Volume 92, Issue 54

Wednesday, December 9, 1998

and to all a goodnight


Rayne runs away with top Gazette honour

Although a number of Mustang men may be considered worthy of the The Gazette's 1998 male athlete of the year, this year's winner is the only one who has the ability to carry them all on his back.

At five-foot-11, 220 pounds, Mustang running back Fabian "Soul Train" Rayne led the 'Stangs to a perfect 8-0 regular season record as well as impressive playoff success. The club made it all the way into the CIAU semifinal Churchill Bowl, before having their Vanier Cup dreams squashed by the Saskatchewan Huskies, the eventual national champions.

Rayne battled hard during camp with captain Craig Higgins for the starting fullback slot. Head coach Larry Haylor decided to go with Rayne and one look at his numbers proves the big back didn't disappoint.

During the regular season, Rayne scored 15 touchdowns to lead the CIAU in scoring. On the ground, he carried the ball 116 times for 821 yards and a 7.1 yards per carry average during the eight-game season.

In three playoff games, Rayne was even more dominant, punching in eight majors. Rayne totalled 437 yards on 41 carries for an average of 10.6 yards per carry.

Rayne was named Ontario University Athletics athlete of the week twice during the season and CIAU athlete of the week on Sept. 23.

One of the most amazing things about Rayne's season was his ability to amass such incredible numbers when defences knew he was coming. Opponents knew when Western got inside the red zone, Rayne was getting the ball. The whole stadium knew it. However, nobody could stop the burly number nine from hitting paydirt.

Although there could only be one winner, there are a number of other performances which also deserve honorary mention.

After putting on an incredible individual effort in the fall of 1997 on the cross country circuit, Guy Schultz had a great year on the short track as well. Schultz, the runner-up for top honours, came away with two gold medals in the 3,000 metre and 4x800 metre relay not to mention a team silver from this past spring's national championship in Windsor.

Some other notable performances included soccer captain Mike Potts, who led his team to their first CIAU championship gold medal this November. Graduating V-ballers Andrew Brunton and Travis Wintjes were also near the top of the ballot for their work in getting the club to the nationals in the spring.

As well, track stars Roland Achempong (two silvers, one bronze at nationals) and Adrian Jordan (two silvers and two bronzes at nationals) were both deserving of some first place ballots.

Even Rayne's partner in the backfield Scott Crawley put up some wothy numbers, but when the 'Stangs were looking to put six points on the board, rarely did they turn to anyone but the "Soul Train."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998