Jonathan Hamelin, Autumn McDowell, Ed Kapp, Dietrich Neu
This week's roundtable
Who do you think was the most valuable student-athlete at the University of Regina for the past year?
Hamelin: Michelle Anderson, the goalie for the women's soccer team. While the Cougars didn't have a successful campaign, Anderson continued to do all she could to keep them in games. She finishes here career with the U of R leading in every major statistical goaltending category. More importantly, in interviews she always puts the team
McDowell: I could say something cliché here and say that all of the student-athletes are valuable, but that’s a lie because it’s pretty obvious that some are much more valuable than others. Chris Bodnar was a bright spot in the Rams rather difficult season, and I must say the kid looked sick at Riders training camp this week, making him a cut above the rest.
Kapp: There were a lot of really strong performances by U of R student-athletes last year, so it’s hard to say. Wrestlers Connor Malloy and Steven Schneider each claimed national championships, Jessica Winter had a great season for the swim club, Joanna Zalesiak helped the women’s basketball team dominate on the court for the majority of its season. You could really make a case for any of those guys — and probably a few more from other teams at the school — to be named “the most valuable student-athlete at the University of Regina for the past year.”
What would you say was the biggest surprise of the 2011-12 CIS campaign?
Hamelin: The fact that the Rams managed to put together a decent season after losing star pivot Marc Mueller for the year in the first game of the season. Using a variety of quarterbacks, including a converted slotback, the Rams managed to finish 3-5 and earn a semifinal berth against the Calgary Dinos, only losing by 12 points.
McDowell: I was surprised at how many coaches and players hated me after I pointed out that their teams sucked in last year’s issues of the Carillon. Just because I pointed out that your team dropped the ball in a rather sarcastic way does not mean that I deserve three-page hate emails and declasses asking if I was “an asshole or a douchebag”. However, to answer that question I am an asshole.
Kapp: The women’s basketball club had a terrific regular season, but fell short in the playoffs. I, like most people, I think, had them pegged to win the national championship. I think it was pretty surprising that they couldn’t finish the season on top.
Which University of Regina team or athlete are you most looking forward to seeing back at it in 2012?
Hamelin: As surprising as it may sound, the men's volleyball team, who set a record for wins last season with four — I know, hold the applause. The team has — no offence — been bad for so long and everyone is just waiting for the year when they put it all together. Hopefully they'll build off a four-win campaign.
McDowell: I’m pretty pumped Marc Mueller will be back at quarterback this season. Not to say that our second, third and even converted fourth string quarterbacks didn’t do a good job, but they’re no Mueller. Do us all a favor Marc, and please God never attempt to run the ball ever again.
Kapp: That would have to be Rams signal caller Marc Mueller. Mueller sat out nearly all of the past season, so it will be interesting to see how he bounces back in his final campaign with the club. He’s healthy and has a lot of weapons, so it should be a good year for him.
Neu: I’m excited to see Jessica Winter return. She was voted MVP of the Cougars swimming team in both of her first two seasons, and is returning from the Olympic trials last March; I would like to see if she will maintain that momentum.
"The Rams will win the Vanier Cup. With Marc Mueller returning, it gives the Rams the extra push they need." – Jonathan Hamelin
Which fifth-year student athlete will have the best season at the University of Regina this year?
Hamelin: Connor Malloy of the men's wrestling team. Coming off a CIS gold medal this year, adding to his CIS silver and bronze medals the two years previous, it's exciting to think what Malloy can possibly do for an encore.
McDowell: Might as well stick with the Rams theme and chose Jamir Walker. Walker has been a standout and interception specialist during his first four years in the program and this year is sure to be no different. Expect Walker to step it up even more and to break his own previous records in order to catch the eye of CFL scouts this season.
Make one bold prediction for the 2012-13 CIS season.
Hamelin: The Rams will win the Vanier Cup. With Marc Mueller returning, it gives the Rams the extra push they need.
McDowell: One bold prediction eh? Well, might as well go outlandish and make a few more enemies. My bold prediction is that the women’s hockey team will actually make the playoffs this season. In my book, “bold” means that it has no chance of happening – ever.
Kapp: The Rams will go undefeated en route to claiming a national championship.
Neu: The U of R fencing team will make their long-awaited return to action after almost sixty years away from competition. I’ve seen some philosophy profs that I bet would do some serious damage in a fencing contest.