Article: Autumn Mcdowell – Sports Editor
What do U of R athletes do in the summer anyway?
Thanks to the combined efforts of UR International, International Relations & Partnerships Unit in collaboration with Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Hidalgo, the University of Regina women’s soccer team had an experience they will never forget.
From May 1-16, 21 Cougars athletes and head coach Bob Maltman left for Mexico to participate in the newly developed International Humanitarian Work Program.
During their stay in Mexico, the team helped underprivileged families and also participated in creating workshops focusing on fun recreational activities for the children they were working with. They also helped out with social projects designed at improving children’s education level in rural communities.
To learn more about the Cougars individual experiences while in Mexico, check out their blog: cougarsinpachuca.wordpress.com.
The Regina Rams have had a busy off season as numerous members of the team were drafted into professional leagues.
Rams fans were shocked when defensive-lineman Stefan Charles was not selected in the National Football League entry draft after much hype. However, Charles did sign a contract with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent post draft.
Rams teammate Jorgen Hus, who had flown relatively under the NFL radar, also signed a contract as a free agent, and hopes to suit up with the St. Louis Rams in the future.
Four U of R athletes were also selected in the Canadian Football League entry draft this summer.
If his NFL dreams don’t pan out, Charles has an exceptional back up plan with the Edmonton Eskimos, who selected him in the second round, 10th overall – albeit much later than he was originally projected to go.
The Calgary Stampeders also took offensive lineman Brett Jones in the second round, 16th overall and finally; offensive lineman Chris Mercer and long snapper Hus were taken 26th and 31st overall, both by the Eskimos.
The men’s basketball team has been dealt with a difficult summer, to say the least.
On April 23rd, long-time head coach James Hillis announced his resignation from the team after 19 consecutive seasons, effectively immediately. While a search for the new coach has been well underway, nearly one and a half months since the resignation, the Cougars are still without a head coach.
The Cougars were then dealt a second blow when veteran forward Connor Burns decided to take his talents to provincial rival, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies for his final year of eligibility.
The Cougars will now be forced to endure a season without their top-returning scorer, and without the only head coach that these players have ever known.
Summer time has been busy for the Cougars hockey staff, who are hard at work recruiting new talent for next season.
The Cougars have added former Kelowna Rockets forward Cody Fowlie and former Battleford North Stars defenceman, Brody Luhning to their roster with the hopes of cracking a playoff spot for the second year in a row.
If any Cougars fans are wondering what happened to former top scorer Matt Strueby, who left the team midway through the season to explore an ECHL contract with the Colorado Eagles, he has been playing hockey for the Perth Thunder of the Australian Ice Hockey League this summer.
Track and field
For current Cougars track and field athletes Jeremy Eckert and Tait Nystuen, the competitive season isn’t over yet.
Eckert and Nystuen have been selected as part of the 56-man roster to represent Canada in the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia from July 7-12.
This will be Eckert’s first time representing Canada, while Nuystuen will be a seasoned veteran at the tournament as this will be the third time he has worn the red and white.
However, before heading overseas, the duo will first compete alongside numerous other Cougars athletes at the 2013 Canadian Track and Field Championships in Moncton, N.B. from June 20-23.