Volume 93, Issue 26
Wednesday, March 18, 1999
'Stangs prepped for Bishop's
CAN'T YOU COUNT WE'RE 5-0. Runningback Fabian Rayne (9) and the rest of the Mustang football team take their undefeated record into their weekend match against Bishop's University.
By Chad Thompson
Mustang fans attending tomorrow's game against the Bishop's University Gaiters will be witnessing a first it will be the first time the Ontario University Athletic conference and the Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference will meet in regular season play.
Western's head coach Larry Haylor said his team is looking forward to the game. "[Bishop's is] traditionally a strong team," he said. "It will be a good match."
Gaiters head coach Tom Allen said the matchup has shades of the old preseason games the OUA and the OQIFC used to have. "It's exciting for university ball to have the cross-over."
The problem with inter-league play, however, is both Western and Bishop's do not know much about each other. But Haylor said he felt the film Western has of Bishop's team will help.
"The only thing we don't know is the people on their team. We have film and can get a sense of what they want to do, but it doesn't give us a sense of their players' ability," he said. "As for their systems, we will be well prepared."
Allen agreed with Haylor on the aid of watching team films. "Film does wonders," he said. "We have two game films and we are getting to know them. I have seen their offence before and it is pretty similar [to their past teams] except the personnel is different. We know what to expect."
Allen added he felt the teams in the OUA and OQIFC do not receive the respect they deserve. "The top teams are as good as any team in the country. The OQIFC is a competitive conference."
Mustang linebacker Justin Anania said they are ready even though they have not played Bishop's this season. "That's the trouble, we don't know much about them. Our coaches have given us good film and tips to work with."
Anania added the team needs to continue to work hard and remain focused. "We made mistakes last week. We need to be more prepared."
Haylor said he was happy with the Mustangs' unity. "We had a gut check on the weekend. Waterloo is very physical and good, they presented a physical challenge. It was a positive step," he said.
Defensively, the Mustangs have been strong all year and Anania pointed to the team's new outlook on defence. "We are trying a new philosophy we are hitting instead of being passive. We are hitting the gaps and the players."
Anania added the defence has been gaining experience. "Coach [Bob] LaRose said there were five rookies on the field last year. We have more experience this year. We play like a team and not like individuals."
When asked about the scheduling of the inter-conference games, Haylor said they were glad to be playing at home. "We prefer to play at home. We don't set the schedules, we play them. This year we don't have two consecutive games at home."
Allen added he does not have any concerns with coming to Western for the game. "We are used to [the large crowd]. We played at Queen's during Homecoming," he said in reference to Western's crowd. "We are used to the banging and the noise."
Western and Bishop's hit the field Saturday at 2 p.m. at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999