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January 31, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-31

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 7

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, January 31, 2014-7

Murphy's

By JUSTIN MEYER
Daily Sports Writer
Brian Murphy hung his head
between his knees, having just
lost a state championship. All
that had separated him from his
first Illinois high-school state
title was a one-point escape.
But when the clock expired,
his opponent, current University
of Illinois wrestler Kyle
Langenderfer, threw up two
fingers on each hand to tell
Assembly Hall that he was
a repeat champion, Michael
Jordan-style.
"This next match means
everything," Murphy had said
to the Chicago Tribune before
the final. "I want to finish out
with a high-school career I can
remember. It won't be that way
unless Iwin this match."
The next few months began
a journey to Michigan for the
former Glenbard North High
School starting quarterback
and wrestling star. For all the
success he had in high school,
the nation's 27th-ranked recruit
still had plenty left to prove.
Murphy, now a freshman,
was one of the first commits in
Michigan's top-ranked recruiting
class, thanks in no small part to
his work with his longtime coach
and current Wolverines assistant
Sean Bormet.
"IknewthatIwasgoingtobe a
wrestler in college my freshman
year in high school," Murphy
said. "I knew it really early."
The Carol Stream, Ill. native
began wrestling and playing
football in the first grade. It
was wrestling he would fall in
love with, but only after his dad
assured him that there was no
punching or kicking involved.
Murphy started attending
Bormet's summer wrestling
camps and built himself into a
nationally renowned competitor,
having particular success in
national freestyle competitions
in high school.
Murphy and Bormet began
working together when Murphy
was in middle school, and the duo
hasn't looked back since. Since
arriving on campus, Murphy
has defeated the eighth-, 14th-
and 19th-ranked wrestlers in
the 157-pound weight class,
suffered an overtime loss to

long uest for a championship
Michigan a natural extension of
the sport Murphy grew up with.
"The thing about college is that
the people I'm wrestling with, it's
just a completely different level,"
Murphy said. "In high school I
would pretty much handle all of
my partners. Now there will be
practices where I'm just getting
my butt kicked by some of these
guys, and it's great."
The top-level competition in
practice will serve Murphy well
for the formidable schedule
ahead of Michigan (4-0 BigTen,
8-2 overall), which will face No.
12 Ohio State on Friday and No.
1 Penn State on Sunday. For
Murphy, though, the schedule
is even more daunting, with
matches against Iowa's No. 2
Sk ""Derek St. John, the Nittany
Lions' No. 4 Dylan Alton and
..-x.... a rematch with No. 1 James
Green of Nebraska in Lincoln
on Feb. 7.
x# "He makes gains every day,"
Bormet said. "The key is to
continue to focus and to have
that hungry mindset."
ALLISON FARRAND/Daily Added Murphy: "My main
urphy was the quarterback of his high school football team, but he has excelled since coming to Michigan and focusing solely on wrestling. goal at the end of the year is
just to get out on that podium
mes Green - way to put those stinging losses football coaches didn't mind. composure. Just to see him do as an All-American. I think that
d No. 1 - and behind him. If he couldn't put on weight for that and turn the corner, that should be everyone's goal in
rt designation. "It was great to get things in football, he heard no complaints was a kind of key element that we wrestling Division I. If that's not
the Wolverines' the past out of the way," Murphy from the wrestlingside. were looking for." your goal, I really don't know
man starters. said. "It was a great feeling to get "Both sports helped each After the injury at the Cliff what you're doing."
emendous work that win and get it off my chest." other," Murphy said, "because Keen Invitational sidelined him Despite the astounding
great integrity," As a freshman in high school, both sports require the drive for nearly three weeks, Murphy freshman campaign, Murphy
e's really at the Murphy placed third in the state to win. That's probably my best returned to the mat with has attacked each match like he
every category. finals, and he finished runner- quality." renewed enthusiasm, downing still has something to prove, in
pable of beating up every year It's clear, No. 8 Dylan Ness of Minnesota part because he does. It's in his
he's starting to afterward. The though, that on Jan. 19. The win further voice, it's in his demeanor and it's
2012-13 school "He's reall at the the transition cemented his starting spot on in the vicious, aggressive pace he
eakout moment year brought away from the squad and his No.14 national takes to each opponent.
Cliff Keen a particularly highest end of being a dual- ranking in the 157-pound class. "I think it's really interesting
as Vegas, where excruciating sport athlete "It is special to also have a that Brian Murphy, (Freshmen)
surprising even end to both every category." has let Murphy chance to work and develop Domenic Abounader and Adam
king it to the of Murphy's reach a new a wrestler in their youth," Coon ... really possess a certain
e defaulting to athletic level in the Bormet said. "And just to see leadership quality within their
n injury. seasons, when ring. The them have the success, and have peer group," Bormet said. "All
rfinals, Murphy Langenderfer took the title in four-time Fargo Freestyle All- the opportunities to compete three of those guys were also
012 Illinois High wrestling and his football team American was expected by his at this level and enjoy these really good football players.
tion state final lost to powerhouse Mt. Carmel own coaching staff at Michigan moments makes it that much I think there's a certain team
hneider, scoring in the Class 8A finals. to redshirt this season, but the more special." aspect of football that maybe
the current Cal Murphy, a mobile quarterback results he has produced with his And when asked about the cultivates that."
the third period who still averaged over 100 sole commitment to wrestling reason for success, Murphy The former quarterback, four-
in after pushing yards passing en route to have surprised those who didn't pointed immediately pointed to time state runner up, national
h. Glenbard's fifth-ever state know him best. Bormet as the most influential tournament star and now
emish of four championship appearance, said "When he was in a position person in his wrestling career. collegiate wrestler is excited.
mpionships on that his coaches were extremely to pour himself into wrestling The rapport between the two, He's excited to be wrestling,
rwise excellent accommodating to his dual-sport year-round, his upside was really he said, was a relief during his for the opportunity to be in
cord continues status. If he had to be in North high," Bormet said. "As he got recruiting trip and during his the starting lineup and to take
mind, but as a Dakota for wrestling nationals into some tougher matches in first weeks with the program. another shot at a title, this time
er he's finding a during a week of practice, his Las Vegas, he had really good Bormet made coming to on an even bigger stage.

Freshman Brian Mu
Nebraska's Jar
currently ranke
shed a redshi
He's now one of
three true fresh:
"He's got tr
ethic, he's got
Bormet said. "H
highest end of
I think he's car
anybody, and I
prove that."
Murphy's bri
came at the
Invitational in L
he admitted to
himself by ma
semifinals befor
fifth place witha
In the quarte
also avenged a 2(
School Associat
loss to Max Scl
a takedown on
Poly wrestler.in
to secure a 3-1w
the pace all matc
The lone blI
lost state cha
Murphy's other
high-school re(
to replay in his
collegiate wrestl

Meet to promote awareness

By CINDY YU
Daily Sports Writer
"Take him home and make
him comfortable."
Those were the words the
doctor said to former gymnast
Jill Leone - a friend of Michigan
assistant coach Dave Kuzara -
when her son, John, was born
with autism. But rather than
heeding the doctor's advice,
Jill sought alternative therapy
techniques to treat him.
Fast-forward 17 years to
an exceptionally successful
John Leone. A junior at Grosse
Pointe North High School,
he's involved in competitive
swimming, loves physics, has a
4.0 GPA and tutors his peers.
Leone recently paid a visit to
the University to speak to the No.
4 Michigan women's gymnastics
team. He detailed his experiences
living with autism, recalling a
time when he was unable to speak.
While visiting with the team,
Leone had the opportunity
to practice in the Donald R.
Shepherd Women's Gymnastics
Training Center. Persistence
and hard work led him to learn
a swivel hips move - where the
individual performs a seat drop
in one direction followed by a
180-degree twist to perform
another seat drop in the opposite
direction - on the trampoline in
only one session.
The Wolverines were
inspired by Leone's visit, and
responded by dedicating one
of their rivalry matches to
the cause. Michigan (1-0 Big
Ten, 6-0 overall) will host
the Spartans in its inaugural
Autism Awareness Meet at
Crisler Center on Friday night,
and Leone will be in the stands,
wearing maize and blue and
cheering on the team that
welcomed him with open arms.

After 51 days, Wolverines
finally host contest at Yost

ALUSON FARRAND/Daily
Coach Bev Plocki's team will host the Spartans and promote autism awareness.

Through video presentations,
pamphlets and exhibition
performances from special-
needs athletes, the meet will
teach attendees about the most
underfunded - yet fastest-
growing - developmental
disorder.
"The statistics about how
much more prevalent autism
has become are staggering," said
Michigan coach Bev Plocki.
Twenty years ago, individuals
with autism were offered fewer
opportunities to succeed after
their diagnosis. Resources made
available in the last two decades
to people with the disorder have
helped to bridge the gap, but the
limited-opportunity issue is one
that persists to this day.
"We're just really excited to
be a part of something that really
has the opportunity to make a
difference," said senior Teresa
Arthur. "It has allowed us to get
a lot more educated on autism,
what it is and how it affects
people. It really opened our eyes

to what other people are going
through and making sure we
take the time to think about how
we're judging other people or
how our lives are."
Though this is the inaugural
Autism Awareness Meet at
Michigan, Plocki and Dr.
Larry Nassar, a physician for
USA Gymnastics, have been
collaborating on the project for
much longer.
Particularly drawn to the
disorder because of his autistic
daughter, Nassar revolutionized
the merger of autism awareness
with women's gymnastics.
He founded the Gymnastics
Doctor Foundation to assist
with research concerning
movement therapy and cognitive
development of autism.
Nassar is currently
spearheading a project to train
gymnastics instructors through
the lens of special education to
hold sessions in gyms that are
often empty or underutilized
during the day.

By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan and Wisconsin
hockey programs haven't met
in Ann Arbor since Nov. 29,
2009, when Michigan won 3-2.
But since then, the 12th-ranked
Wolverines
have finished Wisconsin
without a
victory over at Michigan
the Badgers Matchup:
in just four Wisconsin
meetings since 14-7-1;
that contest, Michigan
two of which 12-6-2
came at the When: Friday
Kohl Center. and Saturday,
The long 6:30 P.M.
stretch has Where:
Michigan Yost Ice Arena
itching to take TV: BTN,
the ice in front NBCSN
of a friendly
crowd.
"It's going to be a good team,
a good test at home," Compher
said Monday. "To get the fans
in here, it's going to be a fun
weekend."
Compher, the Big Ten First
Star of the Week, tallied five
points - three goals and two
assists - against Michigan
State and will likely be on the
ninth-ranked Badgers' radar
this weekend. He's tied for
second among Big Ten freshmen
with 20 points, and tied for
second in the nation with three
shorthanded goals.
Riding Compher's hot
streak, the Wolverines (4-2-0
Big Ten, 12-6-2 overall) may
have reignited an offense that
ranked among the nation's best
in October. Compher anchored

a line with senior forward Derek
DeBlois and junior forward Alex
Guptill, a trio that was broken
up after midseason struggles.
What's more, Michigan's newest
line - one with sophomore
forward Boo Nieves and junior
forward Phil Di Giuseppe -
was the difference in the game
Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
ButunlikethatoftheSpartans,
Wisconsin's defense ranks
among the top 10 nationally in
blocked shots and penalty kills.
Though the new line pairings
netted five goals for the firsttime
since Dec. 2, the Badgers (5-3-0,
14-7-1) will provide a truer test
of the Wolverines' offensive
improvements.
"Coach has talked about the
fact that we have to block shots,"
Compher said. "It's something
we did a good job of against
Michigan State. It's something
that they do well, so we want
our defense to move around
and get shots on net, and for our
forwards to be blocking shots."
For two equally skilled
programs, home-ice advantage
could prove vital. Michigan has
dropped only one game at home
- Oct. 26 to UMass-Lowell.
Meanwhile, the Badgers come
in after losing their second home
contest of the year to Ohio State
last weekend.
"We're not going to out-skill
anyone," said Michigan coach
Red Berenson. "We just have to
play the right way, play stingy,
and we have to be opportunistic.
Freshman goaltender
Zach Naagelvort has been an
exemplar of that opportunistic
attitude Berenson preaches,
and capitalized once again this

weekend. Thursday, Berenson
said Nagelvoort had earned his
fifth consecutive start.
But while the Children of
Yost will certainly welcome
Michigan back with open arms,
there promises to be no love lost
between these two teams.
Two weeks ago, facing an
inevitable sweep in Madison,
sophomore forward Andrew
Copp shoved a Wisconsin player
into the boards and onto his back.
As he skated away, the Badgers
swarmed Copp before punches
were thrown and helmets went
flying. The scramble resulted in
four ejections, including Copp,
DeBlois and Guptill.
"It's not something I'll be
worried about," Copp said.
"I don't know, I might have
to watch my back a little
throughout the series or
whatnot, but it's just something
that happened at the time."
The 51-day absence from
Yost should guarantee excited
fans, but it might not mean
packed stands. With puck drop
scheduled for 6:30 p.m., rather
than 7:10 or later, Berenson is
hopeful that fans will take note
of the time change.
"This is going to be a fun
weekend," Berenson said. "We
have to let everyone know so
they get to the starts on time.."
With a stretch of seven
games in six weeks, and 52 days
on the road behind them, the
Wolverines will finally get back
into a Friday-Saturday gameday
rhythm as they head into the
thick of their Big Ten schedule.
Daily Sports Editor Greg
Garno contributed reporting.

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