Sports editor Sean Tepper and some special guests fill you in on everything you need to be on the lookout for next season
Sheldon Levy’s Pick: Maple Leaf Garden’s impact on Ryerson’s sports culture
“I know that we are looking at Maple Leaf Gardens not only as a place to host varsity team events, but [as a place] to have other events [that will make] a game more than just a game. I think a lot of its success will be in the imagination of the students as supported by Athletics and Recreation. I hope that in its first year MLG begins what you could call the resurgence, where wanting to participate both from a recreational sense and also attending varsity games becomes more of the norm. But I do think there are four or five teams that in two or three years can win provincial championships and I wouldn’t be surprised if in five years Ryerson has a national champion.”
-Sheldon Levy, Ryerson University president
Ivan Joseph’s Pick: New Faces in the Athletics Department
“I think we’ll have some new faces in the coaching ranks … I think you are going to be seeing a whole bunch of new faces . We [are] looking for a new associate director of athletics. We have been without one since Beth Ali left. Our sports psychologist and academic mentor is also going on maternity leave so [there] will be a new face as well … I think new faces are always good because they inject energy into your department.”
-Ivan Joseph, Director of Athletics
Joseph also said that Charles Kissi, the women’s basketball interim-head coach, has had his contract extended while Ramin Mohammadi, the interim-head coach of the women’s soccer team, will have to wait until his contract expires next month before learning his fate. Kissi will retain his position on the team until former coach Sandy Pothier, who is currently battling cancer, is well enough to make her return to the bench.
The Revival of Ryerson Athletics?
Will MLG and the new rebranding of the Ryerson Rams help jump-start Ryerson’s non-existent athletic following? While this question won’t be answered for another couple of years, Sheldon Levy, Ivan Joseph and company are employing new techniques to get the student population interested in the Rams. They include pre- and post-game events and the widespread sale of Ryerson Rams apparel that used to be exclusive to athletes. To cap it off, Ryerson Athletics is set to unveil a new logo over the summer that is aimed at rebranding Ryerson Athletics with a new identity.
Teams to watch
The men’s soccer team had its best finish in school history as they made it to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) semi-finals before losing a 2-1 heartbreaker to the York Lions. As for the men’s basketball team, head coach Roy Rana overcame a slew of player injuries and a rookie-laden roster to lead the team to an 11-11 record and a trip to the OUA quarterfinals. While it will be interesting to see if these teams can build upon their productive seasons, no Ryerson team had a more impressive season than the women’s hockey team. The Stingers capped off an undefeated season by winning the Golden Blades Women’s Hockey League title as they prepare to compete in the OUA next season. It will be interesting to see if the newest addition to the Rams family can translate their recent success to the OUA next season with highly-acclaimed and newly-acquired head coach Lisa Jordan behind the bench.
Teams that need to bounce back
The women’s volleyball and men’s hockey teams left much to be desired last season as both finished near the bottom of their respective leagues. After going 8-11 last season, the women’s volleyball team finished this season with only one win for a dismal 1-18 record. With half of his roster being first-year athletes, head coach Dustin Reid has to hope that the experience his team gained over the course of the season will propel them to a better finish next year. Like the women’s volleyball team, the men’s hockey team regressed from a 12-13 finish last season to an 8-18 record this season. With MLG set to open later this year, head coach Graham Wise will need his team to perform better if he plans on attracting a large flock of fans to home games.
Photo by: Lindsay Boeckl