Imprint Online » Sports http://theimprint.ca University of Waterloo's official student newspaper Tue, 03 Apr 2012 04:22:46 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The Edge: Spring in Augusta http://theimprint.ca/archives/9598 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9598#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:08:46 +0000 Michael Steffler http://theimprint.ca/?p=9598 For the last five years, the month of April has always meant two things to me, final exams and The Masters.

One week from today, The Masters tournament will be heading into round two, and this year’s tournament promises to be one of the best in recent memory.  Fan favourites, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIllroy and Tiger Woods all have an early season win to their credit as they drive down Magnolia Lane towards the famed Augusta National Golf course.

Augusta National is one of the few sporting events left that is true to its original roots.  You won’t see billboards cluttered with oversized advertising logos, nor will you find the large corporate tents the PGA Tour is accustomed to on its courses.  At the concession stands prices are the same today as they were for the first Masters, then called the Augusta National Invitational, the famous pimento cheese sandwich still sells for $1.50.  While Augusta National has been progressive in so many areas, course technology and television coverage comes to mind, they have always been able to maintain the exclusive feeling that can only be associated with their tournament.

The Masters is an event that is difficult to define for the average golfer.  Just one of four major golf championships, yet there is something magically different about this tournament than the other three.  First it is always played at Augusta, the only major to return to the same venue every year.  Playing the same course is just one of the factors that elevates this tournament above the rest.  Each year pivotal shots hit by the champion can be compared to that of champions past.  Last year eventual champion Charl Swartzel of South Africa birdied the final four holes of the tournament to take the green jacket.  While that feat had never been accomplished it immediately brought to mind Jack Nicklaus’ back nine 30 to win in 1986, Arnold Palmer’s back to back birdies to win in 1960, and Phil Mickelson’s birdie on 18 in 2004 to win his first major.

It is believed that the Augusta pines that line the fairways hold the echo of the crowds from year to year.  The course is designed so that players remain close to the other groups on the course, and as one player makes a move all the others understand his progress through the roars of the Augusta patrons.  Indeed it is a special place; the course is what makes the tournament.

Augusta is designed for lead changes.  It’s what creates the anticipation for the back nine on Sunday.  Players have come from as far back as five shots over the final nine holes to win.

It all begins with what golf writer Herbert Warren Wind called Amen Corner in 1958.  Holes 11, 12 and 13 provide a par 4, a par 3, and a par 5, all with water directly in play.  A player can score three over on the stretch of holes just as easily as he could score two under.  A simple bounce one way or the other can be the difference, as it was in 1992 when eventual champion Fred Couples managed to stop his ball on the bank of Rae’s creek.  The fortuitous bounce led to a par at the 12th hole, Fred won the championship by a single shot.

It’s often said that the course chooses its champion; Couple’s good fortune in ‘92 is not the only example of that.  In 1961 Arnold Palmer’s second shot at the 18th plugged and led to a 6, Gary Player got up and down from a perfect lie in the same bunker and beat Palmer by a shot.  Sometimes the course doesn’t so much choose its champion as it does challenge him, as was the case in 2009 when Angel Cabrera hit a tree on the 18th and ricocheted backwards, he was still able to save par, and eventually won in a playoff.

It is a great event that only grows in stature as the years continue to pass. This year I am realizing a childhood dream as I will attend Sunday’s final round and see the course for the first time.  Memories at Augusta each year are as inevitable as flowers blooming each spring; I simply can’t wait to be a part of it.   After all, it’s the Masters.

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Senior Send Off: Saying goodbye to our Warriors http://theimprint.ca/archives/9601 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9601#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:08:46 +0000 imprint http://theimprint.ca/?p=9601 Caitlyn Brydges Thomas Cardiff Julia Endicott Laura Klein Cameron McIntyre Tyler Moir Kayla Ng Chris Ray Jarrett Schnurr Katie Spack Cameron Wheelan Kealin Wong

Imprint File Photos

Varsity Hockey

Caitlyn Brydges #16

Caitlyn Brydges (left) will most definitely be missed as the captain of the Waterloo Warriors. The 5’3’’ forward provided leadership in her time as a member of the squad.
She will graduate from the kinesiology program. The Ariss, Ontario native was in her fifth and final season of eligibility.

Jarrett Schnurr #14

Forward Jarrett Schnurr’s (right) scoring touch will be missed as his time ends as a Warrior. The 5’9’’ forward provided consistent scoring over his time as a Warrior. One of the highlights of his career was being named the most improved player in 2010.  The Waterloo native played four years with the Warriors.

Colin Carwardine 

Warrior men’s blueliner Colin Carwardine played three seasons for the Warriors. He won the Warrior rookie of the year in 2009–2010. Previously, he played for the Kitchener Dutchment. The Guelph native will graduate from the recreation and leisure program.

Elizabeth Baverstock 

Elizabeth Baverstock played goaltender for the Waterloo Warriors. Baverstock will graduate from the Waterloo recreation and leisure program. The Cambridge native had several starts for the Warriors.

Kealin Wong  

Defenceman Kealin Wong played four seasons for the Warriors. The Regina native previously played for the Estevan Bruins of the SJHL. The 6’1’’ Wong will graduate from the honours science program.

Tyler Moir  

Forward Tyler Moir  is graduating after playing two years  with the Warriors . The Calgary native will be completing the kinesiology program. Previously, Moir played with the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Thomas Cardiff #8

Forward Thomas Cardiff (right)  played a full five seasons with the Warriors. The London native is graduating from the geography program. Previously, Cardiff played for the London Nationals of the WOHL. He was an Academic All Canadian three times.

Chris Ray  #10

Captain Chris Ray(right) was a leader through and through. Ray’s determination and drive will be missed dearly by the Warriors, and his presence will be missed. His goal scoring was especially apparent this season. One of his personal highlights was playing in the first OUA winter classic this season.

He was named Warrior rookie of the year in 2006–2007 and was the team-MVP several times. This season he was named an OUA west all star and the OUA west most sportsmanlike player. The Kelowna native will graduate from the environment and business program. Previously, he played for the Kelowna Rockets.

Sarah Endicott 

Defenceman Sarah Endicott’s leadership along the blueline will be missed next season as the Warriors continue to improve under new coach Shaun Reagan. The 5’11’’ Toronto native will graduate from Waterloo’s science program.

Julia Endicott #12

Defenseman Julia Endicott(below) will be graduating along with her sister, Sarah. The 5’10’’ Toronto native will graduate from the science program after four years with the Warriors.

Varsity Volleyball

Kayla Ng #14

Setter Kayla Ng’s(Right) setting ability will definitely be missed as she had several great games with a high number of assists. The 5’9 London native will graduate from the kinesiology program after four years.

Katie Spack  #10    

Libero Katie Spack will graduate after her four years as a member of the Waterloo Warriors. The Ottawa native will graduate from Waterloo health studies program. Her presence on the court will be greatly missed.

Cameron Wheelan #5

(Right) Outside Cameron Wheelan leaves the Warriors after only one year, transferring from Laurier after their varsity men’s team folded. Wheelan was an integral part of this year’s playoff run in which they made it to the OUA final four, where they lost to favourite  Western Mustangs. Wheelan came over to the Warriors this season after transferring from Laurier’s varsity program. Wheelan was honoured this season by being named to the OUA-second all start team. Wheelan will graduate from environment and business.

Varsity Basketball

Cameron McIntyre #34    

Cameron Mcintyre was a force through his five seasons as a member of the Warriors. The 6’4 guard constantly led Waterloo on the score sheet.

McIntyre led the team over the years on and off the court and was a inspiration leader for his teammates and admired by his coaches.

McIntyre’s last couple seasons were mired by several injuries but his determination off the court still had a positive effect on his teammates. The Kitchener native will graduate from the recreation and leisure program. It will be the end of an era in Warrior basketball as mainstays McIntyre and coach Tom Kieswetter will no longer be the face of the team.

Laura Klein  #9

Outside Laura Klein(left)’s offensive ability will be greatly missed as she graduates after four years as a member of the Warriors. The Kitchener native will graduate from the Waterloo fine arts program this year. Klein was awarded player of the game against McMaster this season for a game high ten kills.

Lainna Buch 

Lainna Buch  played two years for the  women’s volleyball team. Her presence  in the games and off- the court presence will both  be missed greatly. The Keswick native will graduate from the PACS program. She played middle and outside over her time a member of the Warriors.

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How to save a life http://theimprint.ca/archives/9618 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9618#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:08:46 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9618 UW performed well at the 2012 Ontario Lifesaving Championship in Richmond Hill, placing seventh. Courtesy UW Athletics

UW performed well at the 2012 Ontario Lifesaving Championship in Richmond Hill, placing seventh. Courtesy UW Athletics

The University of Waterloo had some solid results at the 2012 Ontario Lifesaving Championship. The event took place in Richmond Hill. The Warriors were facing several members of the Canadian National team, and a put together a strong effort placing seventh. They earned a mark of 208 points.

One of their better events was the 200 m men’s obstacle relay, where they captured first place which earned them a total of 20 points. Participants in this event were Sam Johnson, Alex Johnson, Alex Lickley, and Kyle Koerth.  Imelda Chan, Georiga Teare, Danielle Johnston, and Corin Jorgensen earned a sixth place in the women’s obstacle relay, which earned them 12 points. The women finished third in the 12 m line throw.

The men also finished first place in the 200 m medley relay and the women had another good showing finishing fifth.

Koerth earned a silver medal in the 100 m with two fins and a sixth place in the 100 m obstacle swim.  With only nine swimmers competing, the Warriors put forth an admirable showing against nationally renowned athletes.

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Warrior Wrap-Up: March 30, 2012 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9620 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9620#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:08:45 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9620 Lee earns silver 

Nathan Lee’s successful  season continued at the 2012 Canadian National College/University Championship.  The tournament took place at Lee’s Badminton in Mississauga.

The tournament was a mix of team and individual events. Waterloo finished seventh in the team event, which consisted of mixed doubles , men’s and women’s singles, and men’s  and women’s doubles.

In the individual bracket of the tournament, nine Waterloo players competed. The Warrior participants were: Lee, Adrienne Goldsworthy, Amanda Carruthers, Andrew Tai-Pow, Andrew Zhuang, Carrie Law, Danush Ambagahawita, Wes Marr, and Mat Marr.

Lee was the top finisher as he finished second in a men’s singles bracket which had 55 competitors. His performance qualified him for the 2012 World University Championships which will be held November 6-11 2012 in Gwangju, Korea. Tai-Pow and Lee also advanced to the semifinals of the men’s doubles bracket, but failed to qualify for the finals.

Warrior earns second swim at Olympic trial

Waterloo’s Graeme Kemp had a very successful Olympic Trial on Tuesday. In the men’s 400 m individual medley, Kemp posted a personal best four minutes and  33.67 seconds in the preliminary heat. The time ranked him 14th overall  and earned him a second swim on Tuesday. He did however earn a berth in the B final.

However, the performance will not earn him a berth for the London Olympics this summer. Guelph’s Andrew Ford is in the running for the berth on the Canadian team as he recorded a mark of 4 minutes 23 seconds in the preliminaries. After the six day meet, the Canadian Olympic swim team will be announed. Kemp, a Waterloo native was the only swimmer who qualified for the second swim on Tuesday who is from the area.

Fellow Warrior Wesley Greig finished 43rd in the men’s 100 m breaststroke. Kemp also finished 64th in the men’s 100 m breastsroke on day two with a time of 1:01:46.

Joining the grid iron gang 

The Warrior football team announced a number of their 2012 recruits last Friday at the Columbia Ice Field. Marshall Bingeman, director of football operations and interim head coach Joe Paopao were in attendance to speak to the recruits before they signed their commitment papers. The recruits for the 2012 football season are:

  • Quarterbacks – Ben Hall (Brantford), Jamie Cook(Guelph)
  • Running Backs – Glorian Ganza(Kitchener), Alex Dolzi(Kitchener), Colin Dunn(Burlington)
  • Defensive Linemen – Erick McCormick(Cambridge), Nick Vennard(Orillia) , Stuart Sullivan(Whitby)
  • Offensive Linemen – Taz Martin(Elmira), Steven Stratford Jr.(Hamilton), Anthony Melo(Kitchener)
  • Defensive Back – Travis Legein(Hamilton), Nick Norwood(London)
  • Wide Receivers – Eric Cusimano(Kitchener)
  • Line Backers – Paul Kaija(Sarnia), Brandon Corelli(Sault St Marie), Jamieson Pappas(Kitchener)
  • Defensive Ends – Max Reiber(Kitchener)
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Waterloo students help steer Ice Pirates’ ship http://theimprint.ca/archives/9594 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9594#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2012 09:32:24 +0000 Erwin Melocoton, Assistant Sports and Living Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9594 The Kitchener Ice Pirates hockey team congregate in the middle of the ice around of their coaches during a practice. Courtesy Ice Pirates Hockey

The Kitchener Ice Pirates hockey team congregate in the middle of the ice around of their coaches during a practice. Courtesy Ice Pirates Hockey

In one of his first practices this year coaching the Kitchener Ice Pirates, Waterloo student Joel Reeves was trying to get the attention of a new player. The new player was in the corner lined up waiting for drills to start.

“Dante, lead it off,” said Reeves.

Dante just looked around, unaware of Joel’s command. It turned out that Dante was deaf. No one had let Reeves know.

“It took me about five or ten minutes to figure it out,” Reeves said. “I went over there trying to get his attention and somebody finally came up and told me, saying you kind of need to give him a nudge.”

Reeves is one of four University of Waterloo students who currently helps coaching the Kitchener Ice Pirates hockey team. Reeves, along with Brandon Eaket, Brett Steele, and Marc Brownrigg, have been dedicating their time to the special needshockey organization, which focuses on teaching kids with developmental disabilities the basics of hockey and giving them the opportunity to play.

The Kitchener Ice Pirates were founded in 2008 with nine players. Since then the teams have grown to include two teams and over forty players. The age of the players range from four to twenty-four with the teams separated by skill level rather than age.

Currently the organization is in a state of flux as volunteers move on and natural turnover occurs. It is a delicate time for the organization in their growth curve with volunteers needing to be replaced. Regardless, with people like Eaket, Steele, Brownrigg, and Reeves, showing the type of dedication it takes to help the Ice Pirates, good people seem to always find their way to the organization.

Eaket and Steele, who will be entering their fourth years coaching for the organization, have seen the teams grow before their very own eyes. They have been part of the hockey community since its founding.

Both Brandon, who also happens to be a Slotback for the Waterloo varsity football team, and Steele come from families that understand the importance organizations like the Kitchener Ice Pirates have in the community. Eaket’s brother has cerebral palsy and plays for Cambridge while Steele’s brother has Down syndrome.

“It’s program for kids with special needs to participate in a sport they normally wouldn’t,” Steele said. “It helps form a sense of community. A lot of them would have difficulty playing mainstream hockey.”

About 75 per cent of the players suffer either from autism or Down syndrome. For the players, the sense of community is the most important part of the experience, using the sport of hockey as common bonding experience. Part of the goal of the organization is simply to provide a social outlet for the kids.

For Eaket, the thrill of coaching the players comes from his own experiences with his brother.

“Growing up, personally, with my brother it was really tough,” Eaket said. “I would see people bully my brother and say things I wouldn’t to my worst enemy. People don’t understand what people with disabilities overcome.”

Eaket translates his relationship with his brother into his relationships with the players with the Ice Pirates.

“You get that moment where everyone is strapped up in their hockey equipment and about to go on the ice for the first time,” Eaket said. “And for that moment no one sees their disability.”

Some of the players come from difficult backgrounds. The trials and tribulations of raising children with disabilities can take its toll on anyone and the few hours a week the organization operates provides both parents and kids a chance to relax.

But it doesn’t mean that as coaches, the Waterloo students don’t have responsibilities to the organization.

“As coaches we’re mentors and leaders for the players,” Steele said. “We’re trying to teach them much more than hockey. We need to teach values and that comes from us being role models and friends in some cases. We give them someone to look up to.”

In return often the coaches learn just as much as from the players. It’s a relationship of give and take, where their personal connections help everyone involved grow. All of the coaches shared this sentiment of personal growth through this experience.

“It’s had a positive effect on me,” Brownrigg said. “You think your life is tough but it really opens your eyes.”

“We learn more from them than they do from us,” Eaket also said. “You take it for granted what you have.”

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Tamed by the Bears http://theimprint.ca/archives/9440 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9440#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 09:38:18 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9440 The men’s curling team went 6–3 in the CIS tournament to earn the silver medal, including a 8–5 win in the semifinal versus Brock. Courtesy UW Athletics

The men’s curling team went 6–3 in the CIS tournament to earn the silver medal, including a 8–5 win in the semifinal versus Brock. Courtesy UW Athletics

Waterloo finishes with silver medal in CIS Championships after falling to Alberta Golden Bears

Performing on the Ontario stage wasn’t enough for Jake Walker and the Warriors. The Waterloo men’s curling team did not disappoint on the national stage, capturing a silver medal.

The OUA champion Warriors were defeated 7–1 in the final of the CIS championships by the Alberta Golden Bears. The tournament was hosted by the Brock Badgers and took place March 14–18 at the Welland Curling Club in St. Catharines.

“I’m very proud of the boys; we got very far,” said Walker. “Of course, it would have been amazing to get the gold and become Team Canada, but a silver medal at a national competition is hard to complain about.”

Walker, a third-year skip performed very well on the national stage leading all skips in the tournament with a 76 shooting percentage. The third-year electrical engineering student’s  performance earned him a spot on the CIS first team all Canadians. Along with Walker, vice Edward Cyr also earned a spot on the first team with a solid 75 per cent.

Waterloo’s tournament was highlighted by a  8–5 defeat of the Brock Badgers in the CIS semi-final on March 17 after losing to those same Badgers in round robin play earlier in the day.

The Warriors had a very strong showing in the round robin portion of the tournament posting an impressive 5–2 record after starting the tournament off with five straight victories.

“[The] round robin was a very long and drawn out process as we played seven games in four days, three of which were in one day,” added Walker. “But after the first five games, we remained the only undefeated team and guaranteed ourselves a spot in the playoffs which took a lot of stress off and gave us some time to focus on our new reset goal of doing well in the playoffs.”

Waterloo started the tournament off strong with a defeat of the UPEI Panthers 7–3 in nine ends, including posting four points in the final three ends. Day 2 was an impressive one for Waterloo as they posted three more victories to run their record to a perfect 4–0. The day included victories over the Winnipeg Wesmen and two wins over the Manitoba Bisons. Waterloo started off day five by defeating the Carleton Ravens 8–2 in eight ends. Their win streak ended at the hands of the eventual champion Golden Bears, by a score of 7–3 in eight ends.

The fourth day was a crucial one for the Warriors, and they started it off by losing to the Brock Badgers, 7–4. Waterloo’s 5–2 record would set them up for a rematch with the Badgers in the semifinals, which they would win.

“Even though we had lost to them in our first matchup, I wasn’t worried because we hadn’t lost to them at all in the several times we played them all season and because of that, we had the upper hand and the psychological advantage.”

After defeating Brock in the semi-final, a rematch with the Golden Bears was on tap. The Golden Bears lost one match in the round robin.

Walker didn’t cite pressure as a reason the Warriors faltered in the national final.

“There’s always pressure going into a national final or any competition final for that matter,” said Walker. “The best way to handle that kind of situation is to eliminate the stress and pressure. For the most part we did that. [The loss] was simply due to poor execution; they played well and we didn’t. We struggled a lot with the ice the whole week.”

In the final, Walker posted a 65 per cent while Alberta Skip Brendan Bottcher had a sizzling mark of 88 per cent.

Geoff Chambers and James Freeman also had solid tournaments for the Warriors. Chambers, a second, was third best at his position with a 74 shooting percentage, which earned him a spot on the CIS second team all Canadian. Freeman, a lead, was 70 per cent for the championship.

Alberta’s Brad Thiessen and Karrick Martin also were awarded a spot as first team all-Canadians.

The CIS coach of the year was awarded to Lee Komyshyn, coach of the Winnipeg Wesmen.  The host Brock Badgers earned a bronze medal in the tournament.

In the women’s bracket,  the Laurier Goldenhawks took home the gold medal for the second consecutive year, and their fourth out of the past five years. The Badgers took home the silver, while the Manitoba Bisons settled for bronze.

The Warrior’s men’s curling team finished the season with a very impressive mark of 22–6.

“We will take the loss as a learning experience to gear up for next season and try not to make the same mistakes this time around.”

The Warriors will only have to improve with one more win next season.

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Warrior Wrap-Up: March 23, 2012 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9452 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9452#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 09:38:18 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9452 Former UW basketball star Julie Devenny passed away on Monday after a courageous battle with cancer. Devenny was named CIS and OUA rookie of the year in 2002. She was just 30. Courtesy UW Athletics

Former UW basketball star Julie Devenny passed away on Monday after a courageous battle with cancer. Devenny was named CIS and OUA rookie of the year in 2002. She was just 30. Courtesy UW Athletics

Devenny passes away

Former Warrior basketball starter Julie Devenny passed away on Monday after a courageous battle with cancer. Devenny was just 30. Devenny battled cancer for five years before passing away at home.

Devenny was a member of the women’s basketball team from 2001–2005. Her career with the Warriors was highlighted by being named the CIS and OUA rookie of the year in 2002.

In that same year, she was named an OUA all-star. Devenny graduated from the kineseology program at Waterloo and attended Western for masters in physiotherapy. She worked at Grand River Sports Medicine as a sports physiotherpaist.

 

Waterloo tops donations

For the fifth consecutive season, the “Shoot for the Cure” initiative was a massive success.

On Monday, the CIS women’s basketball association announced that $98,706.92 has been raised for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in 2011-2012.

They made the announcement prior to the CIS championship game at the University of Calgary.

For the first time since the initiative began, this season all universities that have a women’s basketball teams had fundraising games or different activities.

Waterloo set the tone by raising  $25,000. Cape Breton and the University of New Brunswick also raised quite a bit of money.

The total raised by the initiative was approximately $121,000, which includes donations to other organizations from the schools. Over five years, the initiative has raised approximately half a million dollars.

 

Joining the champs

Joel Reinders will get a second shot in the NFL. The former Warriors offensive tackle signed a deal with the Super Bowl champions New York Giants on March 13.

This will be Reinders’ second chance with an NFL squad as he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2010. Reinders played in one preseason game, but was cut shortly after.

Reinders, 6’8, began his career as a CIS basketball player and played on the team for two years before joining the Warrior football team. Reinders, an Oakville native, got his shot with the Browns after highlights of his play were posted on Youtube.

 

Walker honoured

The accolades keep on pouring in for Jake Walker.Walker was named the OUA male athlete of the week on Tuesday, March 20.

Walker’s efforts in the CIS championship over the weekend propelled the Warriors to a silver medal. He was named as a First Team All Canadian.

Walker, a third year electrical engineering student, led all the skips in the CIS tournament with a 76 shooting percentage.

The Minden native is the key to the Warriors and led them to a gold medal in the OUA championship, and a 22–6 record over the entire season.

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The Edge: Will the Jets land in playoffs? http://theimprint.ca/archives/9456 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9456#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 09:38:17 +0000 Michael R. Steffler http://theimprint.ca/?p=9456 On May 20, True North announced their purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers, and their relocation. Courtesy Braydon M/Wikimedia Commons

On May 20, True North announced their purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers, and their relocation. Courtesy Braydon M/Wikimedia Commons

The NHL playoff race is reaching its climax and surprise, surprise the Leafs again will not be a factor.  Seven straight years without a playoff game at the Air Canada Centre seems inevitable at this point.  But while the Leafs won’t make it, another Canadian team in the NHL’s eastern conference is making a push for the playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets.

As of Sunday night, the Jets sat two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot with 10 games remaining in the regular season.  Since Christmas, Winnipeg owns by far the best record on home ice, despite the great streak the Detroit Red Wings put together at the Joe Louis Arena this season.  Jets fans in Winnipeg, and all across the country, have been flocking to the MTS Centre this season to once again watch the Jets take flight, and it seems they’ve been helping their team mount this late season charge.

The enthusiasm, however, should come as no surprise. After all, the Jets departed from Winnipeg 17 years ago at the end of the 1995 season when the franchise was moved to Phoenix.  In that long stretch of 17 years, fans were tortured on more than one occasion, with rumours of relocating a team and of league expansion. Winnipeg was always in the conversation.  All that ended last summer, when True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the Atlanta Thrashers with the intention of moving them to Winnipeg.  The announcement was made in the spring of last year and ever since fans across the nation have been keeping a very close eye on the happenings in and around the city.

There have been plenty of great events for the Jets already this season.  Their home opener against the Canadiens was played in front of a crowd that was as loud as you will ever hear for a regular season game.  Winnipeg also had the chance to welcome home one of their favourite sons when Teemu Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks visited the MTS centre in January.  Indeed the fans have gotten their money’s worth.

Now the attention turns to these final 10 games.  The playoff battles in both conferences are compelling, but there is no greater storyline than the Jets attempt to get back to the post-season in their first year back in Winnipeg where they belong.  Making the playoffs will not be easy.  The Jets have only two games left against teams that are currently outside of the playoff picture. Additionally only 3 of their 10 remaining games will be at home in front of those raucous fans.

Their final game, however, is at home. It will be played against Tampa Bay on April 7.  Imagine what that crowd would be like if a Jets win eventually means a birth in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs?  What a fitting end to a long awaited season that would be.

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Western reigns supreme http://theimprint.ca/archives/9460 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9460#comments Fri, 23 Mar 2012 09:38:17 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9460 Waterloo earned a medal in the OUA badminton championship for the seventh consecutive year. Courtesy UW Athletics

Waterloo earned a medal in the OUA badminton championship for the seventh consecutive year. Courtesy UW Athletics

Waterloo earns bronze medal in OUA badminton championships; Western takes gold

For the fourth time in five years, the Western Mustangs are Ontario champs. The Mustangs defended their provincial title at the 2012 OUA badminton championships on March 18. The Waterloo Warriors had a strong showing,  earning the bronze medal. It was the seventh straight season where the Warriors have earned a medal, including a gold medal in 2010.

“I was proud of the way the team represented Waterloo at OUAs because they showed heart and domination,” said coach Amanda Carruthers. “I am satisfied to still be in the top three, and with this year’s standings only having a four point spread between first and third, we intend to return next year hungry for that gold medal.”

Western won the tournament by a margin of a single point over the host Toronto Varsity Blues. Western earned 58, while Toronto posted 57. The Warriors finished a hair back with an impressive 54 points.

Waterloo’s Nathan Lee had an outstanding tournament. Lee earned a silver medal in the singles tournament, while also winning second place in the men’s doubles bracket with partner Andrew Tai-Pow.

“We were successful at OUAs with 17 of our teams qualifying from their pools,”added Carruthers.

Waterloo’sAndrew Zhuang earned third spot in singles. Danusha Ambhagahawita and Matthew Marr also won third place in the men’s doubles bracket. Waterloo also excelled in mixed doubles where Tai-Pow and Stephanie Yeung earned a bronze medal.

“The team has demonstrated support for every teammate at all points this season,” added Carruthers. “Whether we are at competitions or at practice, teammates are always pushing each other to improve and succeed.  This camaraderie has created a tight-knit group of athletes focused on being the best.”

The teams relationship has definitely been a factor in earning them a medal once again.

“From players cheering themselves hoarse to pump up their teammates to pep talks before matches, everyone wanted each other to succeed,” added Carruthers.

In the women’s doubles bracket, Carrie Law and Yeung earned the silver medal.

Their performance earned them a spot on the OUA all star team for the women’s doubles bracket. Lee was named to the men’s singles OUA all-star team, while Tai-Pow and Lee’s performance in the doubles tournament also earned them a spot.

Western dominated the awards. The Mustangs’ Martin Giuffre earned the most valuable player of the tournament while their coach Rob Fowler earned coach of the year. Giuffre was the champion in the men’s singles competition, while his partnership with Ross Golding earned them a gold in the men’s doubles bracket. Players from Toronto were the champions in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Western, Waterloo, and Toronto dominated the tournament with various awards and top three finishes.

Coach Carruthers sited training as an important reason the Warriors were so successful in the tournament and during the entire season.

“The team has been training four times a week since mid-September,” she said. “Practices have included spinning classes and circuit training, in addition to drills on court. During the final two weeks before OUA’s, the team focused on serving, shot placement, game strategies, and games.

The season doesn’t end now.

The bronze medal finish for the Warriors earned them a spot in the 2012 Canadian National College/University badminton championships. The tournament will take place on March 23–25 in Missisauga. There will be team and individual events incorporated. Players who are successful in the individual events could earn a spot in the 2012 World University Championships, which take place November 6-11 in Gwangiu, Korea.

“As for preparing for future tournaments, our practices are finished for the season,” added Carruthers. “However, we realize the need to participate in more competitions throughout the season to incorporate more game-like scenarios into our practices.”

 

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The end of an era http://theimprint.ca/archives/9224 http://theimprint.ca/archives/9224#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2012 11:11:17 +0000 Namish Modi, Sports Editor http://theimprint.ca/?p=9224 Tom Kieswetter (pictured coaching a game in 2009) led the Warriors to two national championship tournaments during his tenure as the coach. Waterloo appeared in the national tournament in 1998 and 2005.  He also led the team to four titles in the annual Naismith tournament. Imprint Files

Tom Kieswetter (pictured coaching a game in 2009) led the Warriors to two national championship tournaments during his tenure as the coach. Waterloo appeared in the national tournament in 1998 and 2005. He also led the team to four titles in the annual Naismith tournament. Imprint Files

Men’s basketball coach Tom Kieswetter retires after 20 years on the job

It is definitely the end of an era. After two decades at the helm, the University of Waterloo department of athletics announced the retirement of men’s basketball coach Tom Kieswetter.

“I felt that I had lost some of my passion and after 40 years, retiring had a certain appeal, so this seemed like the optimum time to call it a career.”

The announcement came on the heels of a very disappointing season for the Warriors where they finished with a record of 6–16, which was highlighted by a miserable 13 game losing streak. It was the sixth straight losing season for the Warriors. Their last winning season came in the 2005-2006 campaign where they posted 13 victories.

“I have been considering retiring for the past year or so and I made the final decision in January,” said Kieswetter. “The team was struggling to win some games and even though we kept working hard and stayed together, we couldn’t seem to get the job done. I felt responsible and knew that some changes had to be made. The obvious change that had to be considered was the coach.”

Kieswetter, 62, took over the coaching reigns from Don Mcrae in September 1992 and guided the Warriors to a 325-352 record over his 20 years, including two appearances at the national championship tournament, the last appearance being in 2005. The Warriors posted an impressive 19–3 record during the 2004-2005 season.

“I really find it hard to rank memories and I have had so many great ones over my 20 years here at Waterloo,” added Kieswetter. “However, our two trips to the Nationals in Halifax, our training camp in Cuba, and our Naismith Championships do immediately come to mind.

The Warriors were champions of the annual Naismith tournament four times during Kieswetter’s tenure.

Kieswetter, a native of Waterloo, has been linked to the Warriors since 1968. He played his first of five seasons as a Waterloo Warrior that year. He was a captain for the Warriors over his five years, along with being named an OUA all-star twice.

Kieswetter also played for Team Canada in the pre-Olympic tournament in 1972 in Germany.

His coaching resume was also impressive before becoming the head coach for Waterloo in 1992. He was an assistant coach for the Warriors from 1973-1974, and from 1990-92.

He also coached high school basketball for 17 years and won an All-Ontario Championship at St. Jeromes in Kitchener in 1987. From 1985-1988, Kieswetter was the coach for the Ontario Provincial team. Kieswetter was respected by his colleagues and his players and he will be missed.

“[We will miss] his passion for University of Waterloo student athletes, [his passion] for the game of basketball, and his integrity,” said UW associate athletics director Christine Stapleton. “In 40 years of varsity men’s basketballl, the University of Waterloo has had two coaches — that is remarkable stability in the transient coaching world. Tom was an incredible role model for all the young men who have worn the black and gold.”

Kieswetter’s relationship with his players was an exceptional one.

“Coach Kieswetter, to me, is more than a basketball coach, at different times, he’s a mentor and also a friend,” said Warrior forward Andrew Melbourne.“He is the definition of a players coach, one of the best coaches [who] I have been lucky to have.”

The players not only learned from Kieswetter, but he learned a great deal from them.

“They say you should learn from your mistakes and I truly believe this, so after 40 years of learning from my mistakes I have learned a lot,” Kieswetter added. “If I had to summarize it, I would say- always do your best [and] always do what you think is right and never give up.”

He also accomplished a fair bit and had some highlights as the bench boss for the Warriors.

He defined the opportunity to have a positive influence on the players as important aspects of his career. The Warriors athletic department will have to start the process of finding a replacement for Kieswetter.

“Having made the journey, I would advise my successor that he finds ways to enjoy what he is doing and not just focus on the scores/wins. I’m not suggesting that winning is not an important objective, because it is. That’s why we play the game and losing ‘sucks’- to use this generation’s vernacular.”

Kieswetter is undecided on the next steps of his coaching career and isn’t in any rush to make a decision, but hopes varsity basketball will thrive at the University of Waterloo for years to come.

“When they receive support from the students, faculty, staff, and community, it helps their confidence and performance and it is much appreciated,” said Kieswetter.

“We’re going to miss him dearly, and we wish him nothing but happiness in all his future endeavours,” Melbourne added.

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