"I can do that!"


Mourning run
    Up until Aug. 4, Dustin Voss' head was filled with all kinds of questions related to running.
    Could the 18-year-old Saline senior become the very best prep cross country runner in Michigan, not just one of the best? Could he improve on a successful junior year where he finished runner-up at the Division 1 meet and first in the 3,200 meters at the May state outdoor track meet? Would he wind up with an athletic scholarship at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri or Notre Dame?
     With one phone call that day, all those questions became irrelevant.

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Father knows best in the Scott family

    Nearly 10 years ago, Devon Scott was one confused 5-year-old.
    Whenever she went with her 6-foot-9-inch father to Detroit, people would stop him in the street, wave to him or otherwise treat him like a big-time celebrity.
     Her dad? A famous person? Couldn't be.
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Teen discovers life beyond premier-level athletics
    Steve Weinberg is used to the uncomfortable silences.
    They stem from the same questions friends, acquaintances and relatives have posed to him during the last few months.
     So, have you decided where you'll be playing water polo in college next year?
    He has.
    But possibly the best high school water polo player that the state of Michigan has ever produced isn't going to UCLA, even though the defending national champions offered him a scholarship
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Side by side again
    Zeke Jones pauses for a moment.
    "This story is not going to be all about her beating me up?" he asked carefully.
    No, it isn't.
    But we'll get to that.
    For now, this story is about what will happen next Saturday. That will be the day Huron High School graduates Jones, 37, and Tricia McNaughton Saunders, 38, will walk into Athens' Olympic Stadium as coaches for the United States wrestling team.
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Ingerson work ethic as prodigious as his mouth
     SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Jeff Lavender traditionally runs a drill designed to improve the shooting skills of players on the Santa Barbara High School basketball team.
    He starts them fairly close to the basket and tells them to start firing off jump shots. When a player makes seven of 10, he tells him to back up a step or two.
    About two years ago, a 16-year-old named Dommanic Ingerson came to town.
     A supremely talented combo guard from inner-city Oakland, Ingerson had moved to the upper middle-class community to improve his chances as both a basketball player and a gifted student who a year earlier had scored above 1100 on his SATs without studying.
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Promising successor
    Family Fun Day is usually pretty quiet if you are an assistant coach with the University of Wisconsin football team.
    While players and longtime coach Barry Alvarez stand on the field of Camp Randall Stadium signing autographs during a preseason event that typically draws crowds of 6,000, the more anonymous assistants can count on a few silently productive hours in their offices.
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Learning from the best
     ADRIAN - Phil Millerov is not used to be being swept off his feet. After all, the 19-year-old Caro native finished his high school wrestling career by recording 160 pins, a former state record. At 275 pounds, he's too beefy for most opponents to pin - let alone budge.
     All that changed Tuesday inside the Adrian College gymnasium when Millerov was tossed around like a wet towel by someone who knows a thing or two about handling big guys on the mat.
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A whiff of baseball
     Jim Haynes’ backyard is looking a little ragged these days.
    The grass is completely gone from a spot near the deck of his home off Platt Road in Pittsfield Township. Similar well-worn paths dot his nearly half-acre lot.
     Blame it on Michigan’s unending dry spell?
     No, blame it on a bunch of teenagers and twenty-somethings who have, much to Haynes’ delight, built their own “Field od Dreams” in the area behind his home.
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Playing second fiddle in Bloomington
    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - On an afternoon not too long ago, 17-year-old Jordan Black entered Ward's Downtown Barber Shop to look for his father, Michael, who was waiting to get his hair trimmed by Hyscel Ward, the shop's owner and sole barber.
     Jordan, his father explained, was a football player first and foremost. He was getting ready to play wide receiver for Bloomington South High School, the two-time state champions, this fall.
     But it was the words on the back of Jordan's sleeveless shirt that caught a visitor's eye. They said: "In 49 states, it's just basketball. But this is Indiana."
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Boosters, coaches go to bat for high school athletics

    Dottie Davis won't take it easy this Father's Day weekend.
    She can't. The coach of Huron High School's softball team has other obligations.
    Davis, her players, their parents and other volunteers run the Ann Arbor Summer Classic, an annual youth softball tournament that is expected to draw 46 teams from Michigan and Ohio.
    As much fun as it is, it also requires a lot of hard work every year, Davis says.
    And it's absolutely critical to her high school softball team's bottom line.
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Elite athletes bond
    In a way, it's no surprise that Candice Davis and Kara Lynn Joyce became fast friends.
    After all, during their two years together at Pioneer High School, Joyce and Davis shared so many common experiences. The classmates who looked at them in awe. The teachers who made sure they autographed their class assignments, just so that one day they could whip out that term paper and say "See? I taught her when…"
    But Joyce, known in Pioneer's hallways as the "swimmer girl in Sports Illustrated," was only peripherally aware of Davis, the three-time state champion in the 100-meter hurdles, until last fall.
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Petway's knack for rap the hit of Mock Rock  
      Who'd thunk it?
      Brent Petway can bring a crowd to its feet with his rapping almost as well as he can with one of his rim-rattling dunks at Crisler Arena.
      Former Saline High School soccer standout Cam Cameron can move his feet, even when he doesn't have a ball on his toes.
      And the University of Michigan hockey team? Well, you can always count on the unexpected from a bunch of guys who make their living on a sheet of ice.
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So close, you can touch it
   His name is Walter Neubrand.
   There’s no title on his business card. All it gives is his phone number at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
    “You can call me the Stanley Cup guard,” he said with a shrug. “The keeper of the Cup. Whatever you want.”
   Neubrand is standing in the alley outside Aubree’s Saloon in Ypsilanti. The most famous trophy in all of sports is here, the one that the Detroit Red Wings won back in June.
   And so is Neubrand.
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Student's room with a view leads to few revelations
    I know a guy, let's just call him Sam to preserve his privacy (for reasons that should become clear). Sam is a University of Michigan junior, majoring in mechanical engineering. He lives in a two-bedroom apartment at 1313 South State St.
    Unlucky you say? Not at all.
    Even though his season tickets are in the end zone of Michigan Stadium, you could argue that Sam is the most fortunate U-M football fan in all of Ann Arbor.
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Ann Arbor is much nicer than Louisville
    Dear Joanne,
    Hope you don’t mind the informality.You’re from New York City. I’m from New York City.
    So we have a lot in common.
    But we could have a lot more in common. Namely Ann Arbor.
    Your husband, Rick Pitino, is contemplating a move to Louisville, Ky. He’s being wooed by a bunch of University VIPs and businessmen in fancy suits.
     But I know who holds the power in your family when it comes to settling down.
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