By Will Baldwin
It’s impossible to talk about the year of 2020 in sports without acknowledging COVID-19. The pandemic cost athletes many of the U Sports 2020 national championships and the entire fall season. However, before sports were brought to an indefinite halt, the Ryerson Rams saw some shining moments.
Here’s a recap of the top five Rams sports stories of 2020.
Rams receive All-Canadian Honours
Ryerson athletes of the year Xander Ketrzynski and Cailin Wark each represented Ryerson’s volleyball teams as All-Canadians. Ketrzynski, to his credit, earned the honour for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, Wark joined Ryerson women’s volleyball legend Theanna Vernon as the Ram’s only women’s volleyball players to be named All-Canadians. Joining them as an All-Canadian Ram was men’s basketball star Tevaun Kokko, marking the sixth straight year the Rams men’s basketball program has produced an All-Candian.
Women’s hockey makes history
For a program less than 10 years old, 2020 was a big step for Ryerson’s women’s hockey program. The team made its first conference semi-finals in its young history and was an overtime away—in the third and deciding game nonetheless—from being the first Ryerson hockey team to reach the OUA Final. Though it hurt to lose to rival University of Toronto, it’s hard not to be excited about the future of this program.
Women’s basketball makes it to the OUA finals
For the first time since 2016, when they joined men’s basketball on the same night as the first conference champions in Ryerson history, the women’s basketball team made it back to the Critelli Cup finals. However, the result wasn’t in the Ram’s favour this time around as they would lose to Brock at home. Regardless, for a team afflicted with injuries to some of its best players, an OUA championship game appearance and U Sports Final 8 bid was quite the season.
Fencing and figure skating combine for three medals
Joining women’s basketball as OUA medallists in 2020 was the women’s fencing’s epee relay team, men’s fencing’s Ethan Haines and figure skating’s Kaitlyn Wilson. Wilson took OUA gold in the Star 10 Singles Freeskate for the second straight season while Haines won silver in the individual foil event. All three of the teams enjoyed solid finishes in total and will look to build on their growing success when competition resumes.
Dave DeAveiro named men’s basketball head coach
After an exceptional career at McGill, Dave DeAveiro was hired in the spring to lead Ryerson’s men’s basketball program. 2020 saw the Rams miss the U Sports men’s basketball Final 8 for the first time in five years, something DeAveiro will be looking to change in his first season leading Ryerson.