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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1999)
■ Young talent showed itself
during the practice, especially
on the defensive side.
By Brandon Schulte
Injuries and inexperience could be words
best used to describe the Nebraska football
team’s spring season.
The spring workouts featured newcomers
stepping up for injured veterans and gave a
brief glance at the fiiture.
“Overall, the spring was good in terms of
what we wanted to get accomplished,” Coach
Frank Solich said. “As I look back on it, we had
a lot of young guys that got experience and
muit; yiaymg umc
with upper units
than what normal
ly would be the
case. That comes
back to the num
ber of guys that
were held out with
players got rave
brought the Spring
NU kick returner
Vjuiltv ViVTTU IV UO -
feet with a 100-yard kickoff return.
“I don’t really feel like I’ve proven myself
yet,” Demps said. “I’m going to have to keep
showing up at that position.”
As a member of the secondary, Demps
must compete with a group that returns all of
its players and features two All-American
Candidates, Ralph Brown and Mike Brown.
Will linebacker Randy Stella was another
newcomer that drew praise.
“Stella better not be blocked by a tackle
alone because he can fly,” Defensive
Coordinator Charlie McBride said, noting
Stella’s ability to run ball carriers down from
The linebacker corps should be bolstered
in the fall by the return of Eric Johnson and
Julius Jackson, who were held out because of
On the defensive front, NU must replace
three NFL draftees, but projected starters
Loran Kaiser, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Aaron
Wills and Steve Warren were up the to chal
lenge Saturday, combining for 10 tackles
including three for 16 yards in losses.
Offensively, the receivers got a shot in the
arm with the NCAA’s decision to allow wing
back Shevin Wiggins a sixth year of eligibility.
“With one player you go to a experienced
group,” Receivers Coach Ron Brown said.
“This could be a very good position. It’s amaz
ing what one guy can do for a position.”
Solich did see improvement this spring
from the offensive line, a group that was
maligned last season.
“In some ways they came along to the point
we wanted this spring,” Solich said. “We want
ed them to be a physical group. We wanted
them to come off the ball and get back to aver
aging six yards on first down. We want to see
more improvement but some of that comes
back to missing explosive ball carriers.”
Running back was the hardest hit position
on the team with injuries. Only one player,
Correll Buckhalter, had game experience.
Chris Butler emerged from the injury-rid
dled group to rush for 67 yards on 10 carries
and had a 47-yard touchdown run in the spring
Without the/competition of injured Bobby
Please see INJURIES on 12
NU’S MIDDLE RELIEVERS, Brandon Penas, left, Chad Wiles and Jarod Bearinger all have stepped up into the role of relief this season for the
Story by David Wilson
Photo by Matt Miller
Relief-by-committee works for NU
From staff ace to ace in the hole, Shane
Komine has done a little bit of every
thing for the Comhusker pitching staff
But the true freshman isn’t alone in his ver
Every pitcher on the relatively young
Nebraska staff has thrown in relief at least once,
and 10 different pitchers have started on the
mound. Despite a lack of experience and con
sistent roles this season, NU has seemed to find
success on the mound in the middle to late
“We’re just a little thin in depth in guys with
experience to come in and get those tough outs
late in the game,” NU Coach Dave Van Horn
said. “A lot of times, that takes time to develop.
“It’s kind of been pitch-by-committee, but I
think for the most part, the pitching has done a
good job out of the pen when they’ve been
Komine, for example, has started eight
games and has made five relief appearances.
His most recent outing form the bullpen came
in a loss Sunday against Iowa State, when the
Hawaii native tossed 9 2/3 innings without giv
ing up an earned run as he completed the 16
inning game. That effort followed his first
career save Saturday.
The original plan, however, had been to
start Komine in game two on Sunday.
“If game one, we were in it and had a
chance to win it, we’d go ahead and bring him
in and probably not start him,” Van Horn said.
“Our philosophy was, if we have a chance to
win a game, let’s win it Let’s not wait until the
next day. It’s really paid off.”
Through a team-high 66 innings pitched,
Komine owns a team-low 2.86 eamed-run aver
age and has struck out a team-high 66 batters.
The right-hander, who last worked as a
relief pitcher as a junior in high school, said he
hasn’t had too much trouble adjusting to the
“Starting, for me, I kind of like that because
you determine how the game is going to go,”
Komine said. “But coming out of the bullpen,
you’re the stopper. You’re what they call the
Please see RELIEF on 11
Husker comfortable at No. 3 singles
By Jake Bleed
Anything can happen on a tennis court.
Favorites can fall in straight sets to unheard of
challengers, rankings can look like bad jokes and,
I most oi an, noining is
But in No. 3 singles,
Jorge Abos-Sanchez, the
Nebraska men’s tennis team
might have found a policy
The Zaragoza, Spain,
native is 16-3 in singles play
on the season, the best record
-VT 1 • .1
“We have pretty much come to count on him
winning about 99 percent of the times he walks
on the court,” Coach Kerry McDermott said.
Some of Abos-Sanchez’s victories have come
against highly ranked opponents. In early-season
matches against Texas A&M and Rice, Abos
Sanchez’s wins were NU’s only points.
Other victories for NU’s No. 3 were key in
Husker victories. His win in straight sets against
Texas Tech’s Yevgenij Carlov started a successful
NU rally over the 71st-ranked Red Raiders, a vic
tory that prompted McDermott to shave his head
Abos-Sanchez said part of his success this
year was because of his experience as a freshman.
Originally placed at No. 3, behind No. 1 Dinko
Verzi and Magnus Grahn, Abos-Sanchez was
forced to move up to No. 2 that year after Grahn
suffered chronic injury problems.
McDermott said competition in the top sin
gles positions can be very tough for freshman
players who lacked experience playing at colle
“It was a pretty good experience,” Abos
Sanchez said. “I think I’m playing better now, but
last year was my first year playing. I didn’t
believe in myself. Now I know I can beat any
Abos-Sanchez finished the year 12-11 in sin
gles and more confident in his playing.
“Every time I go on the court, I expect to
I didn’t believe in myself.
Now I know I can beat
NU tennis player
win,” Abos-Sanchez said. “I work for it and I
always try to get my concentration to focus.”
Veizi said Abos-Sanchez was one of the most
consistent players on the team.
“Next year, I know he’s going to be contend
ing for the tough spot,” Verzi said.
Before this season draws to a close, Abos
Sanchez has some goals to meet. Most of all, he
said, he wanted to win the No. 3 singles Big 12
title and beat the Longhorns.
“To get the doubles point will be pretty
tough,” Abos-Sanchez said. “But you never
know, anything can happen in tennis.”
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