author: brady lang| sports writer
Our sports writer names his favourites
In my few years here at the University of Regina, I have been lucky enough to call myself the sports writer here at the Carillon for two years. This definitely means I’ve been able to see my fair share of Canada West action.
Between football, basketball, hockey, wrestling, volleyball and more, I’ve been able to observe some great teams and some mediocre, we’ll say.
When I was handed the assignment of finding my favourite U of R sports team, I thought surely this would be an easy week to get through. Yet, as I reflected back on my time around here, it’s tough to pick just one.
First off, you have the U of R Rams. Football will always hold an important spot in the hearts of everyone in Saskatchewan. The program has seen its ups and downs in my few years here, yet at the same time they are always a key in whatever I sit down and write each week. Being able to watch the final year of Addison Richards’ and Tevaughn Campbell’s careers and moving into the CFL, along with watching the likes of Noah and Mitch Picton, Atlee Simon, and Matt Degelman (just to name a few) grow up in the organization is something special.
The local products of the Rams are amazing to watch, it’s what keeps this program alive and well and is the lifeblood of the athletic programs at the University of Regina. After seeing this team go from 6-12 in the first couple years here to a rough 2015 season, it’s great to see all of the changes the team has made going from 0-8 just a year ago, to a 4-2 record this season has been tremendous.
The Rams are for sure a team on the rise and shouldn’t be taken lightly moving into the Bryce era. They’ve gone back to the roots of longtime coach Frank McCrystal, bringing in great local talent and continuously better, just simply building on their local talent.
They’ve so far all but wrapped up a playoff spot in the Canada West this season, despite a tough setback in Edmonton this last weekend. The crew now has two games left in the 2016 season before a possible home playoff game in Regina at Mosaic Stadium. So far this season, they played a historic game at new Mosaic Stadium, in front of the largest crowd in Canada West history.
Another team I’ve had the pleasure of following has been the women’s hockey team. Throughout the few years the team has always been a contender in the Canada West program, making it constantly exciting watching the girls play. Head Coach Sarah Hodges has been able to set the groundwork for a great defensive style of play year-in and year-out.
In my first year, I was able to cover one of the greatest hockey series that I’ve ever witnessed. In the 2013-14 Canada West Final, the ladies played a playoff series that was unbelievable. A total of seven overtime periods were played in the three game series that went the literal distance.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, they came up on the wrong side of the final, but that year was very special for the program. The team was young, but displayed incredible tenacity, coming back and battling, just falling one game short of the Canada West title.
The ladies have started the 2016-17 season well early this year, kicking off the season 3-1. Obviously, in university hockey and university sports in general has turnover every single year, yet this year there seems to be a quiet confidence around the club. The team is strong and as long as they get solid performances in between the pipes, the ladies should be able to recreate their magic of 2013-14 and get back to the Canada West finals.
I look forward to not only watching these two teams, but also catching as much CIS action down the stretch as possible this upcoming season. The toughest part of watching all of these games in the past has definitely been the lack of fan support that the University of Regina students show towards these teams. I’ve said this many times, yet fans need to get out and watch the clubs we have on campus.
Whether it’s a Rams game, a hockey game, or anything on campus such as volleyball, basketball, or soccer. Fans need to come out; it will build better programs here at the school.
Trust me when I say this, go out and try to pick a favourite team. I tried, and it was definitely difficult!