Column: Sports a success at UM-D

Marc Sanko

Issue date: 4/8/08 Section: Sports
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We often talk about how athletics here at the University of Michigan-Dearborn could use improvement. Sometimes, it's talk about the facilities, other times we talk about the quality of athletic play itself, and others, it's about fan support. With only a few editions of this year's Michigan Journal left, I wanted to take some time to highlight the bright spots we have seen this year in our athletics.

Athletics received a boost this year from a handful of new teams, organizations and student support. The creation of the Wolf Pack has helped bring UM-D athletics a little bit closer to the students, as was seen at hockey games toward the end of the year. The Wolf Pack was able to not just bring students to hockey games, but to get students talking sports at UM-D. No longer do we only have UM-Ann Arbor sports to talk about.

But the Wolf Pack wasn't the only thing that brought happy moments to the Athletic Department. For the first full year, we have had a group of dedicated souls create and maintain a cheerleading squad, which has brought a festive, college-like atmosphere to the Fieldhouse never seen or felt before. With the possible coming of a Pep Band, the Fieldhouse will feel even more like a true college venue next year.

But it didn't end there. UM-D continued the growth of two new sports this year: men's rugby and softball. Both sports came in and immediately brought success and creditability to the university. Softball beat NCAA Saginaw Valley State in its first ever game, and Rugby finished their season 5-2 and in third place in the division behind traditional powerhouses Grand Valley State and Western Michigan. A quick fast-forward to the spring season shows that both clubs are still going extremely strong and are models for the next Varsity or Club sport to start at UM-D.

Softball continued its success when it began its WHAC divisional play, and with games against previous champions Aquinas and Madonna already played, it is safe to say that the Wolves are on the right track after taking a win from both of those schools. Rugby picked up 10 new players and got back to the field, nearly pulling massive upsets over Michigan State and Ferris at the Ruck City tournament in Detroit.
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