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March 13, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-13

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 7A

For freshmen, a series of hurdles to overcome

0

By MINH DOAN could've started his career.
Daily Sports Writer Zonino gave up 11 goals in his
first start against No. 8 Penn
The transition from high State before being pulled at
school to college is tough. Just halftime.
ask any freshman. But he recovered from the
And some add a Division I game thanks to encouraging
sport to the laundry list of new words from his teammates and
responsibilities. coaches
The Michigan men's lacrosse and has
team has seen its fair share of since been Michigan men's
those freshmen walk through a stalwart lacrosse2013-
the doors of Oosterbaan for the 14class
Fieldhouse this season, and they Wolverines.
have excelled. He has 2. Andrew Hatton
Being members of just the recorded 3. Robbie Zooms
second recruiting class in men's more than 4. Charlie McPeters
lacrosse history, many of them 10 saves 5. Christian Wolter
have been thrust into big roles in three 6. Will Weichert
out of the gate. Ten out of 12 straight 7. Mikie Schlosser
freshmen have seen playing games and 8. Will Biagi
time of some sort this season. will look 9. Andrew Simor
"As we recruit, we have more to make 10. Peter Khoury
time to evaluate talent earlier," it four in 11.Ian King
said Michigan coach John Paul. Saturday's 12. Stefan Bergman
"Naturally we're upgrading (the Eastern 13. Andrew Roswell
recruiting classes), and we have College
some guys coming in that have Athletic
skill sets that are a bit ahead of Conference opener at
some of the guys we had before, Bellarmine.
and itgives them an opportunity "He had a rough start, the
to play right away." Penn State game couldn't
Three freshmen - attacker have gone worse for him."
Ian King, defender Andrew Paul said. "You have to be
Hatton and goaltender Robbie mentally tough, especially for
Zonino - have become a freshman, to come right back
mainstays in the starting lineup and keep showing the type of
for the Wolverines. improvement he has. He's really
But they've all had their fair. handled (adversity) well."
share of troubles. Added Zonino: "I just wanted
Zonino, hailed as the No. to change the story from getting
8 netminder in his recruiting pulled in my first game to how
class, was thrown straight into I reacted to it the rest of the
the fire when season."
sophomore King
goaltender "They made it started well
Gerald Logan out of the
tore his labrum clear that our gate for
in the fall and Michigan,
was out for the past accolades leading the
season. Zonino team with
became the did not m atter." 16 goals and.
starter for the recently
rest of the fall earning
and spring. himself
But his college debut didn't go ECAC Freshman of the Week
as well as he would have hoped. honors. King is currently tied
Rather, it was the worst way he for first in the NCAA in goals by

Freshman goalie Robbie Zonino has rebounded nicely after his first-career game against Penn State in early February to help keep Michigan in games.

a freshman.
But King had to overcome a
nasty case of mononucleosis in
the fall as well as deal with all
of the new responsibilities of
coming to college. King played
little in the fall and had to
work harder than most of the
freshmen in the offseason to be
ready for the season.
"I lost 20 pounds, so it was a
really difficult recovery," King
said. "I worked back into shape
and it was a slow start, but my
teammates gave me confidence
to do the best I could."
Hatton also had to overcome
a challenge of his own. After
a strong fall season, he was on
pace to start the season as a key
defender for the Wolverines.
But in the only scrimmage of the
spring season, Hatton suffered a
concussion and was kept out for
two weeks. He made his debut

against Detroit and has been older guys have through their
successful ever since, starting in school work is incredible,"
every game since coming back. Zonino said. "I know a lot of
"(Hatton) would have been the guys are in Ross (School of
starting right Business) and
away," Paul seeing how
said. "He e hard they
came in very College is work is very
confident. He's anot her leve l" motivational."
a student of aIOther level' But the
the game, and older players
he handles all have also
of his business kept them
off the field like a person years grounded, making sure the
older than he is." freshmen don't put themselves
While all three have had in front of the team.
their fair share of troubles, "In our first week, (the older
they all attributed their success players) made it clear that our
to the older players on the past accolades did not matter,"
team preparing them for the Hatton said. "When we came
transition and being there for (to Michigan), we went back to
every step of their journey not the bottom and have to work our
only on the field, but also in the way back up to the top."
classroom as well. With the Wolverines going
"Just seeing the discipline into conference play this

Saturday, the freshmen will
have to step up their game to
check off the big team goal
of winning a regular-season
title. With only five ECAC
games to play, every one will be
important, and the freshmen
will have to bring their best to
every game.
"In high school, I was in big
games, but college is another
level," Hatton said."I've started
to realize that every player I've
played against this season is as
good as the best player I covered
in high school."
While the freshman clss has
already accomplished so much
in its first season as Wolverines,
they know they have a ways
to go before they become
something special.
Check MichiganDaily.com/sports
for up-to-date coverage k.

PAUL SHERMAN/D
Redshirt junior Jon Horford took up philosophy midway through his high school career that changed his game for good.

HORFORD From Page 8A
Ann Arbor to have peace and
their own opinions, he wants his
teammates to as well.
"There's always something
intrinsically that just clicks
when they hear things, and it
causes them to ask me ques-
tions and be naturally curious
about stuff," he said. "That's
why I love that stuff. It's not for
a certain group of people. It's for
everybody. It connects us all."
Being the second-oldest play-
er on the team, Jon has experi-
enced more than others. But due
to his lack-of playing time grow-
ing up and his series of injuries
in college, Jon knows he doesn't
have the playing experience his
younger teammates have.
His freshman year at
Michigan, Jon averaged just
seven minutes a game as he
adjusted to the college system.
Figuring to play a larger role
his sophomore year, Jon missed
the final 25 games of the season
after suffering a stress fracture
in his right foot.
After taking a redshirt that
season, Jon returned last season
and appeared to be at full health
again, until he dislocated his
kneecap, which forced him to

miss five games.
This year, after figuring to be
the third big man in the rota-
tion behind sophomore Mitch
McGary and fifth-year senior
Jordan Morgan, Horford's
playing time expanded when
McGary went out. indefinitely
after havingsurgery onhisback.
Given the opportunity, Jon
has averaged career highs in
points, rebounds and minutes.
Not that he would know. He said
he has no idea what his statistics
are.
While he still tries to work
out more than anyone else on
the team, it's not so he can stand
out above everyone.
"It is for them, to help them
anyway I can," he said. "Even
though my role on this team
isn't necessarily to score a lot of
points, it is for them, but it's also
for peace of mind."
It's that different perspective
and experience that has stayed
with Jon while he's been at
Michigan. Jon's no longer trying
to be better than everyone on
the team. He's trying to get the
best out of everyone on the team.
Sometimes Jon wonders why

he plays Division I basketball.
Though the basketball court
brings him such relaxation
when he's alone, it's that same
place that brings him pain.
Jon sees how society looks
at people if they're not on
television, in films, make a ton
of money or are famous. He
thinks it's ridiculous that if you
don't achieve something like
that, your life doesn't amount to
anything.
So why does Jon stay out there
- on a stage that will only bring
more lights and cameras as the
season and Michigan's success
continues?
The extra shots, the extra
lift sessions, they don't mean
the same things they did when
he was struggling to get on the
court growing up.
At that time, these things
were designed to make him
better and stronger on the court,
make him better than everyone
else playing.
Now, Jon wonders about that
decision.
"Is this something I even
want to do anymore?" me said.
But he already knows the
answer to that.
He wouldn't have climbed the
ladder if he didn't.
I

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