Predicting upcoming Cougars’ seasons

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Is that Cougar lying dead or ready to pounce? /Haley Klassen

Is that Cougar lying dead or ready to pounce? /Haley Klassen

A look at women’s b-ball, the Rams, and cross-country

It is the start of a new school year, which means it is the start of a new athletics season for our University of Regina Cougars and Rams athletes. Expectations are high for some teams, while others are looking to rebuild and stay competitive this year. I’ll be looking at some teams that you should keep an eye on this season!

First — the big girls on campus — the Cougars women’s basketball team. The women had a bit of a disappointing end to their season last year, when they lost in the third place game of the Canada West Championships and did not advance to the CIS Championships. Although team leader Nicole Clarke is moving on, they have plenty of ammo to make another run at a CIS Championship berth. Watch out for Janine Guijt, who made the Canada West All-Rookie team last year, and third year player Charlotte Kot who averaged 10.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, at forward. Coach Dave Taylor has a challenging road ahead with the expectations and pressure on this team, but I fully expect them to continue their winning ways this season.

The Rams are always a hot topic on the U of R campus, and that’s no different this year. There’s some optimism for the team this year, and while they are quite young, a lot is expected out of them. This will be head coach Frank McCrystal’s last season with the team and hopefully he’ll go out with a bang. But at the very least, hopefully he can leave the team in a good position heading into next year, while some of the young guys like running back Atlee Simon and slotback Riley Wilson get some valuable experience. Also, be sure to take note of wide receiver Addison Richards, who is looking to build off a very nice 2013 season that saw him named to the East-West Bowl game.

Moving on to a lesser-known team, take a look at the Cougars men’s and woman’s cross-country teams. While they may not be as well recognized as the football or basketball teams, the cross country teams are poised for big years, both the girls and the guys. Led by Matt Johnson and Avery Westburg, they look primed to make waves in the cross country world. Throw in the likes of Wyatt Baiton, Michael Middlemiss, Adam Strueby and Anneliese Davis, and you have an absolutely loaded roster led by coach Graeme “Doc” McMaster. Keep an eye out for these guys and girls, especially when they have all the eyes on them in Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational.

At the beginning of a new school year we get to see the fresh faces of the athletes, coming off an entire summer of improving in their respective fields. I encourage all readers to get out to these events and show some pride in what our colleagues are doing, because I expect some big things this year.

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