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July 05, 2011 - Image 11

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-05

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Hatch on road to recovery after second crash

Recruit battles
for his life after
surviving fatal crash
Daily Sports Editor
It's like lightening striking the
same place twice - except more
improbable. Twice a plane-crash
victim, twice a survivor.
Just over a week after surviving
a plane crash that took the life of
his father and step-mother, Austin
Hatch has begun his long, painful
road to recovery.
According to a post from the
Hatch family on Austin's Caring-
Bridge page, the 2013 Michigan
basketball recruit has made signifi-
cant strides since arriving at Mun-
son Medical Center in Traverse
City, Mich. on June 24.
"We are encouraged by the
progress Austin has made in this
p first week," the family said in a
statement on CaringBridge.com on
Friday. "He has remained stable,

and notable improvements include
movement to withdraw from pain
and improved breathing function.
Doctors have begun the gradual
process of reducing his medica-
"As he slowly begins the 'waking
up' process, we ask for your contin-
ued prayers, and are grateful for
the outpouring of love and support
for Austin and the entire extended
Hatch Family."
Hatch, 16, was the lone survivor
when his father, Dr. Stephen Hatch,
was unable to bring his Beechcraft
A36 down to land on the tarmac at
Charlevoix Municipal Airport in
northern Michigan.
A report released by the Nation-
al Transportation Safety Board
pinpointed a faulty attempt at an
instrument approach to the land-
ing, where a GPS approach brings
pilots to 500 feet above the ground.
"Pilots would make an instru-
ment approach for practice or
because they can't see," Indianap-
olis-based flight instructor Pres-
ton Wulfenspein told the Journal
Gazette. "It seems as though he

was either disoriented or confident
enough where he thought he could
descend below the minimums. He
did, but it was not the right thing
to do. It was poor decisionmaking."
According to the report, the
plane broke out of the clouds half-
way down the runway, increased
power and veered around a water
tower on the southwest end of
the airport. The plane stalled and
continued its uncoordinated flight
pattern until it descended into
a residential yard on the north
border of the airport. It was the
second such survival story for Aus-
tin. At the age of eight, he and his
father were the only survivors of a
similar crash that took the lives of
his mother, Julie, and two siblings,
Lindsay and Ian.
The broken Hatch family pulled
together, and Stephen remarried.
And then lighteningstuck again.
Harder. One swift, final blow,
destroying any semblance Austin
had of a family.
When doctors pull Austin out
of the drug-induced coma that has
kept him alive since the crash, the

16-year-old will wake up to under-
stand the harshest of realities - his
only immediate family remaining
is the family dog, Brady, the other
recent survivor.
Austin's basketball career is
out of the question right now.
The 6-foot-6 prep star from Fort
Wayne, Ind. committed to Michi-
gan in June, but the focus is on sav-
ing his life, not his jump shot.
But his work ethic and prowess
on the basketball court could be
what saves his life.
"The concern regarding brain
swelling has subsided and his con-
dition continues to improve," the
Hatch Family said in a statement
Saturday. "We are encouraged by
Austin's response to the excellent
medical care he is receiving, a tes-
tament to his prior athletic train-
ing regimen."
It remains to be seen whether
Austin will ever step onto the court
at Crilser Arena under Michigan
coach John Beilein, but the Michi-
gan community is itching to do
anything it can to create a family
atmosphere for Austin.

The NCAA has relaxed its
restrictions on the recruiting
process, allowing Beilein to call
the recruit more than the typical
once-a-month limit. Beilein will be
permitted to visit Austin once he
is pulled out of the coma without
breaking NCAA regulations.
"We appreciate that they and the
Big Ten office are working with us
throughout this situation," Beilein
said in a statement released Tues-
day. "Both groups have been in
communication with our compli-
ance office and continue to provide
valuable insight on a daily basis.
"The outpouring of support
from our Michigan faithful, coach-
es, administrators and fans across
the country has been overwhelm-
ing. We are thankful for all the
support that has been offered to
the Hatch family."
With such an unpredictable
recovery timeline, Austin may
never don the maize and blue, but
he deserves a chance. Beilein will
give him every opportunity.
And Austin will fight the hard-
est imaginable battle - again.

,Hogan takes his talents to Norwegian Elite League

Goaltender looks
to rebound after
injury-laden career
It's a date that Bryan Hogan
will probably never forget - Feb.
25, 2010.
The scenario? A first-period
breakaway stop by the former
Michigan hockey netminder
against a Notre Dame forward in
the final weekend of the regular
Despite making the save on the
play, Hogan paid a price - a huge
price at that and one that left him
sprawled out on the ice for a few
minutes at Yost Ice Arena with a
groin injury. More importantly,
though, and certainly more costly,
the price Hogan paid that night
had a detrimental impact on the
rest of his career as a Wolverine.
Hogan didn't see playing time
during the rest of the 2009-10 sea-
son and upon entering2010-11, the
Highland, Mich. native and fellow

teammate Shawn Hunwick were
in a neck-and-neck race for the
No. 1 starting position.
Prior to The Big Chill at the
Big House in mid-December,
Michigan coach Red Berenson
announced Hogan would start
in front of 100,000-plus fans at
Michigan Stadium. But Hogan
didn't even play a second, as he
injured his other groin in the
pre-game warmups, solidifying
Hunwick's role as Berenson's net-
minder for the remainder of the
"I'm starting to get used to
this," Hogan said the following
week to The Michigan Daily, after
Hunwick carried Michigan to a
5-0 win over Michigan State at
Michigan Stadium.
Fast forward to the present, and
Hogan has since graduated from
the University - he finished his
career with 52 wins, seven shut-
outs and a fair amount of question
marks and "what ifs."
In the end, he's decided to
forego playing in the East Coast
Hockey League and instead, play
in Europe for the upcoming year.
With the help from an agent who

FitE PHOTO/Daily
Former goalie Bryan Hogan will face the next phase of his career in Norway

he wanted to finish his degree, so
he declined to head to the profes-
sional ranks just then.
While driving home from New
York last week to train back in
Michigan and work a few goalie
camps, Hogan explained that he
hopes to eventually play in the
Swedish Elite League, the premier
league in all of Europe. And if the
opportunity arises, skate in the
American Hockey League soon
Former Alaska Nanook, Dion
Knelsen, is on a similar path.
Knelsen graduated in 2010 and
this past season, played in Norway
with the Sparta Warriors in the
GET-ligaen. This upcoming year,
Knelsen is skating for Mora IK
in the HockeyAllsvenksa, a step
below the Swedish Elite League.
For Hogan, though, the time
table for progressing might be a
little on the longer side, consid-
ering he hasn't played significant
minutes in over a year.
"Europe - it's just like start-
ing over again," Hogan said. "You
have to build yourself up ... Hope-
fully within three years, I can get
a good offer."

specializes in helping clients play
overseas, Hogan will head to Nor-
way in mid-August to play for
Manglerud Star in GET-ligaen,
essentially the Norwegian Elite
"I'm excited to go out there,"
Hogan said last Friday. "I thought
that there's a better opportunity
for me, with regards to playing
time. I just felt like it fit me better
... It's something new. A lot of guys
bounce around in the East Coast
Hockey League, which is where I

would have been if I would have
played here."
After the Wolverines lost to
Minnesota-Duluth in overtime
in the NCAA title game this past
April, Hogan had the opportunity
to play with two ECHL teams,
with one of the teams being the
Kalamazoo K-Wings.
Hogan joked that he'd already
sold all of his equipment at the
end-of-the year garage sale the
team holds after the conclusion
of every season. Plus, he said that

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