark age, one unknown to anyone
before their time. They will be
considered the children of a pres-
tigious program that just don't
If Team 132 has taught us any-
thing, it's that there won't always
be championships for those who
stay, but there will be glory.
Those who stay will knock
off Notre Dame under the lights
at Michigan Stadium. They'll
demolish Nebraska, welcoming
Big Red to the Big Ten the way
Michigan teams of old would.
And, above all, those who stay
will beat Ohio State, completing
their journey from forgettable to
Those who stay will bring back
They immediatelybought into
a magical coach and didn't look
back. Hoke taught them how to
play "Michigan football," when
they admittedly didn't know the
meaning of the phrase.
He made sure the Ohio State
game would be the most impor-
tant of their lives. Molk said The
Game was emphasized "a thou-
sand times" more than during the
three-year Rich Rodriguez era,
and they'll remember this win -
the one that ended Ohio State's
seven-year win streak - forever.
Those who stay will love Brady
Hoke and all he stands for. They'll
play for him because he loved
"He is us; we are him," Molk
said. "I love him. I love how he
coaches. I love his leadership
ability and how he does it. I'd do
anything for him.
"If I ever (come) back, 20 years
from now, the first guy I would
find, I would call coach Hoke.
That's who he is."
When the fans rushed the field,
the seniors who stayed thought,
"finally," as Van Bergen did, and
the win over Ohio State brought
them to tears. They drenched
Hoke in water, then hugged him.
One student in the stands
stayed. She held a sign that read:
"Brady, thanks for making our
Eventually, Team 132 left the
Michigan family on the field and
gathered in the locker room. An
emotional Hoke told them how
he's "proud of them and what
they've done for Michigan."
"Just to see them happy, that's
the neat part," Hoke said. "I
mean, the investment and com-
mitment they've made as a team.
It's special. It's special. It's one of
those good days."
Those who stayed huddled
together one last time in the Big
Van Bergen shouted, "Team
132 'til the death.
For having stayed, they got to
sing "The Victors." And it will
never again sound so sweet.
- Rohan can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org and
on Twitter: @TimRohan.
Michigan wins first
Big Ten title since '86
By LUKE PASCH place erupted."
Daily Sports Editor Crisler Center will see a new
regular-season-title banner for
March 4, 2012 - With just a the first time since 1986, when
few ticks left against Michigan Michigan all-time scoring leader
State on Sunday afternoon, Ohio Glen Rice finished up his impres-
State guard William Buford drib- sive freshman campaign. The
bled right-to-left along the perim- past 26 years have been quite the
eter and pulled up just inside the championship drought.
top of the arc for a last-second "First Big Ten Championship
prayer. in (26) years," Novak said on
He didn't geta good look at the Sunday night. "For everybody on
basket, fading away with Spartan this team - you see the reunions,
guard Keith Appling in his face, we've had a few since we've been
but the shot was pure. Buford, here - guys will come back, and
who was money throughout the this is the Big Ten Championship
contest, found the bottom of team from this year. This team
the net to lift the Buckeyes to a won this championship."
72-70 win over the Spartans in Before the season, few analysts
East Lansing. As the senior back- predicted that Michigan would
pedaled with a nonchalant grin vie for a title by season's end, and
on his face, the team lounge at after the Wolverines suffered
Michigan's Player Development their first home loss of the sea-
Center in Ann Arbor erupted. The son on senior night to Purdue last
Wolverines had just arrived home weekend, the projections seemed
following their 71-65 victory at accurate. Ohio State fell on its
Penn State, and with Buford's senior nightthat weekend as well,
clutch bucket, Michigan, Ohio and all Michigan State had to do
State and Michigan State each to wrap up the outright title was
came away with a share of the Big win one of its last two matchups.
Ten regular-season title. After But in an unlikely twist,
beating the Nittany Lions earlier Indiana denied the Spartans in
in the afternoon, the Wolverines Bloomington on Tuesday, 70-55,
downplayed the significance of and Buford took care of the rest
the Buckeye-Spartan matchup, on Sunday.
noting that they did everything "The most rewarding part of
in their power and they couldn't what just happened is watching
worry about what would happen. our young men's faces," Beilein
"I've got a five-page paper to said after Ohio State took care of
write for tomorrow that I've real- business. "When you coach this
ly got to start working on," senior long, and our staff knows this, it's
guard Stu Douglass joked after not about the Ws, it's about the
the game. "I've got to find my pri- journey. ... It's certainly a high-
orities, set them straight." light in this year's journey, and for
But it was clear as soon as Ohio some guys, a four-year journey."
State won what the title meant In accordance with the tie-
to Michigan's players. Senior breaker rule - how the three
guard and co-captain Zack Novak first-place teams fared against
immediately took to Twitter and fourth-place Wisconsin this sea-
typed out one word: "Champs." son - Michigan State (2-0) gets
"I think everybody was hold- the No. 1 seed in the conference
ing their breath - the room got tournament, Michigan (1-0) the
quiet real quickly," said sopho- No. 2 seed and Ohio State (1-1) the
more guard Tim Hardaway Jr. of No. 3 seed.
Buford's last-second shot. "Every- But for now, Michigan will rest
body just froze for half-a-second, up and enjoy the title they right-
and once the shot went in, the fully earned.
Men's gymnastics wins national title over Stanford, first since 2005
By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
April 16, 2010 - After four
hours of competition and six
rotations of events, the No. 3
Michigan men's gymnastics team
was leading the NCAA Cham-
pionship finals by .3 points over
And the Wolverines wouldn't
need much more than that on
Friday night, as the men's gym-
nastics team took home the
program's fourth national title
and Michigan's first team var-
sity national championship since
2005. In the process, the team
avenged last year's 1.3-point
championship loss to Stanford.
Leading the way for Michigan
was junior Chris Cameron. He
was selected as the Big Ten Gym-
nast of the Year two weeks ago
and won the all-around competi-
tion at Big Tens. So winning this
year's NCAA all-around victory
came as no surprise to spectators
in Christl Arena.
Cameron posted a total score
of 90.5, which was good enough
to upend the defending champ
from Oklahoma - Steve Legen-
dre - by 1.55 points. Senior Mel
Santander placed third in the all-
around with a score 88.90.
"I usually grasp everything
I've done right away," Cameron
said. "Not this. This hasn't hit me
Michigan coach Kurt Golder
said afterward that he thought
the experience of coming up just
short last season helped the Wol-
"Finishing second last year
gave us a lot of incentive," Golder
said. "They had a team meeting
last year after the NCAA Cham-
pionships, and they made a com-
mitment to do everything in their
power to win it. It's just great for
all of us that it worked out."
In the team's losses this year,
the pommel horse and the fifth
rotation were weak spots for
Michigan. These routines were
plagued with mistakes and falls.
With a score of 58.85 on the pom-
mel horse and a meet-high 59.50
on the rings during the fifth rota-
tion, victory was almost assured
for the Wolverines.
Placing first on Thursday
allowed Michigan to choose
its starting event on Friday.
Knowing they would end on the
- allowed the Wolverines to
remain confident, despite trailing
Stanford the entire meet. Going
into the last event, Michigan was
down by 3.05 points. After scor-
ing a 62.70 on vault, they looked
sure to win.
But it wasn't over. Due to a
broken ring, anybody who fell
on their dismount on the rings
was given a second chance to
compete. Oklahoma was a full
three points behind Michigan
at this point, so the likelihood
of them catching up was slim to
none, even with two competitors
left. And as it turned out, junior
Thomas Kelley was able to com-
pete again, increasing Michigan's
score, and sealing the deal for the
The top eight scorers in each
event Friday were crowned All-
Americans and went on to com-
pete for individual event titles on
Saturday. Redshirt senior Kent
Caldwell was named All-Amer-
ican on the floor exercise and
vault and redshirt senior Ryan
McCarthy won the only event
title for Michigan on high bar.
"I had to focus on making sure
that I was aggressive on my high
Michigan coach Kurt Golder accepts the NCAA Championship trophy on behalf
of the men's gymnastics team on April 16, 2010 in West Point, N.Y.
thing came into place after that.
I caught my release move, did a
good dismount, and a clean land-
Following McCarthy on the
high bar, junior Ian Makowske
placed second and Santander tied
for third. Santander and junior
Thomas Kelley placed second
and fifth on the parallel bars.
Cameron and McCarthy were
also All-American on the parallel
bars, tying for seventh.
As the Wolverines hoisted the
national championship trophy at
the conclusion of the meet, they
began to chant: "It's great to be a
Michigan Wolverine." The voices
resonated all through Christl
Arena as everybody watched.
"With our last national cham-
pionship that we won, when
we got back on Monday it was
the best day of work in my life,"
Golder said. "So unfortunately,
I'm going to miss that this year."
highest-scoring event - vault bar set," Mc
Carthy said. "Every-
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