The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 01, 2001, Page 10, Image 10

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Daily Nebraskan Thursday, February 1,2001 Page 10
McTorry may compete despite ACL tear
Put a tent
over new
XFL circus
thing those
prissy boys
from the
NFL, those
pink jock
strap wear
ing guys like
Ray Lewis...
it's a good
thing they
got their season out of the way
before the bus hit them.
The XFL bus is loose, driven
byWWF creator Vince McMahon.
Saint Vincent you know him and
love him. 01’ Vince, he’s the guy
who organized the NFWC
(National Fake Wrestling Cult).
Now Mr. McMahon has creat
ed a new football league - a cross
between Comedy Central’s “The
Man Show” and theWWF but still
played with a pigskin.
McMahon thinks his league,
which kicks off this weekend, is
going to take America by storm.
And it might for a while; then it
will fall flat on its face like imita
tion football leagues before it
The only thing this league’s
really got going for it is the
comedic rules it features along
with a bunch ofbombshell cheer
leaders dressed in ... well, not
their Sunday finest
McMahon has become rich
on bringing the circus to televi
sion, and that’s exactly what he’s
created in the XFL It’s a Ringling
Bros, special with football occu
pying a small comer ring next to
the cotton candy salesman.
That said, Vince has brought
some cute playground ideas to
the game of football that just
might win him a few fans early.
Fans will appreciate that play
ers are rewarded for winning. If
you suck, it sucks to be you.
Players only gamer $45,000
base pay but share a $100,000
pool with their teammates for
winning a regular season game.
If their team wins “The Big
Game,” (seriously, that’s its name)
the XFL’s Super Bowl, the team
* splits a$l million pot
Doing more to make the game
as eye-catching as possible,
McMahon has done away with
such hackneyed traditions as the
coin toss and pass interference.
To start the game, the two
fastest gents from both teams
race from the 35-yardline to mid
field in hopes of getting to the
waiting football first Win the race,
and your team gets the ball.
Defensive backs are allowed
to bump-and-run the wide
receivers all the way down the
field, not just inside of five yards
like the pro and college ranks.
With this rule, even you, yes
you, could cover Randy Moss. If
you got the size, just chuck No. 84
to foe ground. Vince says play on.
Any punt that travels 25-yards
is afree ball This is foe kind of rule
that could make your former
high-school kicker foe MVR
These rules leave no doubt
that foe game itself, one that has
grown over years to be respected
and loved by its players and fans
alike, is just a sideshow in the XFL
The game doesn’t attract fans, the
rules do.
The silliness doesn’t stop
there. Players are encouraged to
date cheerleaders. If a player
makes a bad play, die announcers
are encouraged to go interview
his cheerleader of choice and ask
the young lady if they did the
“wild tiling” last night.
That’s classy, Vince.
If that's not enough, one of the
announcers is Minnesota Gov.
Jesse Ventura, who is supposed to
be surrounded by cheerieaders at
all times.
How venerable of him
The XFL sounds so goofy, but
not anymore weird than WWF
would have sounded in its con
But football is a game that
Americans love to see played welL
You aren’t going to see it in the
XFL You’re going to see NFL busts
like Jim Druckenmiller and
Colorado’s Heisman TVophy win
ner Rashaan Salaam
The USFL, Donald Trump’s
league that lured NFL stars-to-be
Herschel Walker, Steve Young and
Reggie White with money, lasted
just four years.
The XFL has no such stars.
They have Jim Druckenmiller and
Rashaan Salaam. Craziness and
girls. That’s McMahon’s answer to
So, spendafew hours with the
XFL circus. Enjoy it while it’s there
because before too long, it’s gone.
Nebraska wrestler Charles McTorry,
sidelined since Dec. 30 after he tore the
anterior cruciate ligament in his right
knee, could return to action Friday when
NU faces Coach Mark Manning's former
team, 20th-ranked Northern Iowa.
The knee injury was the latest in a rash
of setbacks McTorry has been plagued
with for the last season-and-a-half, and
McTorry has been used sparingly this year
for the ninth-ranked Cornhuskers.
A shoulder injury resulting in nerve
damage that sidelined him near the end of
last season also hampered McTorry for the
first three weeks this year. That injury
combined with the ACL tear has permit
ted McTorry to wrestle only four times this
year, compiling a 3-1 record.
McTorry said he was planning on tak
ing the mat against Northern Iowa, and he
feels confident about the health of his
“Honestly,” said McTorry, who injured
“I’ll be more nervous about
the mat time I’ve had this
year and my stamina more
than my knee. ”
Charles McTorry
NU wrestler
the knee sparring against 197-pounder
Brad Vering, “it's just a little stiff.”
The senior from Nashville, Tenn., has
been wrestling at full speed in practice
with the assistance of a custom-made
brace that minimizes the stress on the
other ligaments in the knee, he said.
While Manning was tight-lipped
about McTorry competing Friday, he said
McTorry will be back later if not against
Northern Iowa.
Manning was hesitant to directly say
that McTorry would be in the starting line
up. He only said there was a “possibility.”
"Charles is ready for now for this peri
od,” Manning said. “But I don’t know who’s
going to go (at 184 pounds) right now.”
But it seems that Manning’s options
are limited at that weight class. Matt
Fletcher, a natural 174-pounder who has
wrestled in McTorry’s absence, is suffering
hum an ankle injury and is unable to com
Melanie Falk/DN
pete on Friday.
Should McTorry compete on the bad
knee, it wouldn’t exactly be a ground
breaking event, Manning said. Wrestling is
a sport where an ACL injury doesn't indef
Beckerman learned his lessons
The senior wrestler
says experiences
forged his career
In the last few weeks, Nebraska wrestler
Todd Beckerman’s roller-coaster career has
taken a minor plunge but nothing he hasn’t
dealt with before.
Beckerman has seen ups and downs at NU
and has utilized the lessons learned from the
downs to maximize his ups.
After spending four years with Nebraska
and coming off a fifth-place finish at the 2000
NCAA Championships, the fifth-year senior
was staring at his best shot at a national tide,
his ultimate goal.
“The fifth place was rewarding at the time,
but it’s definitely something to build on for this
year,” Beckerman said. “I don’t want fifth at all
this year. I don’t waqt anything less than first”
Entering the season ranked No. 2 at 133
pounds, Beckerman proved he was definitely
worthy of a national title. He won his first 14
matches to move up to first in the national
Since then, the ride has taken a turn south
for the co-captain. Beckerman has dropped to
fourth in the rankings, a result of dropping
three of his last five matches heading into
Friday’s meet at Northern Iowa. Each loss’was
to a wrestler currently ranked higher than him.
Despite his recent struggles, Beckerman
said he has confidence he will come back. That
confidence helps him rebound after down
times, he said, and its source is all the success
he’s had over his career.
The Crofton, Md., native started on top
coming out of high school where he compiled
a 208-1 record. That mark included 187 con
secutive wins.
Also recruited by Lehigh and North
Carolina, Beckerman had a mildly successful
first year at Nebraska, qualifying for the NCAASs
with a 23-17 record at 118 pounds.
Beckerman spent the next season redshirt
ing to move up a weight. Following his redshirt
year, Beckerman got his biggest confidence
boost so far at NU with a first place freestyle
finish at the Junior World Championships in
the summer.
But he wasn’t able to ride that confidence
into his sophomore year, barely posting a win
ning record of 19-16 at 133 pounds.
Beckerman said the stiff competition he faced
that year helped lead to the biggest progres
sion of his career, which started with a third
place finish at the University Korean Nationals
during the summer of 1999.
This time around, he used the confidence
garnered from the Korea tourney to post a 31
DN File Photo
Senior Todd Beckerman grapples with Minnesota's third-ranked Brett Lawrence of Minnesota on Jan. 11 at the
Devaney Sports Center. Beckerman, ranked fourth at 133 pounds, is vying for his second-straight All-American sea
10 record and gain All-American status at
.“I felt like my junior year was my last year,”
Beckerman said. “I had to bring it all out I did
n't want to leave here with just one All
American status. I didn’t want to leave here not
being a national champ. I kind of made it seem
like it was my last year - to just go all out”
Beckerman, who had been with the same
coaching staff at NU for four years, then had to
deal with a complete coaching transitionwhen
NU hired Mark Manning to take the place of
Please see WRESTLER on 9
Huskers seek to develop talent on mound
Nebraska enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in
2000. Now it must look to one big gun, and a few new ones, to follow
up on that success.
Led in part by the pitching of All-American Jenny Voss, the
Huskers finished 52-21, falling just one game short of the College
World Series. A trip there would have been the second in three years.
Voss has graduated, and now this year’s team will have to look
elsewhere for a leader on the mound, namely Leigh Ann Walker and
two freshmen behind her, Peaches James and Katie Decker.
Walker, a junior, was a second team All-America selection in
2000, leading the team with a 1.58 ERA. Beyond her, positions on the
staff are up in the air. Decker and James figure into the equation, as
will senior transfer Penny Cope.
Coach Rhonda Revelle said it is yet to be determined how much
time each will see on the mound.
“(Pitching coach) Lori (Sippel) and I haven’t really talked about
the number of games,” she said. “We want them to throw to their
ability. If they all throw to their ability, we're going to have tough
decisions to make as coaches."
Cope, who was a second-team All-SEC selection as a freshman
with a 2.13 ERA at Alabama, agreed.
“Because we have so many pitchers, I don’t think anybody’s
thinking in terms of‘do I start’ or ‘how many games do I get,”’ Cope
said. “It’s just a different mindset of always being ready.”
“Because we have so many pitchers, I don’t
think anybody’s thinking in terms of ‘do I start’
or ‘how many games do I get. ”’
Penny Cope
/_ NU softball player
James, who was Nebraska’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a sen
ior at Papillion-LaVista High School, brought some excellent creden
* tials with her to NU.
From 1998-1999 James won 31 consecutive games, including a
streak of 19 straight shutouts. James had a misprint-like ERA of 0.04
as a senior. James said she was unsure if she could dominate in col
lege the way she did in high school.
“It’s hard to tell now as a freshman,” the right-handed pitcher
said. “I know the batters are better at the collegiate level. I hope for
the best.”
Decker, from Englewood, Colo., is not as widely known in
Nebraska as James is, but she compiled excellent statistics while in
high school, just as James did. As a senior, Decker posted a 0.37 ERA
on the mound and a .398 batting average at the plate.
“Since there is four of us (pitchers) it’s a challenge. It’ll make me
better in the long run, and it will make this team better,” said Decker.
halts at
Nebraska did not look like a
team in the midst of a five-game
losing streak against Kansas on
Wednesday night.
The Comhuskers were smil
ing, laughing and jumping on
each other in celebration.
Players were bounding around
the courts in joy - Nebraska was
arguably outplaying a team for
_ the first time
Nebraska 73 in three
Kansas 62 weeks.
•-* The
excitement and energy flowed
as NU (10-11,2-6) put an end to
its losing streak by defeating the
Jayhawks (8-11, 2-6) 73-62 on
the road.
“We played with a lot of
emotion, which we haven’t been
recently,” freshman guard
Shannon Howell said. “Even
when we made mistakes, we
played with emotion.”
The win put an end to Coach
Paul Sanderford’s longest losing
streak in his four years at
Nebraska. It also marked the
Huskers’ sixth victory in their
last seven games against KU. It
was the second-straight year
NU won at Allen Fieldhouse
after a 12-year drought there
ended last season.
“It's been so long since we
have won,” Sanderford said on
his post-game radio show. “We
were something like 0 for
January. It was a much needed
Winning for the first time
since Jan. 10, NU pounded it
inside early as forward Paige
Sutton and center Casey
Leonhardt accounted for eight
of Nebraska’s first 10 points.
After allowing KU to take a
15-10 lead,Nebraska grabbed
back the momentum in a big
way as they went on a 21-4 run
over the next 9:55. The spurt
included a stretch of 11 unan
swered points. Kansas went
without a field goal for more
than seven minutes of the
Howell powered the spurt
with six points while distribut
ing the ball to open teammates.
The freshman from Playa Del
Rey, Calif., put in career high
totals in points (18) and assists
(seven) in the game.
Said Sanderfoxd: “Howell
had a big first half and made big
plays for us.”
The Huskers stretched a five
point halftime lead to 10 before
the Jayhawks slowly crept back
into the game, eventually com
ing within one on a Jaclyn
Johnson layup with 10:57 left.
NU senior guard Amanda
Went then came through with
two three-pointers that would
give the Huskers six points of
breathing room.
Went was three for four from
three-point range in the final 20
minutes and seemed to hit the
big shot whenever the Huskers
needed it.
NU found multiple scorers
as four Huskers scored in dou
ble figures. Leonhardt had 16
points and Went added 13.
Sutton also set career bests with
11 points and eight rebounds.