Here are ConU’s best and brightest to keep an eye out for this fall season
It’s a new season for the Concordia Stingers varsity athletics. The fall semester will see the men’s rugby team aim to defend their Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec title for the first time since 2005. Women’s rugby will be looking to avenge their disappointing loss to the Ottawa Gee-Gees in last season’s RSEQ title game. As for women’s soccer, they’ll be looking to improve on last season’s mediocre campaign where they managed only three wins. Their male counterparts are also looking to rebound from a disappointing year as they finished dead last in the RSEQ. On a brighter note, the Stingers baseball team has had great success in the last two seasons, as they made it to back-to-back national championship games. Here are the top four athletes of these teams to watch.
- Alex Tessier, centre back; Women’s rugby
The third-year centre back has already made a lasting impression on the women’s rugby team. Last season, Tessier had five tries and 18 converts, totalling 70 points. Her numbers stood out enough for her to be named the RSEQ’s most valuable player and a Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) all-Canadian. Tessier, the former 2013 conference rookie of the year, has even made a name for herself representing Canada at several international rugby tournaments, notably this past summer’s super-series where she played against world superpowers: England, New Zealand and the United States. Tessier also won a gold medal at the 2014 World University Rugby Sevens Championship in Brazil. The Stingers community honoured her last year as she was named female athlete of the year. Tessier has a great chance to represent Canada at the Olympics in the near future, but right now her main goal is to lead Concordia to a RSEQ title this fall.
- Yannick Fortin, fly half back; Men’s rugby
The fourth-year flying half back had an unbelievable 2014 season as he commandeered the Stingers to their first RSEQ championship since 2005. Fortin was honoured as an RSEQ all-star after leading the Stingers to a 5-2 record last year. He ended the season with one try and 17 points. Fortin, the two-time RSEQ all-star, will be a key player in the team’s quest to repeat their Quebec conference win.
- Jamal Henry, receiver; football
The fifth-year receiver had an injury-plagued 2014 season causing him to miss several games, however, that didn’t affect the standouts’ production. Henry posted 23 receptions for 428 yards along with four touchdowns last year. He has been a member of the Stingers football team since 2010. He is a known deep threat and has a knack for making big plays. Look for Henry to put up career numbers as he tries to garner some pro attention in his swan song season.
- Anthony Marandola, first baseman; baseball
The Concordia baseball team doesn’t get the same love as other varsity teams despite their back-to-back national championship appearances. The team has a lot of talented players on the roster, but none stand out more than third-year first baseman, Anthony Marandola. The third-year first baseman made a huge difference last season for the Stingers. He batted a whopping .357 along with five RBIs and 12 runs in 20 games. His impressive efforts last season earned him a second team CCBA all-Canadian roster spot. Marandola will be looked upon in 2015 to fill the void as the Stingers top hitter after all-Canadian catcher Jean-Christophe Paquin graduates.