Football team ready to touchdown

The 2001 CIAU football season is about to get underway and Gerry McGrath’s Concordia Stingers will be looking to improve from last year’s disappointing campaign.
The Stingers only managed two wins in eight games last year, a far cry from the 1999 seasons where the Stingers were O-QIFC semi-finalists. The season also saw some changes in the coaching staff with Gerry McGrath taking over the reins as head coach after former coach Pat Sheehan resigned at the end of the 1999 season. Although the Stingers went 2-6, McGrath feels that their record did not reflect their performance. “We could have easily gone 4-4 or even 5-3. We lost some really close games,” McGrath said.
With the 2000 season nothing but a memory, McGrath has shifted his focus to this season, with training camp having just wrapped up. “The players have been responding well and working hard. They are staying focused,” McGrath added.
Some key departures to note include safety Sean Hoas, cornerback Loan Duong, linebacker Dwayne Bromfield, running back Anthony Brown and offensive guard Steve Jobin, whose leadership according to McGrath, will be missed.
“Their leadership is tough to replace,” he said.
One of the significant Stinger veterans sticking around is quarterback Jon Kronemeyer, who is entering his fifth year with the team. Kronemeyer acknowledges that the team went through some tough times last year. “We had a difficult season with some early losses which we were not able to recover from,” he said. Kronemeyer shared McGrath’s sentiments when it came to the positive attitude in training camp. “By far this is the best training camp that I have seen in five years,” he added.
Kronemeyer had a 83.5% quarterback efficiency rating last year with a 41.2% completion percentage. His total in passing yards exceeded the 1,000 mark with a respectable 1,276 yards, averaging out to 159.5 yards per game. He also completed five touchdown passes and had a rushing touchdown to his credit.
Some significant newcomers to the team include defensive end Chris Jewel, linebacker Shaun Watson and defensive corner Paul Sengemanee. Also, Americans Pat and Mickey Donovan will be joining the fold.
Kerry Clahane, a defensive back who stands 5’7″ and weighs 160 pounds, is one of the smallest players on the team. However, his speed and determination has earned him a spot on the roster for the second consecutive year. “Kerry will emerge as one of the best defensive backs in the CIAU,” McGrath said.
When Kronemeyer was asked what he thought about the upcoming season, he kept his words simple. “It should be interesting,” he said.
The Stingers open the regular season this weekend in Quebec City for a showdown with the Laval Rouge et Or, consistently one of the premier teams in Canadian university football. McGrath does not see any reason to be intimidated by them. “We respect them, but we are not afraid to play them,” he said.
The Shrine Bowl, the annual Stingers home opener tradition that takes place at Loyola Stadium versus the McGill Redmen, will be held Saturday Sept. 15, at 1 p.m.
The Stingers will be looking to avenge last year’s Shrine Bowl loss to McGill, a game in which they were edged 12-11.

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