Th e H e a r t b e a t o f t he O t t a w a S p o r t s C om m un i t y
SKATERS DANCE TO CHALLENGE
Championship season is underway for area figure skaters and many Sectionals champions from Ottawa clubs are medal hungry.
PAN AM GOLD FOR LOCAL PAIR
Christina Julien and Rachelle Beanlands played significant roles in Canada’s women’s soccer gold medal at the Pan Am Games.
CIS BASKETBALL TIP-OFF TIME
The Carleton Ravens and University of Ottawa Gee-Gees are poised for big things on the men’s and women’s sides this season.
Sp o rt s O t t a wa . c om
By Dan Plouffe
N o v em b e r 20 1 1
From Rwanda, With Love
Even when you can’t see him around a corner, you know he’s coming. And it’s not just because you know he’s guaranteed to be at the front. Once the first person catches a glimpse of him, it spreads throughout the crowd – that unmistakable first syllable of his name. “Y-Y-Y-Y-VES! GO Y-Y-Y-Y-VES!” And in their voices, you can tell it’s about more than cheering on a guy who’s winning a race. It’s an expression of joy to see a young man thriving not only in running, but in life. It’s an appreciation for his courage. It’s an understanding that he’s overcome more than any of his race competitors could imagine. And it’s a love for a bright youthful athlete with the perma-smile who has nothing but love to give back. “He really believes that there’s good in everybody,” says Nicole Le Saux, Sikubwabo’s Canadian mom. “He treats everybody with respect, and he really encourages everybody. He’s just a really genuine kind of person and I think that’s why people can relate to him. “He’s just so sweet and he’s very caring.”
A home OFSAA cross-country running championships provided the perfect stage for a community to celebrate the success of gold medalist YVES SIKUBWABO – not only in athletics but also in the radiant refugee’s remarkable journey to adapt to life in Canada so seemlessly. PHOTO: MARC DESROSIERS
RWANDAN ROOTS It seems almost unfathomable that someone could emerge with such an eternally positive spirit from a place where death and despair often ruled the day. When he was just one year old, Sikubwabo’s parents were among an estimated 800,000 people murdered in the Rwandan genocide. Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups remained present throughout Sikubwabo’s youth, and his family would sometimes receive threats from the same group that killed his parents. Sport provided a place for Sikubwabo to find “joy and peace,” which eventually led him to the 2010 world junior track-and-field championships in Moncton, N.B. as Rwanda’s lone repre-
IQALUIT D-MEN JOIN GRADS
sentative. After calling his aunt following his race, Sikubwabo made the bold decision to leave the athletes’ village and jump on a bus to Ottawa, which he knew was the capital, to start a new life in Canada – with nothing but his backpack, clothes and a pair of running shoes.
A NEW LIFE
PHOTO: MARC DESROSIERS
Sikubwabo spoke very little English at the time, and not much more French, but all the stars seemed destined to align. He found a shelter to stay in with help UNIVERSITY
from a woman he met downtown who happened to speak his native tongue, and later a family whose daughters had just moved away and had a bedroom to offer him. “We invited Yves for dinner, and he was just so sweet that between the main course and dessert we decided we would ask him to come and live with us,” recounts Le Saux, who first heard Sikubwabo’s story in a community newspaper article. Le Saux and husband Jim Farmer’s Old Ottawa South home also happens to
Two players from way up north are prowling the blue line for the Cumberland Grads in the Central Canada Jr. A Hockey League.
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not be too far from the city’s top crosscountry running school, Glebe Collegiate Institute.
CAMARADERIE WITH RIVALS No one has ever come close to challenging Sikubwabo in a high school race. But instead of jealously or disdain for the four-time OFSAA champion, the opponents who are left to chase for second place embraced Sikubwabo the same way he embraced them.
YVES continued on back page ELITE
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Ottawa figure skaters chase prized nationals berths By Anne Duggan
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Jeff Hough of the Minto Skating Club held onto the novice ice dance title with Rideau partner Samantha Glavine and also won a novice men’s silver.
With gold medals already in the bag, the novice and junior women’s champions now hope their breakthrough performances from the Skate Canada Eastern Ontario Sectionals will vault them towards this season’s Canadian championships in Moncton, N.B. Zoe Gong of the Minto Skating Club and Elizabeth Comeau of the host Gloucester Skating Club won the most competitive divisions at the Nov. 4-6 event, but, like the rest of the skaters, they still came away with even more determination to make it to the national level, along with a list of must-dos and an end-ofNovember deadline. That’s when the top four athletes from Sectionals will take the final stepping-stone to nationals for the Skate Canada Challenge in Regina, Sask. from Nov. 30-Dec. 4. For Gong, Challenge will represent another opportunity to get together with former training partner Lisa Nasu-Yu, who moved to Mississauga in March to stay with her older sister and mother and train at the Canadian Ice Academy. At Sectionals, the 14-year-olds were practically inseparable – which mirrored their scores last season when Nasu-Yu edged Gong out for gold at Sectionals and for silver at Challenge.
This year, it was Gong leapfrogging NasuYu, with Gloucester’s Nikki Mattocks, who was “really happy” to set a new all-time best score, sandwiched in between for second, and Gloucester’s Kelsey MacLean earning fourth. Bolstered by music with a storyline and a black and sequined two-piece costume made by her mother, Gong became a compelling James Bond on ice. “I really like the theme (song) because the beginning is slow and the end is fast,” says Gong, a Grade 9 Earl of March Secondary School student. “This is a chance for me to be graceful and dynamic in the same piece.” To prepare for Challenge and Canadians, Gong plans to start putting triple Salchows into her competition program and work on her triple toe.
FREESKATE ELEVATES COMEAU Comeau’s victory in the junior women’s event was the first Sectionals title of the longtime Gloucester skater’s career. The Grade 10 Lisgar Collegiate Institute student has never made it to nationals before, but thinks this season may be a different story.
Minto Skating Club Register now for our January to April 2012 CanSkate session PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Minto’s Zoe Gong moved up to novice this year and won gold.
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Elizabeth Comeau reacts to news of junior gold.
“This year it feels bigger and better,” Comeau explains. “I've noticed a big improvement. My training is more focused. This year I am skating for myself and having fun with it.” The 15-year-old also knows where she needs to make adjustments to her performance before the Challenge competition. “There's a lot more I could have done,” adds Comeau, who moved up from third place after the short program to the gold medal position. “My spins were not as strong, jumps not as crisp.” Minto’s Anna McCorriston finished less than a point behind Comeau in second place, while one of the Sectionals’ best-known skaters, Jennifer Pettem, fell from first to third. “My legs were shaky, I was a little nervous,” recounts Pettem, who’s been a member of many Eastern Ontario clubs because she’s from a small town near Brockville. The 18year-old has a plan to calm her nerves next time. “Breathing is huge for me – in through the nose and out through the mouth. And smiling. It relaxes my body and then I remember why I am here,” says Pettem, who wants to land her triples when she attends her third Challenge event in search of her first trip to nationals. The Rideau/Minto Samantha Glavine and Jeff Hough pair won the novice ice dance title, while Rideau's Andriyko Goyaniuk (prenovice men), Minto’s Sophie Fu (pre-novice women) and Gloucester’s Hailey Fournier (juvenile women) were also champions. Visit SportsOttawa.com for a complete list of local Challenge qualifiers.
Bengal champ pulls double-duty, twice
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Michael Black, along with St. Matthew Tigers and Myers Orleans Bengals teammate Alex Gauthier, put in four weeks’ worth of work into a single day on Friday, Nov. 4, playing offence and defence for both his high school and community club. “It’s a tough deal,” Bengals coach Ntare Bainomugisha says with a smile. “An old man like me, I wouldn’t expect to do that, but at their age, it’s just get hydrated, get some food, and that’s it. “These guys have so much heart. There’s no way they’re going to let anything stop them from achieving their dreams.” The afternoon didn’t start of well for the St. Matt’s pair as their severely understaffed Tigers fell to St. Mark in the league semi-final, but their evening ended on a great note as the Bengals completed an undefeated National Capital Amateur Football Association season with a 21-0 victory over the Nepean Redskins.
Quarterback Darcy Lavoie, a Tiger grad himself, was named the team’s championship game MVP, while defensive leader Ryan Lawther received the Redskins’ honour. The Cumberland Panthers (Tyke and Mosquito), Myers Riders (Pee-wee) and Gloucester South Raiders (Bantam) were also crowned NCAFA A Cup champions. Check SportsOttawa.com for more on the NCAFA finals.
By Dan Plouffe As if a gold medal wasn’t enough to celebrate already, the Pan Am Games were a coming-out party for Rachelle Beanlands and a coming-of-age party for Christina Julien as both local players enjoyed memorable women’s soccer tournaments in Guadalajara, Mexico. Canada’s second group match against Argentina was when the Ottawa Fury WLeague players really stepped to the forefront for the senior national team. Julien scored the lone goal in a 1-0 Canadian victory, and Beanlands wrote a little piece of history for herself by becoming the youngest goalkeeper to ever record a clean sheet in net. “I have to give credit to my team for helping me out,” says Beanlands, who couldn’t help but feel nervous early on in her first international cap. “I didn’t have to do too much, and thanks to (coach) John (Herdman) for giving me the chance.” Although a single start doesn’t suddenly make Beanlands a Team Canada star, it was a big step nonetheless from a role as the extra kid who hangs out at camps to the person counted on as the last line of defence for the likes of Christine Sinclair.
“When you first meet them, they introduce themselves, and you’re kind of like, ‘Well, I already know who you are,’” laughs the 18-year-old first-year University of Maryland student. For Julien, the Pan Am Games showed that her apprenticeship with the senior national team is nearing its end, and that the 23-year-old is ready to step in and
CALL FFOR OR NOMINATIONS NOMINATIONS ĞĂĚůŝŶĞĨŽƌŽŶůŝŶĞŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶƐŝƐ ĞĂĚůŝŶĞĨŽƌŽŶůŝŶĞŶŽŵŝŶĂƟŽŶƐŝƐ December 16, 2011. sŝƐ sŝƐŝƚǁǁǁ͘ŽƩĂǁĂƐƉŽƌƚƐĂǁĂƌĚƐ͘ĐĂ ŝƚǁǁǁ͘ŽƩĂǁĂƐƉŽƌƚƐĂǁĂƌĚƐ͘Đ ĨŽƌĚĞƚĂŝůƐŽŶƚŚĞĞůŝŐŝďůĞƐƉŽƌƚƐĂŶĚ ĨŽƌĚĞƚĂŝůƐŽŶƚŚĞĞůŝŐŝďůĞƐƉŽƌƚƐĂŶĚ ƚƚŽŶŽŵŝŶĂƚĞĂŶĂƚŚůĞƚĞ͕ƚĞĂŵ͕ĐŽĂĐŚ ŽŶŽŵŝŶĂƚĞĂŶĂƚŚůĞƚĞ͕ƚĞĂŵ͕ĐŽĂĐŚ ŽƌĚĞƐĞ ŽƌĚĞƐĞƌǀŝŶŐůŽĐĂůƐƉŽƌƚƐƐƵƉƉŽƌƚĞƌ ƌǀŝŶŐůŽĐĂůƐƉŽƌƚƐƐƵƉƉŽƌƚ ŝŶ ŝŶĂ>ŝĨĞƟŵĞĐŚŝĞǀĞŵĞŶƚĐĂƚĞŐŽƌǇ͘ Ă>ŝĨĞƟŵĞĐŚŝĞǀĞŵĞŶƚĐĂƚĞŐŽƌ B BANQUET ANQUET TICKETS TICKETS dŚĞ dŚĞϮϬϭϭKƩĂǁĂ^ƉŽƌƚƐǁĂƌĚƐ ϮϬϭϭKƩĂǁĂ^ƉŽƌƚƐǁĂƌĚƐ ĂŶƋƵĞ ĂŶƋƵĞƚǁŝůůďĞŚĞůĚĂƚůŐŽŶƋƵŝŶ ƚǁŝůůďĞŚĞůĚĂƚůŐŽŶƋƵŝŶ ŽůůĞ ŽůůĞŐĞ;tŽŽĚƌŽīĞĂŵƉƵƐͿŽŶ ŐĞ;tŽŽĚƌŽīĞĂŵƉƵƐͿŽŶ tĞĚŶĞƐĚĂǇ͕:ĂŶƵĂƌǇϮϱ͕ϮϬϭϮ͘ t ĞĚŶĞƐĚĂǇ͕:ĂŶƵĂƌǇϮϱ͕ϮϬϭϮ͘ &&ŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶĂŶĚƚŽ ŽƌŵŽƌĞŝŶĨŽƌŵĂƟŽŶĂŶĚƚŽ ŽƌĚĞƌƟĐŬĞƚƐ͕ǀŝƐŝƚƵƐŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ Žƌ ĚĞƌƟĐŬĞƚƐ͕ǀŝƐŝƚƵƐŽŶůŝŶĞĂƚ ǁǁǁ͘ŽƩĂǁĂƐƉŽƌƚƐĂǁĂƌĚƐ͘ĐĂ ǁ ǁǁ͘ŽƩĂǁĂƐƉŽƌƚƐĂǁĂƌĚƐ͘ĐĂ or ĐĂůůϲϭϯͲϳϵϱͲϴϭϭϭ ĐĂůůϲϭϯͲϳϵϱͲϴϭϭϭ
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Rachelle Beanlands (left) became the youngest keeper in team history to record a clean sheet, while Christina Julien played almost every moment in Canada’s 4-0-1 run to Pan Am gold.
be a part of Team Canada’s core of regular contributors. “I ended up playing almost every minute of every game,” notes the striker who scored twice in Canada’s five games. “It kind of builds your confidence and you feel really proud of playing for your country at that time. And knowing that you put in the work to be where you are, it’s finally paying off.” Julien felt she played one of the best games of her career in a 2-1 semi-final win over Columbia, but when they were back on the pitch for the final against Brazil just a day-and-a-half later. “I remember going into that game and thinking, ‘Oh my God, my legs are dead,’” Julien recalls. “A lot of us were
really tired.” Brazil tallied before the game was five minutes old, but Sinclair got the equalizer with about same amount of time remaining, which eventually led to penalty kicks to determine the Pan American champion.
‘SLEW OF HAPPY EMOTIONS’ When Karina Leblanc made the winning save on the fifth shot to give Canada the gold, Beanlands and Julien had different reactions. “Everyone was yelling and screaming, rushing to the keeper, hugging and congratulating,” Beanlands recounts. “It was just a whole slew of happy emotions.” But for Julien, it was one other emotion that prevailed. “I remember I was really nervous because I was the sixth shooter,” explains the James Madison University kinesiology and business grad. “If it would have gone in, I would have been shooting. I was just relieved.” The Pan Am gold couldn’t have come at a better time for Canada, Julien adds,
Capital City reaches CSL final in Year 1
They wound up one goal short of a championship, but Capital City FC hopes it has laid the groundwork for a long-term place in the Ottawa sports scene as the team went on a remarkable run to the Canadian Soccer League final, where Toronto Croatia won 1-0. “I don’t think anyone but maybe ourselves internally within the organization felt that we were going to be as good as we were,” says coach Shaun Harris. “It showed an awful lot for our organization for how far
we’ve come in just seven months.” Capital City FC finished with an 18-5-7 overall record. View this video report online at SportsOttawa.com .
after going winless at the World Cup this past summer and enduring the resignation of former coach Carolina Morace. “It was really important,” emphasizes the Williamstown, Ont. native who now lives with her parents in Cornwall. “We needed something to rebuild our confidence and get that swagger back almost. The Pan Ams was a good way to do that. We’re going to have a bit of confidence going into Olympic qualifiers and hopefully it can continue on from there.” With the countdown on to the London 2012 Olympics, attending a major international multi-sport Games was an experience both players fully soaked in. “It was a cool seeing everyone from the different sports and the different countries – seeing the boxers in the gym doing all this crazy stuff that you couldn’t even imagine doing,” explains Beanlands, who ran into a former youth soccer teammate of hers, Kellie Ring, a member of Canada’s Pan Am Games women’s basketball squad. “It was really cool to see her there.”
‘PROUD TO BE CANADIAN’ Nothing quite compared, however, to the feeling the athletes experienced as they walked into the 40,000-person stadium for Opening Ceremonies at the front of the line just behind flag bearer Sinclair. “It was overwhelming when they call your country’s name and you walk through that gate,” Julien describes. “I almost lost it. It was surreal. I’ve never been more proud to be Canadian.” While Beanlands’ focus now shifts to school soccer and playing for Canada’s under-20 team, it’s full steam ahead to January’s Olympic qualifier for Julien. “The opportunity is there,” Julien notes. “I think about (the London Olympics) every day. Every day when I’m training, that’s the one picture in my mind and my one goal.”
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Ottawa pair share breakout performances at Pan Ams
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Paralympian hopes new guide will help push to new heights
The Force Academy Zone OSU alumni excel at next level Spanning across places near and far, Ottawa South United Alumni have left their mark this autumn all over North America competing for CIS, CCAA and NCAA
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Three-time Paralympic medalist Jason Dunkerley (left) now works with a regular guide runner locally in Josh Karanja.
By Dan Plouffe Jason Dunkerley is the star attraction out of the Ottawaarea athletes headed to Mexico for this month’s Parapan American Games in Guadalajara. The three-time Paralympic track-and-field medalist who’s come back strong from an Achilles injury that kept him on the sidelines for part of the summer is Ottawa’s surest bet for a medal at the Parapan Am Games. Also competing at the Nov. 19-27 event will be Ottawa’s Jacqueline Rennebohm (athletics), Keven SmithWothylake (boccia), Tony Walby (judo), Meagan Michie (swimming), Barry Butler (table tennis), Jamey Jewells (wheelchair basketball), and Whitney Bogart, Amy Kneebone and Jillian McSween (all goalball), plus there are tons of coaches and support staff from the nation’s capital. Dunkerley’s fellow Ottawa Lion, Noella Klawitter, is another strong medal contender, although many of the other top track-and-field athletes are not attending the Parapan Ams because the competition comes so late in the year leading up to the 2012 Paralympics. “It will be a young team for sure,” Dunkerley says, noting Athletics Canada is looking at the event as a development opportunity. “For (new guide runner) Josh (Karanja) and I, we’re a new team and it’ll be our first championship, so it makes sense for us to be there.”
DUNKERLEY GAINS SPEEDY LEADER Karanja recently returned to Ottawa after competing for the Eastern Michigan University Eagles in cross-country running and track-and-field, and eagerly jumped at the opportunity to travel the globe and help Dunkerley push towards being the best in the world. “We’re pretty much the same stride and our arm-swing is pretty similar, so it wasn’t too hard to adjust, really,” highlights Karanja, a Nepean High School grad. “We haven’t raced much though and that’s probably where going to Pan Ams will help us big time.” After previously working infrequently with a guide from southern Ontario, Dunkerley deemed it essential to find a regular guide runner locally. “It’s absolutely key,” says Dunkerley, who competes in the T11 class for athletes with visual impairments and isn’t able to do any work on the track without a guide. “Josh is
also considerably faster, so he’s really able to work me hard and help me get the best out of my running.” The 34-year-old has changed his focus from running the 800 metres and 1,500 m to the 1,500 and the 5,000 since he believes there’s a lot of room for him to grow in the longer events. Ian Clark, who became Dunkerley’s coach near the start of 2011, believes his distance-focused training is starting to pay off. “Frankly, he’s never been this aerobically fit ever,” states Clark, noting however that it’s inevitable for an athlete in their mid-30s to lose a bit of their foot-speed. “We’ll just try to max out with the speed endurance, and with tapering going into the big races, we’ll hope for the best.” Although he’d certainly like to defend his 1,500 m Parapan Am title and is eager to see how things go in the 5k, Dunkerley’s primary focus remains squarely on next summer’s Paralympic Games in London. In order to have more time for training, Dunkerley has dropped down to part-time work hours with his organization that promotes active living for people with disabilities, which means the countdown is on. “There’s a lot of talk about it,” smiles Dunkerley, noting a recent site visit to London made him truly feel how quickly it’s approaching. “Life is really starting to take shape towards the Paralympics. It’s on my mind a lot – every day for sure.”
universities and colleges. It doesn’t require a very far look to see the impact Force Academy graduates are having. Suiting up locally for Carleton University, Michael Calof stepped into an important starting role during his rookie season with the OUA regular season-champion Ravens. The ’93 boys alum started every game and was a rock on defense while also picking up two goals in his first year. “It’s a big jump playing against some guys who are five and six years older, but I’ve enjoyed my time here,” says Michael, who played for OSU since it began in 2003. “Playing for OSU was a tremendous help in preparing me for University soccer. I had a chance to compete against the best players in North America, playing in such high profile tournaments as the Disney College Showcase for two years and training with Coaches from Everton FC and the Dallas Texans.”
ACADEMY GRADS TOPS IN ACADEMICS Force Academy Alumni are also thriving in the classroom as well as on the soccer pitch – no one more so than Heather Ambery, who was named a CIS Top-8 Academic All-Canadian for earning a perfect 4.3 GPA in her sport management program. The fourth-year University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds captain and co-top scorer earned a slew of awards and scholarships for her achievements at UNB. Heather participates in many activities at UNB such as promoting physical activity for young females at a Fredericton high school, acting as president of the school’s athletics council, executive of the Varsity Reds’ Red Brigade fan club, co-president of the Kinesiology Club and co-president and co-founder of UNB’s Right to Play University Club. The AUS All-Star midfielder also designed and ran a weekly sports program for underprivileged children at a community centre in Ottawa the past two summers. “We are so proud of what Heather, and all our Force Academy alumni, are accomplishing in their new ventures,” says OSU club president Bill
Michalopulos. “Our main focus at OSU is to develop and get players ready for the next level and the next stage in their lives, so nothing pleases us more than to see them excel on the soccer field and in their studies.” A number of other OSU alumni are making waves in the university soccer world: –Robbie Murphy, who represented Canada at the World University Games this summer in China, was named OUA West conference MVP for Guelph University, where he scored 16 goals in 14 games this year. –Colin Aubrey, Tim Engert, Max Bair-Marshall and Brandon Rollocks also helped Guelph to a third-place division finish. –Garrett McConville, an OUA All-Star, won a provincial gold medal with the McMaster Marauders. –OSU ’90 Girls Alumni Paula Wong, a 2010 CIS champion with the Queen's Golden Gaels, has a shot at capturing national title No. 2 after winning the 2011 OUA championship. –OSU ’93 Girls Alumni Eli Asare-Danso is the leading rookie scorer and just one goal away from the team lead at Francis Marion University as they compete against some of the top NCAA Division 1 teams in the U.S. –OSU ’91 Boys goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi is leading the University of Buffalo Bulls this season in between the pipes during their NCAA Division 1 campaign. –OSU ’90 Boys Alumni Brandon Tardioli is finishing a fantastic career this fall at Mars Hill College, who compete in NCAA Division 2. –’93 Boys Alumni Colin Phillips has earned a starting spot for Duquesne University as a Freshman as they compete in NCAA Division 1 play. –OSU Alumni Godwin Addai is leading Spring Arbor University to a breakout season this fall. –OSU ’91 Boys Alumni Brandon Stoneham started every game this season for the Adelphi University Panthers in NCAA Division 1 play. –Brothers Godwin and Jeffrey Addai have made a serious impact this year together at Spring Arbor University. –Captain of the men's team, Abdul Ibrahim is one of many OSU Alumni competing for the Algonquin College Thunder, including Morena Pizzo, Chelsea McLean, Chelsea Saunders, Gabriel Urquhard and Jacob Law. Ottawa South United salutes our local affiliated professional soccer franchise, Capital City FC, on an outstanding first season in the Canadian Soccer League. Congratulations on your amazing run to the final!
Kenyan-born guide runner returns to Ottawa with EMU Masterʼs
Josh Karanja has been in Canada for a majority of his life now, but looking back to when he moved to Ottawa from Kenya with his mother at age 11, there’s no doubt Jason Dunkerley’s guide runner qualifies as an immigration success story. The 27-year-old recently came home with a Master’s degree in public administration from Eastern Michigan University. “I’m super proud of him,” says Karanja’s coach, Ian Clark. “He’s fought for everything he’s got – whether it’s his athletics or his academics. He’s come by it honestly.” Karanja received an athletic scholar-
ship while running for the Eagles, but paid for the final year of Master’s studies once his athletic eligibility was up. “I don’t know if I would have done a Master’s if I hadn’t gone down there,” notes Karanja, who believes he would have stayed in Ottawa for post-secondary studies if it weren’t for the scholarship offer. “I got to experience something different than most people. I was lucky.” In his youth career, Karanja missed out on a chance to represent Canada because his citizenship papers weren’t finalized, although the steeplechase specialist eventually did get to compete with a maple leaf on his chest at the
2009 Francophone Games in Lebanon. “It was fun,” recalls Karanja, who loved receiving his team gear. “I was finally running for Canada in an international event. I’d waited for so long.” On top of work at the Running Room, taking French courses, and his guide runner duties, Karanja helped coach his old cross-country team at Nepean High School this fall, and he also volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club, where he helps youngsters between the ages of six and 10 learn to swim. “A lot of the kids there migrated here too,” Karanja notes. “It’s nice to see a different face than just a Cajun face so they can relate somehow.”
By Dan Plouffe As the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s and women’s basketball seasons get underway, the nation’s capital boasts four strong Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens teams that are among the country’s best. The Ravens men are after what would be a recordtying eighth national title – all in the span of a decade, no less – the Ravens women are poised to push further ahead after emerging onto the national scene last year, the Gee-Gees women own the pieces to be one of the best, and the Gee-Gees men are a year older as they seek to reclaim contender status. It’s an embarrassment of riches for the local basketball community, and a major reason for each of the programs’ success, the coaches note, is because the top local prospects from the high school ranks are deciding to play at Ottawa U or Carleton. Gee-Gees women’s coach Andy Sparks believes there’s been a swift in thinking that’s occurred for the current crop of female rookies, who probably believed three or four years ago that they’d certainly be headed south for NCAA basketball. “Those kids that wanted to leave Ottawa didn’t have the draw saying I could be on a very good university team at home,” Sparks explains. “Now we’ve got two teams in Ottawa that are as good as anybody.” The fact that all the university coaches are very involved in community basketball helps develop the al-
ways-increasing supply of Ottawa talent, although that alone doesn’t guarantee that they’ll continue their careers in the nation’s capital, notes Ravens women’s coach Taffe Charles. “A lot of times, it’s really about winning,” he highlights. “People want to be linked to successful programs and successful teams. Both schools have done a great job of producing successful teams not only in our division, but nationally as well.”
Ranked #1 all last season, more of the same can be expected of the Ravens men, who return all their key weapons from last year including Cole Hobin, Philip Scrubb and Tyson Hinz, the winner of every major award available last season. That trio may in fact be even more dominant after raising their game to an international standard for the
CARLETON RAVENS MEN’S BASKETBALL
OTTAWA GEE-GEES MEN’S BASKETBALL
CARLETON RAVENS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
RAVENS MEN ONLY GET STRONGER
2010-11 regular season: 18-4 (T-1 OUA East)
Finish: Won CIS national championship
Finish: Lost nationals qualifying game by 2
Finish: Lost first round at CIS nationals
Finish: 2-2 in playoffs to wind up 6th in OUA
Key players: Tyson Hinz, Cole Hobin, Philip Scrubb
Key players: Warren Ward, Johnny Berhanemeskel, Second-year OUA All-Rookie team guard hit over 45% of 3Jacob Gibson-Bascombe point attempts last year
Key players: Alyson Bush, Ashleigh Cleary, Kendall MacLeod
Key players: Jenna Gilbert, Bess Lennox, Hannah Sunley-Paisley
Season opener: Nov. 11 @ McMaster
Season opener: Nov. 11 @ Brock
Season opener: Nov. 11 @ McMaster
Season opener: Nov. 11 @ Brock
Home opener: Nov. 18, 8 p.m., vs Western
Home opener: Nov. 18, 8 p.m., vs Windsor
Home opener: Nov. 18, 6 p.m., vs Western
Home opener: Nov. 18, 6 p.m., vs Windsor
Third-year post was the 201011 CIS Athlete of the Year & nationals tournament MVP
New Ravens & Gee-Gees teams
A couple of new university teams are all set to go as a wrestling club debuts for the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the women’s rugby club becomes a varsitystatus Carleton Ravens squad. “It's a tremendous honour for our team,” says Ravens rugby coach Denis Blondin, who has operated his club with a “varsity feel” to it for several years. Rugby was selected to be the new fully funded female sport alongside Ravens men’s football, both financed by the Old Crows football alumni. Gee-Gees wrestling is just in its infant stages as a student federation club, but coach Derek Kossatz, who also operates Tsunami Academy, believes they’ll
be competitive right off the bat. “The wrestling community’s been really encouraging,” says Kossatz, whose athletes won two bronze medals in the team’s first event at Concordia. “It’s kind of been a thorn in the side of Canadian wrestling that the capital region does not have a university team, so a lot of people are very excited.” More on Sports Ottawa.com
OTTAWA GEE-GEES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
2010-11 regular season: JOHNNY BERHANE 11-11 (T-3 OUA East)
2010-11 regular season: 20-0 (1st OUA East)
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Ottawa native Tyson Hinz won every major CIS award available last year and should only be better this season.
Pan Am Games in October. “It’s definitely good experience to play against different teams and different styles of basketball,” says Hinz, who believes the fire remains just as strong for the Ravens on the heels of a CIS title. “It’s still the same goal this year, and we have a long way to go.” Hinz’ abilities against Canadian competition were evident, but the way the St. Matthew Catholic High School grad was able to take control of games this past summer at the World University Games demonstrated that the Ravens own a special talent on the global stage as well. “Every other team had seven-foot posts, and it was like, ‘What’s Tyson going to do?’” recalls Hobin, also a Canadian Universiade team member. “And he just outplays everybody and outthinks everybody. Tyson is something else. Playing with that guy is just awesome.” Ottawa U men’s leader Warren Ward also got to play in the Pan Am Games, as did women’s rookie GeeGee Kellie Ring, who serves as the prime example of local players electing to stay in town for university. With veterans Teddi Firmi and Ashbury College grad Bess Lennox joining Hannah Sunley-Paisley and Jenna Gilbert, the Ottawa women should be a force against anyone, but may find their best match against the experienced Ravens lineup featuring Alyson Bush, Ashleigh Cleary, Kendall MacLeod and Jessica Resch. All four squads tip off their season on the road Nov. 11 before their home openers on Nov. 18.
An OUA East second-team All-Star last year, the fourthyear guard led OUA in assists
2010-11 regular season: 14-8 (3rd OUA East)
Fourth-year Lasalle University transfer became immediate impact player last season.
GGs return to nats
XC stars shine on
Hockey teams mature
The Ottawa Gee-Gees women's soccer team earned its first appearance at the CIS national championships in three years with an OUA bronze medal, but the regular season champion Carleton Ravens men lost out on winning a trip of their own. See Sports Ottawa.com for more.
It was a triumphant return to Ottawa for Guelph Gryphons crosscountry runners Allan Brett and Joanna Brown as they swept the men's and women's OUA team titles. Brown is loving life as a rookie, while four-time All-Canadian Brett is in his final year. More on Sports Ottawa.com
Yanick Evola of the Gee-Gees and the Ravens’ Shelley Coolidge have begun to put their stamps on the Ottawa and Carleton women’s hockey teams, and both squads are holding their own in the highly competitive Quebec university division. See SportsOttawa.com for more on their evolution.
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Basketball Ravens & Gee-Gees fly high into new season
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Ottawa Sportspage welcomes new members to the team
902 Pinecrest Rd. Ottawa, Ont. K2B 6B3 Dan Plouffe Editor 613-261-5838 editor@SportsOttawa.com Larry Ring Director of Business Development 613-293-1730 larry@SportsOttawa.com Matt Gilmer Advertising & Marketing Manager 613-80-SPORT matt@SportsOttawa.com
The second edition of the Ottawa Sportspage is now here, and we've gotta say thank you Ottawa for keeping us so busy with all your amazing sports news this fall! A big thank you also for all the people who have expressed their support and encouragement for this new venture that we know will only continue to grow. Speaking of which, we are very happy to welcome Matt Gilmer to the Ottawa Sports Media team! Matt will be the new Advertising & Marketing Manager for the Ottawa Sportspage and SportsOttawa.com. Born and raised south of the city in South Mountain, Matt grew up playing
The Ottawa Sportspage is printed the first Tuesday of every month by Ottawa Sports Media, the locallyowned and operated publishers of SportsOttawa.com and the Ottawa Sportspage.
our official launch event taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 15! We'd like to invite the sports community to come on out to East Side Mario's in the St-Laurent Centre to celebrate the birth of this groundbreaking publication dedicated to bringing you all the great local sports news that can't be found anywhere else. It's also half-price appetizer night (and of course we'll provide some free ones too!) and the Sens game in Calgary will be on, so it's guaranteed to be a good time. Many thanks to general manager Joey Pottie and the East Side's gang for welcoming us. We look forward to seeing you then and all over town as winter sports activities rev up!
later graduated with Honours from New York Chiropractic College and is currently practicing chiropractic and sports therapy for all types of patients at Orleans Chiropractic Clinic at 2543 St. Joseph Blvd. The co-author of a book on explosive strength training for hockey players, Shayne also serves as a soccer trainer, works with local athletes to achieve their health and fitness goals, and runs hockey camps during summertime and March Break. With such a vast background, we look forward to everything Doc Hockey Corner will bring to us each month. And lastly, we're very excited for
hockey in Winchester and continues to make the trek out to the old rink several times a week even though he's lived in Ottawa and worked for local sports companies over the past five years. Matt is very excited to meet and work with our partners in the local sports community. We're also very enthusiastic to bring Dr. Shayne Baylis on board as a new Ottawa Sportspage columnist! Better known as Doc Hockey, Shayne will share his expertise in a wide variety of areas for the Doc Hockey Corner. Drafted by the Ottawa 67's, Shayne instead chose to accept a scholarship to play hockey at Niagara University where he earned a biology degree. He
WHAT ARE THESE HIGH SCHOOLS’ SPORTS TEAMS NAMED? 8
SPORTSOTTAWA.COM OCTOBER STARS OF THE WEEK
Name: Karyn Jewell Sport: Swimming Club: Gatineau Phénix School: St. Peter CHS Grade: 12 Accomplishments: The Canadian 400 m IM champ, Jewell competed at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara.
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Name: Sonia Tang Sport: Figure Skating Club: Gloucester Skating Club School: St. Peter CHS Grade: 9 Accomplishments: Outstanding skater at 2009 Eastern Ontario Sectionals.
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Name: Sebastian Saville Sport: XC Running/Track Club: Ottawa Lions School: Colonel By SS Grade: 12 Accomplishments: 2011 OFSAA senior boys’ 800 m bronze medalist.
Name: Sadie Moore Sport: Field Hockey, XC Running School: Nepean HS Grade: 10 Accomplishments: Moore just missed qualifying for the OFSAA XC championships by one place, but made it for OFSAA field hockey later that day.
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JUNIOR LEAGUES By Nick Wells Manasie Kendall and Phil Verreault have endured a tumultuous start to their first year in the Canadian Central Jr. A Hockey League (CCHL). The two defencemen, both from Iqaluit, Nunavut, are part of a Cumberland Grads team that limped through the first two months of the season with a 7-13-3 record. But for each of these players, just the chance to play hockey is an opportunity they’re both looking to seize. Just how did two boys from Iqaluit find themselves in Canada’s capital? “Growing up in Iqaluit, every year we came down for a tournament in Ottawa, so we knew the city quite well,” Kendall notes. “But living here is a lot different.” For Verreault, the opportunity came on the heels of a season with a Jr. B club in Invermere, B.C., while Kendall was living in Iqaluit when he decided to attend the CCHL import tryout camp held last May. “Obviously their size stands out,” Cumberland Grads head coach and general manager Paul Flindall says. “Both of them skate fairly well and they play a fairly simple game.”
TOUGH ROAD TO THE TOP For these players, growing up playing hockey was not without its challenges. The one team in Iqaluit had some players who took the sport seriously and many who – as Flindall bluntly put it – “Stop at the Canadian Tire and get the ‘I want to be a hockey player’ kit.” Growing up in a small community with less than one per cent of Ottawa’s metro population has significant drawbacks for players who want to become elite-level players. “It was hard to advance or improve ’cause you’re playing the same guys all the way through the system,” Kendall explains. “We only had enough guys for one team in Midget.” When not playing for their local hockey team, both boys were still on the ice but had speed skates strapped to their feet instead. Kendall won four speed skating medals at the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, which features teams from all the territories, plus Greenland, Alaska, and parts of northern Alberta and Quebec. Verreault also won a relay medal at those Games, and the pair returned for the 2010 Arctic Winter Games, but that time with their focus on hockey.
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
Phil Verreault is one of two Iqaluit D playing for Cumberland.
Both players hope that their careers in Jr. A hockey will grab the attention of universities and help them get a scholarship. But for the moment, their feet have to stay firmly to the ground as they try to help the Cumberland Grads pick up more wins. The step up to Jr. A hockey hasn’t been easy for either player, says Flindall, who believes both have had problems adapting to the level of play. “They’re not adjusting as quickly as we hoped to the speed of the game, so that’s something we have to work on,” Flindall adds. Finding consistency game-to-game has been the hardest part in the coach’s view. Verreault has notched one goal and four assists in 14 games this season while Kendall has a solitary assist in 21 games. But their presence serves as an example to other players that they should fight for the opportunity they’re given. “The [players from Ottawa] need to see these guys coming in from Newfoundland and Iqaluit who haven’t had it as easy,” Flindall explains. “The rink hasn’t been 20 minutes away and it’s a different lifestyle.”
Senators PWHL stars win gold for Ontario at U18 nationals All three Ottawa Senators women’s hockey players got on the scoresheet as they represented Ontario at the Canadian under-18 women’s hockey championships Nov. 2-6 in Saguenay, Que., while Amanda Leveille shutout Quebec to give Ontario Red the gold. Defenders Morgan Richardson and Cydney Roesler also won gold with Ontario Red, while Cristin Shanahan played for Ontario Blue. The local players are off to a hot start with their Provincial Women’s Hockey League club. The Senators jumped out to a 6-1-1 start despite playing six of those games in back-to-back-to-back scenarios on road trips to the western side of the GTA. “It’s tough,” notes Senators coach Luke Richardson, who’s pleased his speedy team’s start. “It’s a
lifestyle choice really. If you want to live this and do well, you can see the girls who have prepared all week to play on the weekend.” The young Nepean Wildcats are also starting to get the hang of it as the second-year PWHL club recorded its first pair of victories on its first home weekend of the schedule to improve to 2-4-1 overall. The PWHL squads play at home on Nov. 19-20.
C.A.R.E. about concussions --By Dr. Shayne Baylis, Doc Hockey “Did you see that? He got his bell rung.” It may have seemed funny to watch as the player hobbled over to the bench struggling to stay on their feet. In the past, players with this type of injury would rest a few shifts before being sent back out onto the ice. However today, this type of response in a player is becoming more of a concern. Players such as Theoren Fleury have talked about their bouts of dizziness on CBC and how throughout his NHL career he continued to play through the symptoms, and Delaney Collins, who was once on the Canadian National Team was forced to retire after repetitive efforts to try and play through her post-concussion symptoms. Concussions are not an injury you can just push through – you must take it seriously because the long-term effects can be debilitating. The major concern is coming from past hockey culture where everyone is supposed to be tough, strong and not let injuries slow you down. The research is out that concussions need to be dealt with conservatively for a complete recovery and lower the re-occurrence factor. It is the second and third concussions that are the most detrimental to the human brain. The second
Concussion Awareness and Respond Effectively seminar Nepean Sportsplex Nov. 15, 7:30-9 p.m.
impact syndrome (SIS), which is mostly seen in football, is where the second concussion occurs before the first one heals, and the swelling of the brain causes respiratory failure and death. There is a positive trend beginning to occur in hockey, as they are taking the initiative in the NHL to have no tolerance for dangerous, reckless plays that lead to concussions such as head shots, boarding and charging. The major themes that need to be implemented by the player is respect, both for themselves and others, as well as fair play rules practiced on the ice. Bottom line is the parents, coaches, players, and trainers need to become more educated about concussion symptoms, assessment, management, return to play protocol, and prevention – to help speed recovery and decrease reoccurrence. Recently I have been involved with studying the current research of concussions and have engaged in public presentations about the Concussion Awareness and Respond Effectively (C.A.R.E) protocol where hockey attitude, strength training for prevention, on-site evaluations of concussions, safe play strategies, and the latest research and treatment is discussed. I will be speaking about the above topics to the Nepean Girls Hockey Association on Nov. 15 at the Nepean Sportsplex. For more information, visit www.dochockey.ca
OTTAWAʼS #1 SOCCER CLUB
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
Grads welcome Iqaluit blueliners
Doc Hockey Corner
OTTAWA SPORTSPAGE – NOVEMBER EDITION
YVES: Sikubwabo receives 23rd offer from college/universities after winning fourth OFSAA crown Nicole Le Saux and Jim Farmer’s daughters had just moved away, which meant there was an extra bed available in their house for Yves Sikubwabo, who previously lived at a shelter for his first few months in Ottawa.
OFSAA XC COVERAGE
Visit SportsOttawa.com for full coverage of the OFSAA cross-country running championships and see SportsOttawa.com’s Facebook page for all our raceday photos. PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
PHOTOS: DAN PLOUFFE
continued from p. 1 Before each race, Sikubwabo wishes as many people good luck as he possibly can, which was certainly the case at OFSAA when he was part of the group of national capital senior boys from different schools who united for an “Ottawa!” cheer at the start line. “They’re like my brothers. They come and hug me,” says Sikubwabo, who set a new course record every time he ran a cross-country race this season including OFSAA. “They said to me, ‘Yves, we can’t get that high, in the top-five, but you can, so do your best and make us proud at home.’ Imagine your (competitors) telling you that. “So many people said good luck, and that you can do your best, so I’m very happy now that I did it. I’m smiling now.” There is never an interview where Sikubwabo doesn’t emphasize his appreciation to all the
people that have helped him along in Ottawa. At the top of that list is his (Canadian) mom, who gave Sikubwabo the chain he wears around his neck every race for good luck, and to think of her.
LIMITLESS HORIZONS Although the Grade 12 student plans to stay at least one more year in Ottawa to further improve his English before thinking about attempting SATs, Sikubwabo received his 23rd recruiting package from a university at OFSAA. With a strong support group behind him, the future couldn’t be much brighter for an athlete, and a person, who shines every step of the way. “I used to think, ‘If I stay in Canada, what would my life be like?’” Sikubwabo recalls, noting that life was constantly in flux with all the new people he encountered. “The people around me make me happy. It’s a wonderful life. I really enjoy every day.”
PHOTO: MARC DESROSIERS
PHOTO: MARC DESROSIERS
PHOTO: DAN PLOUFFE
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(Clockwise from top) A. Y. Jackson’s Brendon Howard, FrancoOuest’s Emma Galbraith, Nepean’s Scott Donald, Brookfield’s Olivia Robertson and Earl of March’s Erica Van Wyk were all top-10 finishers at the 2011 OFSAA cross-country running championships on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Hornets Nest. Glebe’s Claire Smith, Alexa Livingstone, Tara Robinson, Emma Barrett and Juliana Rhead won an antique-bronze medal for fourth place in the midget girls’ event. Log on to SportsOttawa.com to find out more!
Nepean field hockey
Nepean and Ashbury ended the perennial reign of John McCrae and Merivale by reaching the girls’ field hockey city final.
PHOTO: MARC DESROSIERS
St. Peter vs St. Mark in senior T1 football final
John McCrae soccer
John McCrae goalkeeper Julian Riggins scored the winning penalty kicks goal to beat Louis-Riel in the soccer city final.
There is a new favourite intramural sport at Canterbury, where a lunch-hour quidditch league started.
The undefeated St. Peter Knights and the St. Mark Lions were the last ones left standing in the national capital Tier 1 high senior football league. Visit SportsOttawa.com for up-todate coverage of the Nov. 12 junior, senior Tier 1 and Tier 2 finals.