By Gavin Axelrod
In the wide world of sports, analytics help tell the stories of athletes, coaches and teams both past and present. While some stats are worthy of praise, others have fans and teams scrambling to erase them from the record books.
The Rams athletics program at Ryerson University has decades worth of good and bad stats. From players who rewrote the record book, student-athletes that became legends and truly terrible team records, the university has seen it all.
While this year’s class of Rams athletes is sure to go down in history one way or another, this list turns things back to those that helped Ryerson make its mark as one of the top athletic programs in the country. But it also sheds a light on some of the less successful days of the program, too.
These are some Rams stats you’ll have to read to believe.
Is Theanna Vernon the most accomplished athlete Ryerson’s ever seen?
Former Rams women’s volleyball star Theanna Vernon is a legend in every sense of the word.
The Rams alumna from Scarborough, Ont., racked up a laundry list of accolades during her five-year stint at the university. Vernon burst onto the scene during the 2014-15 season where she led Ontario University Athletics (OUA) in hitting percentage, was named OUA East Rookie of the Year and made the OUA’s All-Rookie team.
While many athletes hit a ‘sophomore slump,’ it was the opposite for the former Rams middle blocker in her second year with the team. She earned what would be the first of four appearances as an OUA First-Team All-Star and was the only player on her team to appear in all 67 sets during conference play.
Vernon’s greatness would carry on to her third season, but it was in her fourth year of play that U Sports acknowledged her as one of the best players in the country.
The 2017-18 Rams women’s volleyball season is historic for the university, as it marked the first time a varsity team won a national championship. During the team’s undefeated run to the title, Vernon was named a U Sports Second-Team All-Canadian and took home Most Valuable Player honours at the women’s volleyball national championship.
In Vernon’s final year with the Rams, she put an exclamation mark on her career by becoming the first player in program history to be named a U Sports First-Team All-Canadian. In addition, she was also named the OUA’s Female Athlete of the Year, OUA East Player of the Year and was a finalist for the U Sports women’s volleyball Player of the Year award.
Rams men’s basketball team goes three seasons without a win
The year is 1977, Eggy the Ram is still a real ram and the university’s basketball team was putting up a stink worse than the Gould Street garbage on a hot summer day.
Between the 1977-78 and 1979-80 seasons, the squad went 0-12 in three-straight campaigns. The Rams head coach for two of those three forgettable seasons was Ed DeArmon, who only won 13 games in his near decade-long run as the team’s bench boss.
A shake-up behind the bench was in order heading into the 1979-80 season, with Phil Schlote taking the reins. But the Rams fell to 0-12 on the year once again.
Things did turn around in the Schlote era though, and the Rams won two games during the 1980-81 season. Their victories included a dominating 73-57 win over Queen’s and a nail-biting 86-84 ‘W’ over the University of Toronto.
With two wins over 24 games, Schlote rode off into the sunset after his second season with the team. Terry Haggerty became the Rams head coach, tipping-off with the 1981-82 season and then holding the position for a total of 22 years.
Raheem Rose impresses on the pitch
Former Rams men’s soccer midfielder Raheem Rose became one of the most decorated players in program history in his five seasons with the university.
Rose kicked his career off by winning OUA East Rookie of the Year in the 2014-15 season and never looked back. Over the next four years, Rose earned OUA East MVP honours twice.
In addition, he was also named a U Sports First-Team All-Canadian in 2015 and 2016, and a Second-Team All-Canadian in 2018. Rose is one of two Rams men’s soccer players to receive First-Team honours alongside Alex Braletic who did so in 2013.
Kryshanda Green’s dominance on the ice
While the former Rams women’s hockey team star has moved on to life after Ryerson, her name will be forever etched in the university’s record books.
Green tallied 83 points in 95 games from the 2016-17 season to 2019-20. Next up on the all-time list is current Rams star Lauren Nicholson, who entered this season with 61 career points and currently has six points in six games during the pandemic-shortened year.
In another impressive feat, over half the points Green accumulated were assists. Green’s 47 helpers put her alone atop the Rams women’s hockey record book in the assist category. Trailing behind Green is Rams alumna Melissa Wronzberg with 37 as well as current team standout Brooklyn Gemmill who entered the 2021-22 season with 35 assists.
Analytics aside, Green served as the team’s captain for two years and helped lead them to multiple postseason appearances.
Ketrzynski bursts onto the scene
Ryerson is no stranger to rookie phenoms, especially this year with Aaron Rhooms dominating headlines for the Rams men’s basketball team. But back in the 2018-19 season, all eyes were on Xander Ketrzynski of the Rams men’s volleyball team.
The outside hitter led the country with 329 kills in his rookie season and in kills per set with 4.84. This helped him earn U Sports’ Rookie of the Year award and he was the only first-year in Canada to be named a First-Team All-Canadian that season.
During his two seasons with the Rams, Ketrzynski shot up the record book too. He ranks first in points per set, sixth in the program with 74 service aces and seventh in all-time points with 727.5.
In 2020, Ketrzynski traded in the blue and gold for a professional contract overseas in Qatar.