Road to the Challenge Cup

Daniel Hewko 

Our Redeemer men’s hockey team has made a lot of noise as the team defeated school after school over the past month on their road to the Challenge Cup.  In order to qualify for the Challenge Cup, a school has to be ranked among the top 12 teams in the province. Redeemer failed to be among those teams last year. However, this year seems to be more promising.  

“We have a very talented group of players who work hard and give it their all every shift,” said one Redeemer teammate. Redeemer won their first tournament early in February at Conestoga. The victory led to an increase in confidence and pride in the change room which only continued to build leading up to the next tournament in Brantford.

In their first contest, Redeemer was matched up against Sheridan College. It didn’t take long for Redeemer to begin scoring, and the floodgates remained open. The game was ended early due to the mercy rule of seven goals; Redeemer won the game 7–0. 

In the next game, Redeemer faced off against Mohawk. Redeemer came out strong and scored three quick goals early in the game, putting a win out of reach for Mohawk. Despite the score, the game was hard fought, with many scoring opportunities for both teams. Redeemer bested Mohawk with a 4–0 win.                                                                                                                                  

Redeemer advanced to the semifinals and came up against tournament host Wilfrid Laurier. Redeemer defeated Laurier 4–0, advancing them to the championship against Georgian College. Redeemer was crowned tournament champions after defeating the team from Owen Sound 4–0 in another well-earned victory. This championship qualifies Redeemer for the Challenge Cup, where they will have the opportunity to accomplish something great.

Overall, Redeemer had 19 goals "For" and 0 "Against" over 4 games at the Brantford tournament. Will Faber was able to achieve something special, a feat few goalies have the privilege to say they have done, playing a perfect tournament: 0.00 GAA (goals allowed per game), and 1.000 SV% (a perfect save percentage). In order for Redeemer to continue this remarkable streak, they will need similar performances from all of their players.

Don’t forget to support your Redeemer Royals hockey team as they continue to work toward the Challenge Cup. Players to watch: Will Faber, Lewis Tuininga, Wayne Otten, Josh Elgeti, Brad Kerkhof, Andrew Bradica, David Scholman, Kurtis DeVries, Liam Johnson, Daniel Grootenboer, Travis Feddema, Justin DeWeerd, Wes Schilstra, Geoffrey Faber, Jonathan Pereboom, Alex Riddell, Ben Voskamp, Justin Scholman and Daniel Hewko.

Special thanks to the coach, Jim Stevens, and volunteers Justin Van Hoffen and Craig De Boer.

 

Denver’s Defence Defeats Disappointing Carolina Offence

Aroop Patel 

Denver Wins Super Bowl 50 

The first place Carolina Panthers fell short in their quest to win their first ever Super Bowl. It had been a fairy tale season for the Panthers, as they were on their way to completing a franchise record-setting season. They finished first in the league going 15-1 in the regular season, becoming only the sixth team in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

They were completely dominant throughout the entire season, boasting a stout defensive unit and a high-powered offence. Head coach Ron Rivera was named Coach of the year for his part in turning this team into a formidable force. Quarterback Cam Newton was crowned the NFL’s Most Valuable Player as he led his team on and off the field. "I've received a lot of awards, but to be able to get this organization here, I'm really proud,” Cam stated after winning the award.

Unfortunately, his stellar play did not carry on into the championship game, as they lost 24-10.

The Denver Broncos, on the other hand, had an up-and-down season as they battled physical trauma. Five-time MVP Peyton Manning had a tough run; he threw only nine touchdowns, a career low, and had been intercepted seventeen times during an injury-plagued season. Some are pushing the notion that this may be his last year in the NFL.

He was only able to play in ten of the sixteen games this season, and almost lost the starting job upon his return to backup quarterback, Brock Osweiler. This was Osweiler’s first time starting since he joined the league in 2012. 

Head Bronco coach Gary Kubiak gave praise to both quarterbacks, but ultimately chose Peyton before the playoffs started, stating, “I just do what I think is best for our football team... I feel really good about this, about how far Peyton has come.”                   

Their exceptional defensive play throughout the season — led by outside linebacker, Von Miller — propelled them to an impressive 12-4 record. The team was ranked first in total defence this past season. Miller single-handedly halted Carolina’s offence and rendered Cam Newton useless throughout the Super Bowl, taking home Super Bowl MVP honours.              

This year’s Super Bowl 50 was rough from the beginning for the Panthers. The Broncos scored a 34-yard field goal on the first drive of the game to set the pace. At the midpoint of the quarter, Von Miller recorded his first strip-sack of the game, which was picked up by defensive end, Malik Jackson and returned for a touchdown. The Panthers were unable to get anything started offensively and were forced to punt on their first two possessions of the game. Their high-powered offence had been stifled right from the get-go. This put the Broncos up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

In the beginning of the second quarter, Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offence were able to push the ball deep into Bronco territory. They capped off their strong drive with a Jonathan Stewart rushing touchdown and had the game back within three points. But only a few minutes later, the Broncos had upped their lead to six on another Brandon McManus field goal from 33-yards out. McManus had been relied on for much of the regular season as the team’s highest scorer. 

On the Panther’s next possession, running back Mike Tolbert fumbled the ball as the Broncos recorded their second forced turnover of the game. However, on the ensuing drive, Manning coughed up an interception to Panthers’ Kony Ealy, who also recorded three sacks on the night.

Although the Panthers could not get much going offensively on the night, their defence, led by cornerback Josh Norman and middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, were playing extremely well and kept the Panthers in the game.

After a halftime show featuring Coldplay, Bruno Mars, and Beyoncé, the teams came back out on the field, where Carolina started with the ball to begin the half.

The Panthers managed to put together a decent drive, but unfortunately came away with zero points after a missed field goal attempt from 44-yards out by Graham Gano. On the Broncos’ next possession, McManus showed them how it’s done and knocked in another 30-yard field goal, putting them up by nine.

Regardless of how Carolina was performing offensively, they still had a chance to get right back in it due to their defence, but sadly, Denver was relentless on defence as well.

In the fourth quarter, Kony Ealy was able to recover a Peyton Manning fumble, which led to a Carolina field goal and trimmed their deficit back down to six points.

Regrettably, after this turn of events, the Panthers were unable to put any more points up on the board. Von Miller caused another strip-sack in the final minutes to end yet another Panther drive. Denver’s running back, C.J. Anderson, scored a touchdown in the final four minutes and Manning used a 2-point conversion to put the game out of reach and cement themselves as Super Bowl Champions. 

During the awards presentation, Von Miller was crowned MVP and Peyton Manning was asked if this would be his final year. He talked about some advice his former coach Tony Dungy told him, “Don’t make an emotional decision, this has been a very emotional week and an emotional night.” He avoided the question but did tell the world, “I’m going to drink a lot of beer tonight, Budweiser, and Von Miller is buying.”

Whatever his choice may be, he is a lock to be in the Hall of Fame and has earned a name for himself as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

 

 

 

 

Straatsma Sets New Standard in OCAA Women's Volleyball

Peter Reid 

The OCAA has a new all-time women's volleyball career points leader. Redeemer's Curtiss Straatsma has etched her name in the OCAA record books as the most prolific scorer in Women's Volleyball history. Straatsma earned herself the record on Saturday afternoon, notching her 1,240th career point. 

Straatsma needed just 12 points in her first match of the second semester to move herself to the top of the leaderboard.  St. Clair College defeated Redeemer 3-2 during the Saturday matinee as Curtiss finished with a game-high 22 points. 

For someone who has been breaking records her entire Redeemer volleyball career, this one will be considered to be the biggest milestone as a Royal. Holder of the all-time Redeemer career points and kills records, Straatsma is now on to the OCAA record book. 

Humbled by the accomplishment, Curtiss commented, "It is pretty exhilarating, but also humbling because I know that none of this would be possible without the tons of people who have supported me. I feel pretty honoured to be doing this with the Redeemer community behind me, showing that even though we are a small school, we can achieve big things."

What's next for the Royals?  "This record is something that will be celebrated, but it is not the biggest thing Curtiss wants to accomplish this season," commented Douwes. "The goal remains an OCAA Championship and the focus remains on that."

CStraatsma15.jpg

Toronto Raptors: Rebranded

Aroop Patel

For the first time since their inauguration in 1995, the Raptors have done a complete overhaul both on and off the court. In addition to extensively revamping the logo, roster, and jerseys, Toronto will be hosting the 2016 All-Star Game later this season.

 This is an exciting season for the Raptors as General Manager, Masai Ujiri has made comprehensive changes to the team. Last year, they finished with a franchise record in regular season wins on their way to capturing a third Atlantic Division title.

It may have come as a shock that a team that performed so well would make such drastic changes, but being swept in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the Washington Wizards really opened some eyes to the team’s defensive weaknesses. Ujiri has made strides this off season to improve Toronto’s defence, but at the same time has not hurt their potent offence from a year ago. He has brought in seven new players to help balance out the team. The most impressive player of the bunch is former Atlanta Hawk, DeMarre Carroll, who signed a 4 year, $60 million contract in the off season. 

In addition to signing their prized free agent, they also managed to bring in some Canadian blood, something Raptors fans have been awaiting for a while now. Fresh off an NBA Championship, Pickering native, Cory Joseph joined the fold this season from the San Antonio Spurs. As well, Anthony Bennett of Brampton joined the team. He was the first Canadian player to be taken first overall in the history of the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2013.

 Superfan, recording artist, and Raptors Global Ambassador Drake has continued his position with the team this year and had influence on the Raptors this off season. Upon his hiring in 2013, President & CEO Tim Leiweke, who resigned last year, said, “Drake will be our ambassador and help us forge this new vision, this new buzz, this new excitement for where we’re taking this organization.” His involvement in the rebranding process was evident as he was even able to create a jersey just for Drake Night on November 25, where he will perform at half-time and give away some free swag. Their We The North campaign was the starting point of their rebranding efforts this off season as it implemented a more Canadian focus to the team’s look and feel.

 On top of all these drastic changes, the Raptors will be hosting the All-Star Weekend for the first time in their history. When asked about the benefits of hosting, Ujiri said, “The biggest impact ever. It’s the first time outside the United States; I think it’s a platform for us to showcase our city, the people and how enjoyable it is to be here. It’s a great festival with the NBA, everybody is together in one place and it’s going to be in Toronto . . . it’s going to be amazing for us.” This will be an exciting time for us here in the GTA as our streets with be flooded with the likes of celebrities, politicians, and basketball fans from around the globe to catch a glimpse of some of the NBA’s elite talents. The Raptors organization will hope that their fanbase can reward the players by voting for a couple of them to play in the All-Star game this coming February. 

This season, the Raptors have had their ups and downs; they currently hold a 7-6 record. Looks can be deceiving though as the Raptors are playing through their toughest month in their schedule. They have eleven road games and an array of strong teams to take on. So far they have played well in almost all their games, but have had a difficult time trying to beat some of the NBA’s elite teams.

However, there have been some positives; the team is playing much stronger defensively than last year and their losses to the league’s better teams have been narrow. Before the season started, Ujiri was asked about his thoughts on their tough November schedule: “It’s the same thing. It levels out at some point but it’s good to test teams that way. It’ll be tough for us but none of the players have complained about it or said anything, which tells me they are ready to get things going.”

This team has the capability of being a dominant force in the NBA, but they lack consistency on a night-to-night basis. Sometimes their star players fail to bring their A-game and the rest of the team is unable to pick up the slack, or vice-versa, the star’s shine but their bench lets them down when they need a break. Regardless of their current play, they currently sit in 5th place in the league, and hold a playoff spot.

The Raptors have been known to play better as the season wears on and they will battle to salvage the rest of this month. They must get accustomed to all the new acquisitions this season, and as the season progresses, so will their team chemistry.

 GO RAPS GO!

 

Hard-hitting Truths about Head Injuries in Sport

The Repercussions of Concussions

Anna Bolton

Concussions, one of the most downplayed injuries within the world of sports, are finally being taken seriously by coaches and players alike. And, given the severity of this type of injury, it’s about time, they say.

 A concussion is a form of brain damage — a direct blow to the head, face, or neck that causes the brain to shift within the skull. This causes physical, cognitive, and behavioural symptoms, affecting the injured in any way conceivable.

While no two people respond to a concussion in exactly the same way, common symptoms include: headache, neck pain, dizziness, balance problems, sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, and anxiety. These symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, and for some, even years.

Concussion symptoms are only made worse when players return to the game before they’ve fully recovered. In an article for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Iain Murray of The University of Edinburgh comments on the “temporal window of brain vulnerability to further injury” that exists during the recovery period. “A period of cognitive and physical rest is essential until the athlete becomes asymptomatic.”

So why risk worsening an already serious injury?

For Lauren Tamming, a member of the Redeemer women’s soccer team, it was a combination of things. “There’s a pressure to be fine,” she said. While cognitive and physical rest may be essential, it’s not exactly realistic, especially for a student-athlete like Tamming.

Although she was getting physical rest, as a student, cognitive rest just wasn’t an option. And since difficulty concentrating was one of Tamming’s symptoms, classes and studying became all the more challenging. 

Not to mention the fact that there’s no way to know how long recovery will take, as it varies from one case to the next. Tamming went through a frustrating four months after that fateful shot to the side of the head before she was fully recovered.

For most athletes, there is an eagerness to return to play despite lingering symptoms.

Caell Huyer, head coach of the Redeemer women’s soccer team, said that he’s “had to hold players back at times.” As an athlete who has suffered a couple concussions himself, Huyer noted: “It’s so easy to convince yourself things are fine… but then you wonder, ‘why am I pushing myself?’”

Athletes who return to play before they’ve fully recovered or push themselves too hard upon reentry to their sport often experience regression. Huyer said, “physical exertion made me a little bit dizzy,” and Tamming experienced worse headaches after trying to return to play before ready.

There is now a six-step process athletes must follow before they can return to game play:

-        no activity, complete rest

-        light aerobic exercise

-        sport-specific training

-        noncontact training drills

-        full contact training

-        game play

Athletes must be symptom-free for 24 hours before they can begin this process, and if at any point within these steps they experience symptoms, they must start from the beginning again.

 This system is just one of the ways in which concussions are being treated more seriously now than they were in the recent past. “Coaches are a lot more sensitive now than they were before,” said Huyer, who played for the Redeemer men’s soccer team while he was in school. “Information is so important.”

Indeed, the more researchers uncover about the serious and often long-lasting effects of concussions, the more it becomes clear; this type of head injury should not be taken lightly. 

A Team To Believe In

Ace 

Take Me Out to the Ball Game 

It wasn't long ago that I had to take part in a personal assessment, along with the rest of my colleagues, to determine the strengths and weaknesses within our organization. Historically I have opposed assessments like the Birkman Method with the shallow excuse that they perpetuate the mindset of self-fulfilling prophecy within their test subjects. After taking a few long walks where I contemplated the finer things in life — ie. Whether Jimmy Fallon would have Justin Timberlake on The Tonight Show again soon, or if Kanye would soon make known his intentions to run for president I decided that perhaps the analysis wouldn’t be the worst thing for my ego and the rest of the staff.

 Birkman ended up changing my life. If I have one key takeaway to share, it would be the revelation of how I work in a team setting. Namely, that I love to work in teams but only if I perceive the team to be a winning team!

 Thank you, Birkman, for helping me make so much sense of my world. Since this assessment I have had the privilege of looking at my world through a different lens. I now know why I'm rooting for Trump in the upcoming election — he's so great at building 'successful' teams. But most importantly I've learned why I've loved to hate and hated to love the city of Toronto.

I grew up a Mighty Ducks fan, likely because of the Mighty Ducks movies that came out when I was a child. After being badgered by my brother and father for a few years, I switched my allegiance to the Toronto Maple Leafs. From this point on, my love of Toronto and sports began to spread to every team in Toronto: the Argonauts, Raptors, and Blue Jays. For the next few years the rest of my life I've slowly wasted away as a fan into a life full of hope and sorrow as Toronto has consistently let me, and every other fan cheering for this city, down year after year. All this while Anaheim has produced arguably successful teams I am not bitter.

 I love the idea of a team when it is successful.

 This revelation about my own predisposition towards teams is likely an accurate reflection of most sports fans, and may describe the recent obsession with the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada's baseball team.

We owe a lot to Drake. 'We the North' was his brain child, as he was the mastermind behind the branding that rallied Toronto fans behind a hopeful baseball team, Canada's only basketball team. The need to back a winning team ended up getting the best of us however, as the phase quickly ended when we were swept away by the Washington Wizards in four games.

A new phenomenon in Toronto sports has emerged, one that seems even more promising than our stint with our baseball team: The Blue Jays.

What many have attributed to jumping on the bandwagon, I attribute to a nation of hungry fans that finally have a team that they actually believe may win this thing. Much of the recent success can be attributed to bold moves nearing the trade deadline by General Manager of the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos. Anthopoulos made some key moves following the Major League Baseball's all-star break that had fans buzzing.

David Price, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Revere are all names that immediately brought hope to fans that have supported a team with the longest playoff drought in the league. All of a sudden, positions that were once filled by sub-par major league athletes are now filled by all-stars that are the best at what they do, in their respective positions. Not only did these players bring an extra measure of excitement to our collective playoff hopes, but they were added to an already dynamic lineup of players like José Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Russell Martin, Justin Smoak and Kevin Pillar. No longer do fans have to wonder if its emotionless manager has what it takes to motivate our team we are able to trust the team of players themselves.

Perhaps the most significant contribution to the Jay's recent success is that we are watching a team of players that have begun to believe that they are on a winning team. It's this mindset that brings a team together. It's this mindset that has the Blue Jays believing that every game or series they go into is winnable. It's this mindset that has seen the Blue Jays set records that have not been met since their 1992 and 1993 years when they last won the World Series.

The recent success of the Blue Jays may most accurately be attributed to visible comradery that exists between Jay's players. This is the first team that everyone within, around, and outside of the organization believes in the team that has been assembled. As Toronto fans, we are excited by the hope that this season may just end the same way that our notorious 92-93 team did in back-to-back years, with a World Series title. Hats off to you, Alex Anthopoulos, for assembling a team we can believe in. #cometogether.

To The RUC Community: We are Thankful for You!

Jordan Miller | OCAA WVB 2015 Tournament Chair

When submitting a bid package to host the 2014/15 OCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships, we in the department of athletics and recreation understood that for this event to be truly special, the community would have to be involved. Our prayers were answered. Redeemer students, staff, alumni, friends, and family came out in a big way. They came to watch, they came to cheer, and they came to be supportive and make every team involved feel at home. The competition took notice.

After receiving feedback from coaches and teams involved, as well as the OCAA executive members who were here, it is clear that the culture here at Redeemer was showcased well throughout the weekend. Warm smiles, welcoming demeanors, and loud cheering voices were commented on by all 8 of the teams involved in the tournament, as a small school with a tiny gym and a big heart welcomed some of the best athletes in the province. We want to thank you; we praise God for you, from those of you who volunteered to those who lost their voices and got lots of practice time on the drum line. 

In addition to the championships, we are grateful for those who helped us prepare the gym for what was surely the most highly attended and loudest basketball game in Redeemer history on the Saturday night of the competition.  The time-lapse video on the Redeemer Royals Facebook page speaks volumes as to how much effort it took to convert the gym, and how much work people were willing to put towards enhancing the event.

Thank you again, Redeemer! Enjoy the rest of the academic year and see you next season as we cheer on the mighty Royals!

OH WHEN THE REDS! Blessings,

Jordan Miller

OCAA WVB 2015 Tournament Chair

Kurvits Captures First National Championship in School History

Peter Reid | Athletic Staff

It will arguably go down as one of the biggest moments in Redeemer Royals history. Redeemer's Owen Kurvits capped off the greatest season by an individual in school history by winning the National Championship in Men's Singles Badminton, Redeemer's first ever in any sport. Kurvits captured the CCAA gold medal on March 7 in Halifax in a fitting end to the 2014-2015 badminton season.

Redeemer's badminton star defeated Humber's Jesse Assing in a nail-biting 3 set match in the final to capture the historic title. The gold medal finale was a rematch of the OCAA Provincial Championship match as well as the first round robin match of the National Championship. Kurvits defeated Assing in 2 straight in the OCAA gold medal match but fell to the Humber opponent in 3 games in the opening match of the National Championship.

The rubber match proved to be similar to their latest meeting, with Kurvits taking the first game, and Jesse taking the second. This time, however, unlike their previous match, Kurvits grabbed an early lead in the 3rd and never let it go. The set scores were: 21-10, 9-21, and 21-13.

Head Coach Benno Kurvits broke down the match, saying, "Owen played great! He was playing so aggressively and well early on I was getting concerned that he could not keep up that pace. Then mistakes in the second game cost him. It was tight in the 3rd until he was able to start pulling away late. Certainly some tense moments, but he hung in there and fought hard."

The CCAA Gold Medal is the icing on the cake for Kurvits and for Head Coach Benno; Owen finishes the 2014-2015 season having captured almost every major award and title available to him. Provincial Gold, OCAA Player of the Year honors, CCAA All-Canadian honors, and National Gold can all be added to his resume.

After losing the first match of the Championship, Kurvits swept through the competition, winning his next four round robin matches. He followed that up with a straight-sets win over Matthew Chan (PACWEST) in the semi final, and then the 3rd set win against Assing in the Finals.

In just his second year at Redeemer University College, Kurvits has gone from a 4th place finish in 2013-2014 to winning the National Championship in 2014-2015.

The support from Redeemer University College, from Hamilton, and from Kurvits’ friends and family was very evident as seen through a fury of activity on social media. Before, throughout, and following the match, fans took to Facebook and Twitter, offering their best wishes and congratulations to the champion. 

The support did not go unnoticed to a very humble Kurvits. After the match, he commented: "to be honest, I'm pretty overwhelmed with the amount of support I received from everyone back home. I know it might sound a bit cliché, but it gave me some extra energy for the finals which was a great feeling and sincerely helped my game."

When asked about the match, Kurvits gave a lot of credit to Assing both in his on-camera interview and in his post-match comments to Redeemer. "I knew it was going to be a great finish to the season playing against my good buddy and rival," said Kurvits. "Second set was a little shaky but I changed my game plan a bit for the 3rd. That proved to be the difference in the match against such a great opponent."

For Head Coach Benno, it is a unique experience, offering support to his son as his coach but also as his father. Benno admittedly and understandably was quite nervous heading into Saturday. "I slept well the first two nights [in Halifax]," mentioned Benno. "But I admit I did not sleep very well the night before the tournament. I woke up very early and had a very difficult time sleeping after that."

It appears evident that the father-son duo is working. One would find it difficult to argue the effectiveness, as the pair of Kurvits bring Redeemer its first National Championship banner and trophy back to Ancaster.

For full National Championship results, visit: http://www.ccaa.ca/schedule-results-s15146

Kurvits Wins Provincial Badminton Title

Peter Reid | Athletic Staff

It was double delight for Redeemer’s badminton program. Owen Kurvits captured the OCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year award and, 24 hours later, backed it up by winning the Provincial Championship in London, ON.

 Kurvits swept through the round robin competition on Friday and Saturday morning before defeating Centennial's Howard Ng (Semi Final) and Humber's Jessie Assing (Final) en route to his 2nd consecutive OCAA Provincial Championship crown. Kurvits did not drop a single game the entire tournament, winning 14 straight to finish with a 7-0 match record.

 In the final, Kurvits won the 1st game 21-8 before completing the straight sets victory with a 21-16 win. Kurvits fell behind early in the 2nd and was down 9-5 before mounting a comeback and taking his first lead of the set at 16-15. From there, he never looked back, going on a 5-1 run to win the Provincial title.

 It was a proud day for Head Coach Benno Kurvits, who is also Owen's Father. "Owen certainly had to earn it today," commented Kurvits. "He had a great tournament, played with consistency, a lot of focus, skill, and determination."

 The victory means a 2nd straight appearance at the CCAA National Championships for the 2nd year athlete. In 2014, Kurvits finished 4th place overall at the National Championship after falling to Humber's Ryan Chow in the National Bronze Medal match. In 2015, Chow is competing in Men's Doubles.

 This year's National Championships are being held in Halifax, March 5th-7th.

 Kurvits winning the OCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year added to a long list of 'firsts' for Redeemer in its brief history in the OCAA. Kurvits has been at the center of many of these 'firsts' and is once again establishing Redeemer Badminton as one of the top programs in the Province.

Owen accepting his Player of the Year award

Owen accepting his Player of the Year award

 Prior to the provincial championship, he put together an incredible record of 35-2 in Men's Singles over the course of the 2014-2015 season, displaying his dominance and his ability.

 This season, Kurvits has been to every Men's Singles final in each of the 4 invitational tournaments he attended. He was the tournament Champion in two invitationals and lost in the finals in the other two – his only losses of the season.

 For Redeemer, it is the school’s 2nd OCAA Player of the Year in its history. 3-Time All-Canadian Men's Volleyball star, Ryan Talsma, was named the Men's Volleyball Player of the Year in 2009-2010.

 Owen Kurvits is also holder of the CCAA Fair Play award as well, proving his respect for the game and respect for his opponents. He continues to be the model of respect and fair play during the 2014-2015 season. He earns respect from his competitors for his impeccable character and discipline in his approach to each game as well as his off-court attitude and behavior. Kurvits leads by example by putting in the hard work both in and outside of practice. He is always pushing himself in the weight room and proving his leadership in practice.

 The Royals had another chance at a Provincial Medal on Saturday as well; Redeemer's Julie Koopmans and Robyn Bennett found themselves in the Women's Doubles Semi Final match. The pair finished the round robin with a 2-3 record, good enough for 4th place overall. In their semi, they matched up against the #1 ranked Yan and Zhou from Seneca College. The Lady Royals fell in 2 straight and were relegated to the Bronze Medal match where they faced the hosts’ Hogan & Grobbecker from Fanshawe. Bennett and Koopmans dropped their round robin match to the Fanshawe duo 21-14, 22-20 on Friday afternoon.

 Fanshawe once again were able to come out on top, although in a much closer match, and the Royals finished 4th overall with a 2-1 loss to the Falcons.

 

Redeemer Men's Basketball Opens 2015 with Sixth Straight League Win

Peter Reid

For the first time in a long time, the Redeemer University College gymnasium was filled for an OCAA Men's Basketball game on a Friday night. There wasn't an empty seat in the bleachers as Royals fans emerged to take in some of the excitement surrounding the Men's Basketball team this season. The fans backed their team all night, and the Royals rewarded them for their support in a thrilling defeat of the OCAA powerhouse Sheridan Bruins, beating the Bruins 79-68.

And why wouldn't these fans be excited? A 6 game win streak for the Roayls, the team’s first ever provincial ranking (#9), back-to-back wins against the perennial contending Bruins, and a group of top OCAA basketball players, including John Woldue and Calvin Turnbull. The team also sits in 4th place in the tough OCAA West Division.

Josh de Schiffert led the Royals’ offense with a career high 27 points in the win. Redeemer's John Woldue also had an impressive game, adding 19 points and 8 assists despite getting into early foul trouble. Calvin Turnbull ruled the boards once again with a game high 12 rebounds.

Josh DeSchiffer looking fierce on the court. Photo by: Eagleeye Photography

Josh DeSchiffer looking fierce on the court. Photo by: Eagleeye Photography

While Redeemer's offense has gotten a boost from the team’s quick play and strong transition, it has been their defense that has really propelled the Royals in their run of wins. Redeemer has held their opposition to 69 points or less in 4 of their last 6 games and held the Bruins to their season low, 68 points.

Post game, Head Coach Jamie Girolametto was quick to point out that Friday night's game can't be the season's highlight. "It was a great team win for us", commented Girolametto. "Everyone was fully engaged, no matter what their role was or how many minutes they played. It was special and historic to complete the sweep of a great program like Sheridan. But our guys understand that Friday was just another step in the process. Our focus now is on Cambrian and just Cambrian."

Redeemer will look to continue their strong play this weekend against the 0-9 Cambrian Golden Shield in back-to-back matches on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The Royals will also be looking for another packed house. 2015 appears to be ushering in a new era of Redeemer Royals fans who appear ready to support this team as they go down a potential path to the playoffs, just as the fans have done for so long for playoff contending volleyball programs.

Coach Girolametto hopes the support doesn't just stop at Friday night and attributes their success to their work on and off the court. "I am really proud of the success the guys are having outside of basketball. We have been receiving some great feedback about our guys in the classroom. The team has been working very hard and is being rewarded both on and off the court. I believe that is sparking some interest in our team. We had a great turnout Friday night. Hopefully that support for the guys will continue to grow as they continue to work".

Redeemer Badminton Star Primed to Reach Podium in 2015

Peter Reid

The OCAA Badminton Regional Championships are less than 3 weeks away, and it looks like Redeemer's Owen Kurvits is in fine form in preparation to defend his 2014 OCAA Provincial Championship. This past Saturday, Kurvits captured his 2nd men's singles title in as many weeks as he outlasted the competition at the St. Clair College Invitational Tournament. The previous week, Kurvits reached the top of the podium at the Centennial College Invitational.

Kurvits is the defending OCAA Provincial Champion in Men's Singles, and Redeemer will be hoping for another podium finish for the Royals’ badminton program in 2015. Standing in his way will be the top College badminton players in the province.

So far this season, Kurvits has made 4 consecutive men's singles finals. At the Humber College invitational, Kurvits lost to Humber's Adam Dong for a 2nd place finish. Dong also got the better of Kurvits the following tournament at Fanshawe College where the two of them once again met in the finals.

Last weekend at Centennial College, Kurvits faced Humber's Ryan Chow in the semis in a rematch of last year’s OCAA Gold Medal Match and CCAA Bronze medal match. Humber's Adam Dong did not compete in Men's Singles. Kurvits came out on top in the semi and continued on to defeat Seneca's Milan Kkharel in the final for his first Championship title of the season.

On Saturday, Owen made his way back to the finals in the St. Clair College Open Tournament and defeated Sean Irving (Cedar Springs/Georgian College) in the final. Irving and Kurvits went the distance 9-21, 22-20, 21-19.

Overall, Redeemer's Badminton program had a win-loss record of 23-16. Kurvits went 8-2 over the 2 days in Men's Singles and Men's Doubles. Julie Koopmans finished the weekend with a 6-2 record, winning the Women's Singles consolation event and also winning the Ladies Doubles 'C' event with Robyn Bennett. Bennett went 3-1, playing just Ladies Doubles on the Saturday with Koopmans. 

Redeemer's Head Coach, Benno Kurvits, commented on the weekend, saying, "We had another good tournament. Everyone played hard and supported each other when they were not playing. We have a few specific details that we will continue to work on in practice."

Owen Kurvits slaying the badminton scene.

Owen Kurvits slaying the badminton scene.

Looking ahead to the Regional Championships, "It is now time for a brief rest and focus on the 3 weeks of preparation for our Regional Championships", mentioned Kurvits. "We have a good idea now of what the competition will be and now our focus needs to shift to qualifying for the Provincial Championships."

The 2015 OCAA West Regional Championships are being hosted by Humber College on February 6-7, 2015.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists from each discipline coming out of the West & East Regional Championships will meet in the OCAA Provincial Championships on February 20-21, 2015 at Fanshawe College in London, ON

St. Clair Open Results

WS - Julie Koopmans (3-1), Tanya Couperus (1-1)

MS - Owen Kurvits (5-0), Jeremy Stevens (1-1), Kaleb Antonides (1-1), Andrew Patterson-Leclerc (1-2)

WD - Julie Koopmans/Robyn Bennett (3-1), Carla Hogan/Rachel Buys (2-2), Tanya Couperus/Dana Bennett (2-3)

MD - Jeremy Stevens/Owen Kurvits (3-2), Andrew Patteson-Leclerc/Kaleb Antonides (1-2)

It's the Start of the NHL Season (And I Feel Just Fine)

Ryan Van Til | Crown Staff

It’s finally October, the most pleasant month. Finally trees are shedding a colourful carpet, annoying bugs are dying by the bucketload, and, most importantly, a new hockey season is starting.

I’ll be upfront, I’m a Leafs fan, which means I cheer for the blue and white and whoever is playing against the Habs; it also means I’m used to the season (sometimes it feels like the world) ending in a whimper and not a bang. The team I cheer on has the most expensive game tickets and is somehow also rated the worst sports franchise in North America.

As a friend of mine, in an uncharacteristically poetic moment, said, “Cheering for the Leafs is like having beautiful yet insane girlfriend. Every once in a while things will go alright and it’ll be awesome, but in the long run it will fill you with ruin and regret.”

But all the same, I’m hyped for the new season. So, I’ll try to avoid the pessimistic, and often apocalyptic, tone that dominates most articles about Canada’s hockey teams – after all, it has been over twenty years since one one of our teams won the cup. I’ll look past my crazy-beautiful, beautifully-crazy Leafs.

But, in reality, there’s nothing to be really excited about with this new hockey season. The Winnipeg Jets are old news. There’s no game-changing rookie or unorthodox yet brilliant coach on the scene to turn a team around – or even a few heads. The good teams are still good; the bad teams are still bad. No Olympics. The biggest news about Don Cherry is that he’s still commentating somehow.

However, there’s something still to be said about the new season; here’s what I’m looking forward to:

  • Criticizing the NHL. It’s as much a cliché among Canadian hockey nuts as complaining about losses, but it’s still fun. I enjoy looking at the record low attendance at Panthers games or tens of millions of dollars lost on the Coyotes, knowing that would never happen in Hamilton or Quebec City. There’s something great about thinking I could manage the league better than the people who are paid millions to do so.
  • Playing armchair General Manager. Trade Clarkson! Rip the “C” off Phaneuf! These are just a few of the things I would do if I were a GM. It also works when criticizing about other teams, too. When it seems I’m right, I get to wear a smug “told you so” smirk, and when the games prove I’m wrong, well, I just forget about those times.
  • Watching games with friends. This is kind of a mixed bag because a few of my close friends are ultra Habs fans, but . . . no, actually that makes it more fun. I can’t wait to yell and shout at my friends when our team beats theirs, hang out and drink beer. I can’t wait to get into arguments about who is the better player – Kessel or Pacioretty (obviously Kessel, no bias). It’s really what makes my first two points so fun, too. For me, the season is about more than just bringing like-minded people together, most of the fun is hanging out with people who get on my nerves and think differently.

 So I’m ready to have my heart broken, get exasperated with the management and mocked for my team loyalty. But I’m also ready to have a lot of fun with all that. That’s why I feel just fine at the beginning of this new season.

King of the Hill

Written By: Peter Reid

Another home game for the Redeemer men’s soccer team and a few more points to add to their total. The Royals kept their undefeated home record intact with a dramatic 3-2 win over their Hamilton neighbour, Mohawk College.

The Royals (2-2-1 OCAA) came from 2-0 down with three unanswered goals on September 27 as the team continues to grow in confidence. There never seems to be a dull moment for the Redeemer men's team this season, and Head Coach Kyle Grootenboer thinks that the team is just getting going. “We are starting to gel and make better decisions,” commented Grootenboer. “We are happy with the win today, but even more excited that we haven't reached our full potential yet.”

Josh Elgeti continued his impressive start to the 2014 season with a brace against the Mountaineers, scoring in the 19th and 60th minute. Lewis Tuininga also scored for the Royals in the 23rd minute, and he now has goals in consecutive games.

The game saw four goals take place within the span of just 13 minutes as Mohawk opened the scoring in the 10th minute (Mark Sannzzaros) before following it up a minute later with a goal from Kevin Melo.

“We had a very shaky start to the game and it took us a bit to get settled and play our way,” said Grootenboer. “Mohawk is a good team with plenty of skill, and they punished us early. It was a huge win for us today to be able to come from behind.”

The win puts the Royals in 4th place in the OCAA West Division behind Humber, Sheridan, and St. Clair. Redeemer currently sits in the driver’s seat in regards to clinching a playoff spot, and their season will come down to this weekend when they travel to St. Clair and Lambton.

The women’s Royals team saw an early goal against result in a 1-0 loss at home against Mohawk in their match. A 4th minute goal from Michele DiDionsio gave the visiting side the lead and proved to be the difference in a tight match where the Royals outshot Mohawk 7-5.

Redeemer has struggled early in their matches, conceding a goal within the first 12 minutes of the match in 4 of their 5 games. The one match that the Royals held off their opponent from scoring early, they won.

The Lady Royals’ season will come down to the upcoming weekend at St. Clair and Lambton as they will be searching for 2 wins to put themselves back in contention for a playoff spot.

With the win, the Mountaineers leapfrogged the Royals into 6th place while Redeemer moves out of a playoff spot and into 7th.