After two championships last year, sports teams aim to continue winning
It’s back-to-school season, but for sports fans, this also means the Concordia Stingers teams are back in action. The Concordian previews the 2018-19 season.
Head coach: Brad Collinson
The Stingers had a 3-4 record last season and lost in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) semi-final to the Université de Montréal Carabins. A lot has changed for this team since they last played in early November. Rookie head coach Brad Collinson leads the charge for the football program, and he’s already facing some challenges with veterans leaving.
Quarterback Trenton Miller graduated from Concordia and is currently playing in Germany. Linebacker Mickael Côté and fullback Tanner Green were both drafted in the Canadian Football League (CFL), while running back Jean-Guy Rimpel left the team.
Adam Vance will have to take over as quarterback, but luckily for him, he will have Vince Alessandrini, Jarryd Taylor and James Tyrrell back as the top receivers.
It will be a learning year for Collinson and his team.
Head coach: Craig Beemer
The men’s rugby team will look to repeat their RSEQ championship from last season. Craig Beemer should have most of his players returning, as Andreas Krawczyk was the only fifth-year player on the team last season.
This is Beemer’s third season as head coach and he’s brought in a lot of recruits since he took over. The team’s leaders, such as Charles Debove, Moritz Wittmann and Lucas Hotton all have at least two seasons left to play.
The Stingers went undefeated in RSEQ play a year ago, and it won’t be a surprise if they repeat it.
Head coach: Jocelyn Barrieau
The women’s team didn’t share the same success as the men’s team, finishing the season with a 4-3 record and losing in the semi-final. But that wasn’t the biggest loss they took heading into this season, as veterans Alex Tessier and Frédérique Rajotte both graduated from the team.
Rajotte won the Stingers female athlete of the year award in April, and was named the U Sports top women’s rugby player last season. Both Tessier and Rajotte played a big part in bringing the Stingers to four straight RSEQ finals from 2013 to 2016.
It’s going to be a big hole to fill to replace them, but expect last season’s rookie of the year, Shawna Brayton, to step up.
Head coach: Greg Sutton
This year both the men and women’s soccer teams will see a big change, as Greg Sutton will coach both programs. Sutton has been the head coach of the men’s team since 2013.
The men’s team had a 3-8-1 record last season and failed to make the playoffs. Rookie forward Simon Malaborsa was a bright spot, scoring six goals. Besides captain Olivier Georges having graduated, most of the team should stay on.
On the women’s side, they had a 3-7-4 record last year and also missed the playoffs. Captain Laura Lamontagne is leaving, but the team recruited Kathleen Hilaro, who is the captain of semi-pro AS Blainville to potentially replace her in the midfield.
Defender Imane Chebel could be a player to watch this season. She had a strong first season with the Stingers and played with the Algerian national team last spring.
Head coach: Julie Chu
The women’s hockey team also won a RSEQ championship last season, and much like the men’s rugby team, their core stars are staying this year. Defenceman and captain Marie-Joëlle Allard graduated but leading scorers Claudia Dubois, Audrey Belzile, Lidia Fillion and Sophie Gagnon are all still with the Stingers.
Third-years Stéphanie Lalancette and Brigitte Laganière both had break-out seasons last year and will look to continue their strong play. No recruits have been announced, but the Stingers said Lauriane Rougeau will return as an assistant coach after taking a year off to play in the Olympics.
Head coach: Marc-André Élement
Even though they finished third in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) last year, the Stingers will have a new-look men’s hockey team.
U Sports MVP Anthony Beauregard played professionally with the Laval Rocket at the end of last season. His linemate, and second-highest scorer on the team, Massimo Carozza, signed to play in Italy.
Without their stars, Élement recruited 12 new players, including forward Colin Grannary from the NCAA. Élement will need second-year defenceman Carl Neill to really lead the charge, and he has to hope some of the recruits can replace Carozza and Beauregard’s goal-scoring.
Head coach: Tenicha Gittens
It wasn’t a season to remember for the women’s basketball team as they finished last in the RSEQ with a 4-12 record. Guard Jazlin Barker graduated and the Stingers should benefit from three fifth-year players this year with Aurélie d’Anjou Drouin, Marvia Dean and Ashley Moss.
One bright spot last season was forward Coralie Dumont, who was named RSEQ rookie of the year and made the U Sports all-rookie team. She finished the season averaging 11.1 points/game, 6.9 rebounds/game, and had a team-high 39.8 field-goal percentage.
Head coach: Rastko Popovic
After losing in the RSEQ final against the McGill Redmen, the Stingers also lost graduating star forward Ken Beaulieu. Beaulieu was a dunking machine and will be hard to replace.
They still have point guard Ricardo Monge, guard Adrian Armstrong and forward Olivier Simon. Simon should see more playing time with Beaulieu gone. The Stingers played three preseason games and had eight new recruits on the roster, so expect to see a young team.
Head coach: Victor Zilberman
Long-time head coach Victor Zilberman led the Stingers to a team silver at U Sports nationals in 2018. Francis Carter won gold and was named as the U Sports MVP, as well as the Stingers male athlete of the year. Fifth-year Vincent De Marinis has left the Stingers to pursue an Olympic dream.
The women’s team should have a strong year with nationals bronze-medalists Jade Dufour, Laurence Beauregard and Amanda Savard all set to return.
Main photo by Mackenzie Lad.