Volume 95, Issue 16
Thursday, September 27, 2001
Balls, birdies and bodyslams
Western sports swinging into action
By Ryan Dixon
As promised last week, here is the sequel to the fall sports preview for some of the teams on campus that don't always get the exposure they deserve.
The year that Was: third at OUAs and fourth on the national level.
Key Departures: Nothing could be more painful than losing a national champion, but that's what happened when Belinda Chou graduated.
Now Arriving: Racheal Dean, now in her fourth-year, will be counted on to be a team leader.
The Coach's Comment: "I think we'll have a good team. We've got some good new people and some good returnees. We just have a little hole in one of our upper weight divisions," said Ray Takahashi, Western's wrestling coach.
The Year that Was: fifth at OUAs.
Key Departures: Tom Jackson and Rob MacDonald.
Now Arriving: Mark Young and Seth Ross will be counted on to pick up the slack.
The Coach's Comment: Takahashi said he is confident about his team's chances. "We've got a group that's willing to work. I think everyone is going to have to step it up to be successful. I'm excited, we've had a nice start. We've always had strong teams, the problem is everyone else is strong too."
(men and women compete together)
The Year that Was: Gold for the second straight season at the OUAs. This team has not lost in 38 matches.
Key Departures: Losing their number one male and female players must smart a little as Val Loker and OUA MVP Chris Durdan will no longer be part of the squad.
Now Arriving: On the men's side, OUA all-stars Sean Girty, Marcus Wong and co-captain Kevin Eng will be expected to step their game up. Last year's rookie of the year and co-captain Janis Kawamoto will be counted on heavily as well. Lauren Winter and Laura McKerrall will also be looked upon to provide big performances.
The Coach's Comment: Bench boss Bill Mason left no doubt about the potential of this team. "We will be a very, very hard team to beat we're going to be very competitive. Probably we will be the team others will try their best to upset," Mason said. The coach added that U of T, York and last year's OUA finalists, the University of Ottawa, will provide stiff competition when play begins Oct. 13 and 14 at McMaster.
The Year that Was: Last year the team finished third in the OUA.
Key Departures: Jarret Hassen and captain Roberto Ramesar have both been lost.
Now Arriving: Stepping up to the fill the captains' role will be Erik Bradley. Big things will be expected from Luke McGoey and Luke Armstrong as well as four strong rookie duffers.
The Coach's Comment: Jim Waite said this year's team has a great deal of potential and some tough decisions lay ahead for him. "I think it could be a great team. I'm more excited this year than I was last season. We've got four [rookies] that can all play the tough things will be choosing which ones to carry," he said. Waite said the main competition will once again come from Toronto, Guelph, Queen's and Ottawa.
Graphics by Grant Donaldson
Copyright © The Gazette 2001