GAITER CLUB eNewsletter December 19, 2005

Message from the Director of Athletics

Although our teams did not all make the playoffs nor win all their games and matches, there were some encouraging signs for a bright future for Gaiter athletics. Many of our teams were young; they will only get better as they mature and adjust to the university level. Winter workouts will be important for all the teams as they hone their skills, work on team concepts and look to improve on this past season’s results.

We are in the process of working out a partnership with the city of Sherbrooke, which would have the city share in the cost of an artificial field and lights on our campus. This partnership would accommodate all interuniversity teams, club teams, and possibly offer an expanded intramural programming. The flooding in October hammered home the need for an artificial surface as floodwaters sent all our teams to higher ground or to indoor gyms for practices at a crucial time in their season.

We are also in the midst of preparing a comprehensive proposal for the Capital Campaign Priorities committee to consider. Our proposal will consist of extensive renovations and possible additions to the John H. Price Sports Centre that would be beneficial to both Bishop’s and surrounding communities.

Have a very Gaiter Christmas!
Tony Addona
Director of Athletics
taddona@ubishops.ca

Fall recap - Golf and Women's Soccer

Golf
Gaiters participate in three tournaments in 2005

The Bishop’s Gaiters golf team competed in two conference tournaments this season before concluding their 2005 season at the Island Cup hosted by Holland College in Prince Edward Island.

Bishop’s finished the QSSF season ranked seventh in the eight team conference. The team placed sixth over-all in the Island Cup. Knowlton, QC native Trevor Dunn was the highest ranked individual on the Gaiters roster, finishing the season ranked 19th in Quebec. Dunn also earned a fifth place finish at the Island Cup.

Women’s Soccer
Lady Gaiters struggle to 2-12 record

With thirteen rookies on the roster, the Bishop’s Gaiters women’s soccer team entered the 2005 season with a recognition that the season would largely be about rebuilding and developing talent. While Bishop’s 2-12 record reflects the team’s inexperience, the improvement shown by the squad over the course of the season demonstrates the team has potential and should provide a sign of things to come in 2006.

Following a 1-0 season opening victory over UQAM, the Lady Gaiters dropped their next eleven conference games, while only managing to score one goal over that span. A victory over UQTR in the second to last game of the season gave Bishop’s its second win of the season, one more than in 2004. Lisa Wagner led the way for the Gaiters this season, scoring all three of Bishop’s goals.

Fall recap - Men's and Women's Rugby

Men’s Rugby
Gaiters finish season 6-2 but fall to Concordia in the playoffs

Defeated by McGill in last year’s conference finals, the Bishop’s Gaiters men’s rugby entered the 2005 season with every intention of returning to (and winning) the title game. A 6-2 record in the regular season and a 2nd place finish seemed to suggest that this was a distinct possibility. Unfortunately the Gaiters were upset by Concordia 20-7 in the conference semi-finals and with the defeat saw their hopes of a title-game rematch with McGill come to an end.

Despite their play-off struggles 2005 was a highly successful season for men’s rugby, both on a team level and for individual players on the Gaiters roster. Most notably, four Bishop’s players were selected to the Conference All-Star team: Matt Gagnon (Ottawa, ON), Eric Howey (Hamilton, ON), Adam Barrette (Ottawa, ON) and Rob Scruton (Mississauga, ON).

Women’s Rugby
Bishop’s misses out on the post-season for the first time since 1999

For the first time in the 21st century the 2005 Bishop’s Lady Gaiters women’s rugby team failed to qualify for the post-season. Bishop’s finished the season with a 1-5 record; their lone win came against cross-town rivals Sherbrooke.

Helping to lead the way for the Lady Gaiters this season was Cailin McCulloch of (Orleans, ON) who was named to the conference all-star team.


Fall Recap - Football and Lacrosse

Football
Gaiters go 1-7 in Leroy Blugh’s first season

When the Bishop’s Gaiters took to the field on Labour Day to host their cross-town rivals the Sherbrooke Vert et Or, it marked the beginning of a new era for the Gaiters program; former Gaiter standout and CFL star Leroy Blugh’s was making his head coaching debut for the Gaiters. The Blugh era, however, would get off to an unfortunate start as Bishop’s would fall 38-19 to Sherbrooke and, early in the first half, Gaiter star quarterback and defending CIS Rookie of the Year Kyle Williams was forced to leave the game with a concussion that would eventually force him to retire from the CIS.

Following the loss to Sherbrooke, the Gaiters played one of the toughest schedules in the country with their next four games coming against nationally ranked opponents. The Gaiters picked up their first, and only, win of the season on October 15th when they dominated the McGill Redmen 27-4. The Gaiters would drop their next two games, 26-19 to Acadia and 28-10 to Sherbrooke, to finish the season at 1-7, identical to their 2004 record.

Leroy Blugh’s first season as Gaiters head coach, however, was not without its bright spots, including close games against nationally ranked Montreal and Concordia and the emergence of rookie sensations Jamall Lee (Port Coquitlam, BC) at running back and Kyle Jones (Mississauga, ON) at punter, linebacker and kicker. Two members of the Gaiters were selected to the QUFL All-Star team: defensive end Dan McCullough (Fredericton, NB) and wide-receiver David Delaby (Pincourt, QC).

Lacrosse
Gaiters reach Baggattaway Cup yet again but fall to Brock in semi-finals

In its brief, five year existence at Bishop’s the men’s lacrosse team coached by Damien Roy has quickly emerged as one of the most competitive programs in Canada. The team has reached the Baggattaway Cup finals in each of the past three seasons, only to fall to arch-rivals Brock in all three match-ups. The goal of the lacrosse team as they entered the 2005 season was clear: to return yet again to the Baggattaway Cup, but this time to emerge as national champions.

Although Bishop’s got off to an uncharacteristically slow start in 2005, dropping two of their first three conference games, they quickly got back on track. The highlight of the regular season was a 12-11 overtime victory over Brock in October, a game that not only snapped Brock’s 34 game win streak but also signaled that the Gaiters appeared ready to replace Brock as the team to beat in the CUFLA.

Following their win over Brock, the Gaiters won their next four regular season games to finish the season with a 6-2 record in conference play, and entered the post-season considered by many to be favored to capture the CUFLA title. A dominating 16-4 victory over Toronto in the Baggattaway Cup quarter-finals reinforced this point of view and sent Bishop’s to Hamilton, ON for a semi-finals match-up against Brock. This marked the fourth consecutive year that the two rivals faced each other in the post-season. Unfortunately for the Gaiters, the outcome in 2005 was the same as in previous years as the Badgers avenged their regular season loss to the Gaiters with an 11-5 win, ending the Gaiters hopes of capturing the Baggattaway Cup in 2005.

Basketball Recaps...

Men’s Basketball
Tough pre-season prepares team for a great regular season start
The team began the first day of school with a morning sprint conditioning program which continued throughout September. By October the team was anxious to play a Thanksgiving home opener versus St. Michael’s College (NCAA Division 2) from Vermont. We were ready and led from the start for a convincing 82-70 victory.

The team then headed Carleton’s House-Laughton Tournament, opening up against three time defending National Champ Carleton. The effort was great; we lost by 11 in a very well played game. The next night against the defending Canada west champion Alberta Golden Bears the Gaiters looked like champs surprising Alberta with a 79-66 win. Sunday’s game against UWO finished in uninspiring 57-50 loss. Jeff Szita was selected to the tournament all star team. The team then travelled to the Laurentian tournament to take on Laurentian, Western and Dalhousie- three schools we believed we had an excellent chance of beating. A horrible shooting weekend left us with three losses by a total of 13 points.

November saw one final pre-season against Ivy League Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. An 85-62. loss, but a good experience that showed us a lot of things we need to work on. The QSSF season began with us opening at UQAM. Leading 22-7 after the first five minutes things looked good – until they changed to a zone and we stopped attacking and ended up on the losing end 80-63. This was followed by another easy road trip to Quebec City to face the nation’s #1 ranked Laval rouge et Or! We stuck to our game plan and shocked the basketball community with a 64-63 win! We followed this up with another road win 74-62 at McGill before coming home to finish the season against Laval.

We were on the wrong end of a listless 35-19 game at half time. This is a crazy game and you are never out of it unless you think you are. I cannot explain the turnaround that saw us outscore Laval 53-29 in the second half but the Mitchell gymnasium krazies sure appreciated it and we ended the semester with a huge 72-64 win and a 3-1 conference record , good enough for first place and a #14 national ranking. There is still a lot of work to but we look forward, with confidence and the knowledge that we can win, to an exciting and extremely challenging 2006 semester.
Ed Pomykala

Women's Basketball
Run, gun and have fun clicking on all cylinders
Success continues to surround the Lady Gaiters basketball program- and it may just keep getting better! Rod Gilpin’s charges have taken on all comers this past term, playing schools from coast to coast with an extremely challenging schedule. The team ventured out west in October to play powerhouses Simon Fraser, UBC and UVIC and came out with a quality win and two solid performances in close loses.

The Lady Gaiters followed up on their western Canada swing with games in upstate New York losing to Syracuse of the Big East conference by 17 and then a nail biting three point loss the next day versus Siena College. The team registered quality non conference wins against York, UVIC, and St. Mary’s, and looked very strong in first semester action in the tough QSSF conference where they finished the first semester with a 3-1 record. The ‘run, gun and have fun’ Gaiters defeated the then #1 Laval in Quebec City by 8 points and had wins at McGill and UQAM. Only a close 7 point defeat to Laval at home prevented the team from enjoying a perfect league mark.

There is great balance and chemistry on this team. Led by veterans Annouk Boulanger, Lo Pitfield, France Lanoie and Emilie Crofton, a solid group of rookies have also played quality minutes this semester. Currently sitting #8 in the national rankings the team is looking forward to an exciting second semester of action.

Recruitment News

Football
Since the end of the season the coaching staff has been actively recruiting in Quebec and Ontario identifying and contacting potential prospects. There is an exciting buzz surrounding the program in these provinces which should translate into more top student- athletes choosing Bishop’s. Information arrives on a daily basis from possible prospects across Canada. As a result coaches will be visiting BC, Alberta and the Maritimes this winter. Gaiter Football is working hard to raise the program’s profile right across the country. Football alumni, current players, parents of current players, high school coaches, CFL players and coaches are all working to help Bishop’s regain its place among Canada’s best football programs. We are moving in the right direction!
Leroy Blugh
Head Football Coach
lblugh@ubishops.ca

Men’s Basketball
December has been spent very actively recruiting. We have been to Saint John, Fredericton, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. We have had seven home visits and are involved with a total of fifteen prospects. The program graduates 3 players this year but we feel we're putting ourselves in a good position to bring in some very good prospects for 2006-07.
Eddie Pomykala
Men's Basketball Head Coach
epomykal@ubishops.ca

Women’s Basketball
The big news on the recruiting front is that 6’4” Temple University transfer, Amanda Piribauer (Kingston, ON) has enrolled at Bishop’s for the Winter semester. Amanda won’t be eligible to play until next semester but she is a fantastic prospect for Coach Gilpin for year’s to come and will certainly help to attract other blue chip student-athletes to Bishop’s. Coach Gilpin had a number of top recruits from Quebec and the Maritimes visit the campus in November and if any combination commit to the program in the near future- Gaiter fans can continue to expect Mitchell Gymnasium to be the scene of even more winning basketball.
Rod Gilpin
Women's Basketball Head Coach
rgilpin@ubishops.ca

Events

Still looking for a great xmas gift?

http://www.ubishops.ca/gaiters/pub01.html

Take a look at the latest Tony Harris Gaiter Football print"Tradition".

2005 BU "Converse" Classic Invitational

December 30th & 31st, 2005

http://www.ubishops.ca/gaiters/headlines0506/mbasket-tournament.html

If you are in the Townships for the holiday you can catch our first place Gaiter basketball team in action.

2006 Gaiter Classic

Friday, June 2nd, 2005

Save the date now for the annual Gaiter Classic Golf Tournament at Milby GC - a fundraiser in support of BU Athletics.

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