Football Sports

The new Stingers football recruits seem promising

Stingers football head coach Brad Collinson is confident with the 19 new offseason additions.

This past 2023 season was one of the Stingers football team’s best seasons in years, as they finished with a 5-3 record, beating a top-two USports team in the Montreal Carabins. This brought in a hefty influx of quality recruits, which will pad the existing talent. So far, 18 recruits have been announced, and a couple of coaching changes have occurred.

With veteran wide receiver Ezechiel Tiede on the way out to the CFL Combine, the Stingers need reinforcement in the wideout role, as the ground game seemed to be where the offense was most comfortable this season. Five new players have committed to Concordia. 

Mikka Thibodeau dominated RSEQ division two football with CEGEP St-Hyacinthe, picking up 31 receptions and 342 yards throughout the season, classing him in the division’s top 20 receivers. Marcus Lynch seems promising as well, as he was the number one overall in receptions in his division of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) with 39—10 more receptions than his runner-up in two less games. He also finished third in punt returning yards. 

CEGEP St. Jean’s Félix Joly is the most eye-catching of all, as he finished sixth overall in receiving yards in RSEQ division one football, and 30 catches throughout the season.

As an offensive line specialist, Stingers head coach Brad Collinson spoke highly of the three commits that he will be spending the most time with—Vincent Coulombe, Justin Frattaroli and Ryan Fadlallah. The latter two shined amidst the two teams that struggled the most in the RSEQ’s D1. 

Student Athlete: Justin Frattoroli Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“They’re aggressive guys […] We really wanted to recruit those two to bring that attitude to the offensive line,” Collinson said. “It just helps that whenever you have kids that are already like that, you don’t have to cultivate it.”

Three running backs have been recruited since last September. Édouard Montpetit’s William Chamberland finished with the most running back touchdowns in the RSEQ’s D2—a total of eight— and had the fourth-highest number of yards at 714. To Collinson, Chamberland is a “swiss army knife,” as he has many capabilities due to his past experience as a wideout.  

John Abbott College tandem Alexandre Marchand and Reid Walker together carried for 1,147 yards this past season. Walker also finished with 7.4 average yards per carry, which is in the top-three throughout D2. 

That being said, Franck Tchembe and Dwanté Morgan had greatly established roles on the team this past season. “We want competition and we want those guys to be pushed to get better,” said the head coach. “I think that these kids that were brought in will do that, and we’ll know more whenever we start practising with them.” 

Marchand is already studying at Concordia, so he will be practicing with the team this spring, getting a feel for the culture, and displaying where he will fit in the team.

As for spring training, the team has already been training five days a week for about a month. The team is focused on the Rouge et Or of ULaval, as they’re seeking revenge on their season opener at home. This is the time to be introspective, and focus on the team. 

Student Athlete: Émile Deslauriers Photo Credit: Concordia Athletics

“It’s a time in the season where we can really be creative and, you know, kind of try and test things out, things that we don’t have time to do in August, because we’re getting ready for the season,” head coach Colinson confirmed.

To help out with improvement, some coaching adjustments have been made, including the addition of ex-Stinger Samuel Thomassin as offensive line coach, and the promotion of receiver coach Justin Chapdelaine to offensive coordinator, replacing Alex Suprenant. 

Collinson is excited to have hired Thomassin as part of the staff, for the former had coached him as a player on multiple teams and remains familiar with his football knowledge. “Having a young guy at that position to help coach, it’s extremely important.” Collinson said. “I think the kids gravitate towards what [Thomassin] does, you know, to have him on staff again is very beneficial for us.” 

The Stingers seem to be only headed upwards. Let’s see if they surpass our expectations once again come August.

Football Sports

All eyes on Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII

The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will be in familiar territory on Feb. 11.

The defending Super Bowl-champion Chiefs find themselves in the big game for the fourth time in five years. The 49ers will attempt to avenge their 31-20 loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV just four years ago.

This was perhaps the toughest road to the Super Bowl the Chiefs have faced with Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Following their 26-7 victory over the feisty Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card Game, the Chiefs met a new challenge unseen in the Mahomes era: road playoff games.

If marching into Buffalo and coming away with a 27-24 victory wasn’t hard enough, the Chiefs headed south to Baltimore to face likely MVP-winner Lamar Jackson and the top-seeded Ravens for a spot in the big dance.

The Chiefs came away with a 17-10 victory and now sit one win away from consecutive Super Bowl victories.

Usually known for explosive offence, it was the Chiefs defence that did the heavy-lifting this postseason. They never eclipsed 27 points on offence, but the defence held top quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson to a combined 657 passing yards and three touchdowns in three postseason games.

If the Chiefs defence is on their game again, then the 49ers will have their hands full as they attempt to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

The 49ers are no slouches themselves. In the past five seasons, they have made the Super Bowl twice and the conference championship game four times.

As the top seed in the postseason, they received a bye to the divisional round, and were guaranteed to play all their playoff games at home leading up to the Super Bowl. But their journey wasn’t a cake walk.

San Francisco’s 24-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round required some late-game heroics. Their reward? Facing the upstart Detroit Lions who were riding the highest of highs following their first playoff victories in over 30 years.

Once again, the 49ers scraped by with a 34-31 victory to qualify for the Super Bowl. While quarterback Brock Purdy has put up two solid performances in the postseason, the 49ers offence has lived and died by running back Christian McCaffrey. He led the NFL in regular season rushing by nearly 300 yards. Nobody has been able to stop CMC, and that has only continued into January.

In the 49ers’ two postseason matchups, McCaffrey has amassed 188 rushing yards and a whopping four rushing touchdowns. He will be a problem for the Chiefs’ defence.

Both teams are battle-tested, having fought through several close games to get to this point. They will leave it all on the field at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Lombardi Trophy awaits.

Football Sports

Thirteen years later, Alouettes fans rejoice once again

The Montreal Alouettes defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28-24 in the 110th Grey Cup final.

The 110th Grey Cup, held on Nov. 19 in Hamilton, was a thriller. The Montreal Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo found wide receiver Tyson Philpot with only 13 seconds remaining to give the Alouettes the win by a final score of 28-24. This win came at the expense of the heavily favourite Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who beat Montreal in both of their regular-season matchups.

Thousands of Montreal Alouettes fans attended the team’s victory parade last Wednesday. It was the first championship parade in the city since 2010, the Alouettes’ last Grey Cup win. Following safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy’s emotional post-game speech, Quebec flags filled the Quartier des Spectacles’ Parterre, where the final celebrations took place.

The underdog mentality

“To see [the Alouettes] play this year was a model of courage and tenacity,” said Claire, a lifelong Alouettes fan. This victory is the sweetest she experienced: “…nobody thought they would win, and they did,” she said with emotion. 

Another fan by the name of René, has been getting season tickets for over ten years during the early 2000s. However he did not have a lot of faith earlier in this season. When the Alouettes won their last five regular-season games, he started believing in the team’s chances. “Even if they played a good game in Hamilton and lost, it would have been a good accomplishment. But they were able to win, so it is incredible,” he said.

The team in elation

Only one player from the 2010 championship-winning team was still with the Alouettes this year, former Concordia Stingers player Kristian Matte, and it was a special moment for the guard. “I have been playing football for 30 years. It is the first time I won a championship as a starter,” he said in an interview with The Concordian, “so for me, it is an incredible and unforgettable feeling, and we have the best fans in the world.” 

Defensive back Raheem Wilson had similar feelings and said it was the best moment in his football career. Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, the current offensive line coach and former CFL All-Star centre for the Alouettes, won two Grey Cups as a player with the team. He felt the same joy as when he had won as a player himself. “From the moment you step on the field, yes [it is the same feeling],” he said. “You’re like a kid; you feel the emotions.” 

For general manager Danny Maciocia, this win is the consecration of a stellar career. He won the 2005 Grey Cup as the head coach of the now Edmonton Elks and stopped Université Laval’s hegemony in the RSEQ as the head coach of the Université de Montréal Carabins. “It’s probably the number one [career accomplishment] on my list by far,” he said. “As a Montrealer who grew up watching the Alouettes, it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Mark Weightman, the president and CEO of the Alouettes, was slightly more nuanced. “Every time you win a championship, it’s always gonna be the top, so I would put it right there with all the other rings,” he said. A Concordia alumnus, Weightman first joined the Alouettes in 1996. He worked his way up the team’s hierarchy, eventually becoming president and CEO in 2013, until he was replaced in 2016. He came back to his old role earlier this year.

Football Sports

Five Concordia players announced as RSEQ football All-Stars for 2023-24

 Karim Brissault, Eric Maximuik, Loïk Gagné, Nicolas Roy and Franck Tchembe stood out across the league this season.

The Concordia Stingers shocked the university football world this past season, finishing with a winning record of 5-3. U-Sports ranked them as a non-contender, below Université de Sherbrooke at the beginning of the season, as they finished below the Vert et Or last season with a record of 2-6. 

“It was our motivation all season,” linebacker Loïk Gagné said. “We were in ‘the rest.’ We took that as a lack of respect, and we said, ‘Okay, we’re bringing it this season.’” 

The feelings among the selected players were mixed when it came to making the RSEQ All-Star team. For the offensive guard Karim Brissault and kicker-punter Eric Maximuik, it was a personal goal to earn this acclamation, but focusing on their semi-final game against Université Laval was more important. 

Eric Maximuik (left) and Karim Brissault (right). Credit: Kaitlynn Rodney

“For me, personally, it’s definitely an honour, but it wasn’t something I kept in my mind too long. I was more worried about focusing on the playoff game after [it was] announced,”  kicker-punter Maximuik expressed. He also announced that with an average 44.3 yards per punt this season, it is the most in the league.

The defensive players would trade it all away any day for a Vanier Cup.

The Stingers football team had a near-complete coaching change over the offseason—the defensive coaching staff was cleared and rebuilt from the ground up. Stingers head coach Brad Collinson added the role of head coach for the offensive line to his responsibilities, as his new assistant Fraser Baikie brought in a hands-on technical approach to that part of the lineup, according to Brissault. 

Brissault’s offensive line was involved in the number one rushing offense in the RSEQ with over 1,200 yards in just 188 attempts, averaging 151 yards per game. The o-line placed number two in the league for least sacks allowed, with only nine in total.

Third-year running back Franck Tchembe, the nucleus of this offense, was the number one in RSEQ rushing with 529 total yards, number six overall in total offensive players, as he was ranked fourth overall in all-purpose offensive players with 57 receiving yards to the season.

This drastic staff change allowed for a new culture to thrive within the team. Leadership, team bonding, healthy competition between players and self-analysis was emphasized during the campaign.

“Last summer, going into my second year, there were 10-12 guys regularly showing up and most guys were training by themselves. This year, we were thirty training together,” Brissault said.

According to the elected defensive All-Stars Nicolas Roy and Loïk Gagné, the new defensive coordinator Paul Eddy Saint-Vilien had a specific and effective vision for his group. 

“This year, the coaches adapted to us,” said Roy, who originally started as a linebacker and played the season as a defensive end with 11.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. “We had the smallest D-line in the league, and we still managed to be one of the best in the entire league because of our speed, and having had a game plan for our strengths and weaknesses.”

For example, Gagné is about 25 lbs heavier than the average linebacker, which means keeping up with speedier players and guarding man-to-man isn’t his strong suit. Saint-Vilien was aware of this and made the appropriate changes to reduce his role in man-to-man plays. He finished the season in the top two tackle leaders with 36.5 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two recovered fumbles.

There were three important games in the regular season for the Stingers, the first being a tied favorite amongst the players: the away game played against the Vert et Or of Université de Sherbrooke. It was the second game of the season and the team’s hopes weren’t high, as they had been crushed at home by Université de Montréal’s Carabins. 

The team was down by 21 points going into the second half. In the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, Maximuik converted his last extra point, sending the team to overtime at 24-24. He then outscored the opposing kicker on field goals, winning it 30-27 for the team in double-overtime. “That resilience that our team had to come back when we were losing […] for me was definitely a highlight,” he observed. 

A switch was flipped that day. According to Gagné, the bench from that point had a less apprehensive approach to players making mistakes and more of a calming, level-headed, stoic approach. Roy also said the team discovered a new-found ability to ignite a second wind in the later stages of games, which their opponents didn’t counter across most matchups. 

The final game of the season was the second team-favourite to remember, as the Stingers beat the ranked top-two Canadian overall Carabins in their home turf. Yet again, Maximuik displayed his abilities to perform under high-pressure circumstances. He scored 10 of Concordia’s 16 points, avenging their season-opening performance in the last second of the game with the winning field goal.

“I kind of got screenshots in my mind of seeing my target lining up, hearing the noise. I remember specifically being able to hear the crowd and how loud it was,” the kicker recalled. “Right before the snap, I smirked a little bit. I used that energy that I got from the crowd to just focus in a little bit more and from then it was kind of just a routine kick.” 

The semi-final game against the Laval Rouge et Or was just as important, as the Stingers showed that the win was possible against the other dominant RSEQ team. Although their opponents laid the hurt in the first couple of quarters, the Stingers exploded in the last few minutes of the game. Gagné threw down 9.5 tackles and a sack throughout, Roy’s defense line held the opposition’s rushing success down to about a third of what the Stingers put up. 

“Even the bench was on fire,” Brissault said, as he was sidelined due to an ankle injury. “At halftime, the coach said to not focus on what was on the board, more on what was on the field […] They’re not the Laval team I played in the first year.”

Unfortunately, Maximuik’s 41-yard field goal conversion was not enough to win the game. However, the progress made over the season was enough to satisfy the fans.

The loss of important players like Dawson Pierre, Ezechiel Tiede and Zachary Philion, all graduating this coming May, might affect the team to a certain point. However, almost all of the current players will be staying for next season and the stars all agree that the team’s display of grit and a winning record will attract major prospects entering the RSEQ. The team’s aim for the offseason is to stay as tightly-knit as they were on the field and to stay in shape.

All-in-all, the Stingers really wanted it this season and they showed real qualities of what a winning team looked like. With changes of that size, it’s clear that all the team needed was time to adapt. These All-Stars demonstrated that they will be the leaders of next year’s championship team.

Football Sports

Can the Montreal Alouettes win the Grey Cup?

The Alouettes are playing their best football at the right time of year.

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) just completed their most successful regular season in 11 years, finishing with 11 wins and seven losses. This effort earned the squad a spot in the Grey Cup playoffs with home field advantage in the first round.

The CFL is the Canadian equivalent to the wildly-popular National Football League (NFL) in the United States. Although there are some differences in the rules between the two leagues, the CFL puts out a good brand of football to the spectators that have watched over its storied history. Locally, the Alouettes have won seven Grey Cup championships, most recently in 2010. In 2023, they will try to hoist the historic trophy once again.

This season has been successful for the Alouettes. The 2022 offseason saw the Alouettes lose quarterback Trevor Harris, as well as star wide receivers Jake Wieneke and Geno Lewis, but the team filled the spots successfully. Newly-acquired quarterback Cody Fajardo stayed healthy, something the Alouettes desperately needed, playing all 18 regular season games this year. He also found a connection with former NFL player Austin Mack, who finished the season fourth in passes caught among all CFL receivers.

These statistics are in large part due to Concordia alum Kristian Matte, who was a CFL East All-Star in 2019 and 2021, and the rest of the offensive line. Montreal’s strong defense protected Fajardo from getting sacked and helped keep opponents off the scoreboard. Montreal gave up the second-least amount of points this season.

On Nov. 4, the Alouettes hosted the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL Playoff East Semi-Final. In front of a 20,127 fan sell out at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, the Alouettes punched their ticket to the CFL Playoff East Final with a 27-12 win. Running back William Stanback led both teams in rushing yards, finishing the game with 95 and giving Fajardo extra options when passing yards were hard to come by.

This year’s East Semi-Final was a rematch from last year’s and so will be the East Final on Nov. 11 against the Toronto Argonauts. Last year, the Alouettes beat Hamilton 28-17, but ran into the Argonauts (who would go on to win the Grey Cup), losing a heartbreaker, 34-27. Montreal is hoping history doesn’t repeat itself in 2023.

It will surely be a tough test for the Alouettes this year if they want to clinch a berth in the 110th Grey Cup Final. Toronto finished this season with 16 victories out of 18 games and haven’t lost a single game at home. However, the Alouettes haven’t lost since Sep. 15, winning five straight games and finding themselves two wins away from becoming champions.

Football Rugby Soccer Sports

These Concordia semi-final results may sting

The men’s soccer, rugby and football teams all exited in the first round of the RSEQ playoffs this past week.

The time has come to start playing indoors again. Fall and summer sports are wrapping up as the weather gets crispier and heads turn towards sports with freshly renewing seasons. 

That being said, it seems our teams are ready to get a head start on hibernation. Three playoff games were played by the Stingers, and all three of them turned out to be losses. 

Men’s Soccer

On Oct. 27, the men’s soccer team played the Université de Montréal Carabins in a tough RSEQ semi-final matchup at the CEPSUM. The Stingers not only had an away disadvantage walking onto the field, they were also the underdogs. Of the seven teams in the RSEQ, the Stingers finished the regular season in fourth place, securing the very last spot of the playoffs, with only five victories out of 12 games. Meanwhile, the Carabins finished the season without a loss. 

The Carabins yet again proved why they averaged over two goals per game throughout the season: efficiency. Even though Concordia outshot them six goals to four in the first half, the home team was able to convert twice, once from a penalty kick by centre back Kareem Sow. 

Tristan Nkoghe jumps for a high ball
Photo Credit: Concordia Stinger Athletics

The Stingers weren’t too disciplined around the pitch, as they outfouled their opponents and picked up three different yellow cards in the second half, seemingly out of frustration. The third was given out less than three minutes after the final deal-sealing goal was scored. The Carabins won 3-0. Surprisingly, they lost in the finals to the 6-5-1 Patriotes of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières last Friday. 

Men’s Rugby

It was more or less the same story for the men’s rugby team, who were just able to squeeze into a playoff spot. Bishop’s 15-25 season finale loss at Stade Percival-Molson pushed the Stingers through by point differential, as both the Gaiters and Concordia finished the season with a .500 win percentage. 

Jack Weller and Willem Nijzink make a tackle.
Photo Credit: Concordia Stingers Athletics

For the semi-final game played this past Sunday, Oct. 29, the Stingers had to face the Piranhas of the École de technologie supérieure, who were invincible in the regular season. Lo and behold, another crushing semi-final away loss as Concordia was vanquished 34-3. Five different players each scored a try on the Piranhas, including third line Xabi Chrit, who won game MVP. On Nov. 5, ÉTS lost 18-17 in the finals to the second place uOttawa Gee-Gees. 


Just about the most exciting game of the RSEQ’s 2023 season took place in Quebec City on Nov. 4 when the Stingers football team faced the Université Laval Rouge et Or for the semi-finals. This time around, the Concordia team had a more even matchup, as the Stingers were facing a two-seed as a three-seed in the playoff bracket. ULaval did not play the dominant season everyone expected them to, as they had taken both of their losses to the Carabins, yet Concordia had beaten the latter in their last game of the season. This matchup was a real shootout. 

It started with a safety for Concordia heading into the third minute of the game, putting the Rouge et Or ahead by two points and setting the Stingers at a disadvantage. In the first drive of the second quarter, starting quarterback Oliver Roy threw an interception to Rouge et Or linebacker Justin Cloutier, who took it to Concordia’s 27-yard line. From there, a pass and a one-yard QB sneak took the Rouge et Or ahead by 9 points, then 10 due to a rouge point. 

Just as a 28-yard kick from all-star kicker Eric Maximuik seemed to restore momentum to the Stingers headed into the second half, substitute quarterback Adrian Guay decided to scramble around the halfway line and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the opponents’ cornerback Maxym Lavallée, who ran it to the house for 49 yards. Laval led 17-3 after the good kick attempt.

Towards the end of the third quarter, Olivier Roy had been back on the field, and managed to throw a stellar 20-yard pass to veteran fifth-year wideout Ezekiel Tiede for a touchdown. The game was on. The Rouge et Or replied with a 22-yard passing touchdown of their own to widen their lead to 14 points, but that didn’t stop the Stingers. 

Our field general put on a fourth quarter showcase. The very next play, Roy threw a bomb to his trusty wideout Tristan Mancini for 37 yards and then another to Tiede. A couple of handoffs to the running backs, and Roy found the endzone after an eight-yard run. The Stingers defense banded together to shut the Rouge et Or down for a drive amounting to less than 15 yards, and it was Roy’s chance again.

With two and a half minutes left of the game, Roy managed to lead a drive that lasted just over a minute and score a touchdown in six plays, topped by a pass to Tiede for 34 yards into the endzone. Not to mention Roy capped off his night by tying the game and by asserting his sixth point of the night out of six points attempted. The teams tied 24-24 at the end of regulation.

Unfortunately, the Stingers did not have it in them to maintain the progress that they’d made over 60 minutes. A couple of 40+ yard field goals and a touchdown from the Rouge et Or, and Concordia’s season was over. 

A few Stingers players had performances to remember, despite overall shortcomings. Roy had 310 passing yards and the third most rushing yards on the field with 51. Defensively, middle linebacker Loïk Gagné dominated the game with 9.5 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. The whole receiver core should be recognized for the work they all put in, Tiede especially. 

It’s an exciting year to be a Concordia fan, although the ending may sting. All three of these teams surpassed what was expected of them. The future seems bright!

Football Sports

Stingers Football to face Laval Rouge et Or in RSEQ playoff semi final

With the regular season officially over, the Stingers have their eyes on a long playoff run.

Coming off a massive victory in their final regular season game against the Montreal Carabins, the Stingers football team will try and keep the momentum going into their RSEQ playoff semi final against the Laval Rouge et Or on Nov. 4.

Out of the five teams in the RSEQ football conference, four teams made the playoffs—with the first seed playing the fourth seed and the second seed playing the third.

Concordia had the third seed locked up after their dominant win against the McGill Redbirds at Percival Molson Stadium on Oct. 20. This meant that despite their winning effort against the Carabins on Saturday, the Stingers could not move up or down in the standings. They will end the regular season with a 5-3 record.

Montreal captured the first seed this season, having clinched it weeks before the playoffs began. The Stingers played spoiler to a potential undefeated season, as the Carabins ended the regular season with a 7-1 record. Laval, who finished the season with a 6-2 record, secured home field advantage in the semi final by clinching the second seed, meaning they will be the team hosting Concordia in the first round of the playoffs.

The fourth and final seed was decided on the final day of the regular season, as the winless Sherbrooke Vert et Or upset the McGill Redbirds to steal their spot in the RSEQ playoffs.

This year, Laval and Concordia matched up against each other twice. Finding consistent offense was an issue for the Stingers against the Rouge et Or this season, with Concordia compiling only 21 total points in their 31-14 and 23-7 losses. However, it seems like Concordia is right where they want to be headed into Saturday’s matchup.

Receiver Oriola Poirier [87] heads out for the pass made by quarterback Olivier Roy [12]
Photo Credit: José Acosta

The two teams were only separated by 26 total points scored for the entire regular season, with Laval scoring 226 and Concordia 200. This proves that come playoff semi finals, it may come down to whose defense can hold the fort longer.

The combination of similar offensive stats with Laval, as well as three straight momentum-building wins to end the regular season, shows that the Stingers are surging at the right time of year. After their win against McGill on Oct. 20, head coach Brad Collinson spoke on the challenges that lie ahead of them in the playoffs.

“Moving forward we have some big games coming up—we are going to be going up to Quebec City to face a good team [in Laval],” said Collinson. “If we want to beat the best, we have to be the best.”

A simple message, but an effective one. The Stingers will have to be at their best if they want to beat the Rouge et Or this Saturday. But Concordia has proved that they can play with the best in the RSEQ. If they bring that gameplan to the field on Nov. 4, it could earn them a one-way trip to the RSEQ championship game on Nov. 11.

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Concordia Stingers Legends Inducted into Stingers Sports Hall of Fame

Concordia held their annual Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sept. 24

At the downtown Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile Hotel, the Concordia Stingers’ annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place in front of hundreds. Concordia alumni were inducted by different categories with current students in the crowd to support. In this year’s ceremony, Concordia inducted four athletes, one builder, and one team. 

On the ballot, an “athlete” is defined as a student-athlete who displayed outstanding athletic performances in their respective sport. A “builder” is an individual, coach or administrator who had a positive impact on Concordia athletics. A “team” is a roster in Stingers history that will be remembered for their performance and significant contributions to its sport.

Dave Miller-Johnston (left) with his Hall of Fame plaque. Photo courtesy of Joe Dresner.

On that 1998 Stingers football team was Dave Miller-Johnston, one of the athlete inductees in this year’s ceremony. Miller-Johnston went down in Concordia sports history after kicking the Atlantic Cup-winning field goal to send the Stingers to their first National Championship Final. While Miller-Johnston was the MVP following the game-winning kick with a minute remaining, he credited his teammates and coaches for the team’s success in his acceptance speech. “To my teammates–though it is me receiving this award today, this is really a shared celebration,” Miller-Johnston said emotionally. “We did this together. Winning or losing on and off the football field, we kept pushing each other. I want to thank you for inspiring me, pushing me and challenging me.”

Then there was Richard Mackay, graduate of Concordia in 1958 and athlete inductee in 2023. Mackay is known for his contribution to the 1957-58 men’s basketball team, then known as the Sir George Williams College Georgians, who won their fourth championship overall. That team, coached by the legendary Mag Flynn, got inducted into the Stingers Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. To honour his late coach, Mackay made generous donations to the basketball team since 2021 totalling $200,000.

Sheila Turner was the next athlete to be inducted in this year’s ceremony. As a member of the women’s rugby team between 1992 and 1994, Turner won provincial championships in all three years she played for Concordia. The 1994 team that Turner was a part of also got inducted this year. They were the only team to hold this honour in 2023. Turner graduated from Concordia in 1995, then went on to coach the Stingers in 1996, bringing more success and championships to the school in later years.

Inducted as an athlete in 2011, George Lengvari is now in the Hall of Fame as a builder in 2023. As part of the 1962-63 Loyola men’s basketball team, Lengvari helped the team with the first annual Ottawa-St. Lawrence title that season. Once he graduated in 1963, Lengvari paid back his time at Concordia as well as at McGill University. In 2021, Lengvari donated $1 million to each of his alma maters’ basketball programs in hopes of growing the sport at both institutions. Lengvari goes down in Concordia history as the only member of the Stingers Sports Hall of Fame inducted as a builder, athlete and team member.

To conclude the ceremony, Carol Ann Tull was inducted into the hall of fame as an athlete. Tull played on the Stingers women’s basketball team between 1996 and 2000, winning an award as the Defensive Player of the Year, as well as two Most Valuable Player awards in Quebec women’s basketball. In her acceptance speech, Tull thanked her teammates and coaches for all they did to get her to this point. Tull, a university sports legend and an inspiration to many, shared this note of motivation to close out her speech: “Together, we have proven that when passion aligns with purpose, any individual can achieve the most extraordinary feat.”

All the inductees should be proud of accomplishing the achievements they did. Their contributions to the Stingers are now etched in Concordia University history.

Football Sports

Linebacker Loïk Gagné is Living Proof that Hard Work and Passion Pay Off

The Stinger starter proves that anything is possible if you want it.

Stingers football linebacker Loïk Gagné put up ridiculously good stats during the Shrine Bowl home game against the McGill Redbirds on Sept. 16, earning him the title of RSEQ player of the week. Although the season has been good to him, as he’s picked up close to 30 tackles, the Stingers defensive leader has come a long way grinding to where he is today.

Gagné grew up playing hockey and soccer in the shadow of his older brother, as every youngest child does. Neither hooked him and he was convinced that sports weren’t for him. He gave organised athletics another chance in the sixth grade, as the technical craft of flag football caught his eye. After two seasons of grabbing at fabric, he was obsessed with the rules of the game. He was serious, more than his father expected. 

Going into his second year of secondary school, Gagné asked his father if he could play the real thing. As any protective parent would do, he rejected his son’s request. But this wasn’t just a want—it was a need. Every evening at dinner, the boy insisted his father let him play the game he loved. Eventually, he couldn’t say no. Gagné was on the field the following year playing for the St-Leonard Cougars. 

The RSEQ star admits that his first year playing tackle football wasn’t ideal, but he knew that he had to work hard to be able to fly. He was learning how to tackle two years after everyone that he faced. “I’d never been so motivated to become better at anything else,” Gangé said. “The moment I started playing for real I said ‘Okay I need to go to the gym. I’m too skinny for this.’ I was never the fastest or the strongest, but I wanted it the most.” 

Before he knew it, he was being offered to play division one football in CEGEP by Collège André-Grasset after only two years, and was recruited to play for Quebec’s all-star team. 

As a first year in a division one team, Gagné put in the same amount of work as he did throughout high school, as he wasn’t satisfied with his performance or play time. Despite the cancellation of his second season due to the pandemic, the all-star linebacker was able to display a CEGEP career that would attract attention from all over Quebec. Having witnessed the Concordia Stingers’ 2021 winning underdog season from afar, paired with his strong interest in athletic therapy, Gagné saw what this university had to offer and found his new home. 

Coming into the 2022 season, the rookie was confident that he would get playtime as long as he showed off his division one abilities. However, the pace of play jumps significantly from CEGEP to university, regardless of where you play. As a freshman, it takes time to get used to the way the vets play. As a result of being disregarded for the majority of the season, Loïk Gagné did what he does best, and put in more work. 

“Nothing improves you more than not having the season you want. I came out of D1 a little cocky,” Gagné said. “I get to Concordia thinking I’m going to play, and I get sick at the beginning of camp. I missed two important weeks, and after that I didn’t perform the way I wanted. So I brought that frustration to the gym. The day after losing the quarter finals to Laval, I was in the gym.”

The Stingers football organisation made a coaching change during this offseason to take a more next-gen approach. Instead of two or three coaches devoting their time to the Stingers defensive core, six or seven are coaching in a way where they’re familiar with the players at a deeper psychological level in order to convey their tactics smoothly. It has certainly helped Gagné, as he’s made 26 tackles in only four games this season, compared to last season’s total of three and a half.

The Stingers’ next game is on Oct. 8 away against Laval. This might be the hardest game of the season for the team, but the starting linebacker is confident that their grit will shine in opposing territory. 

“Even though we have things to work on, we showed against Laval, against Sherbrooke, that this team has character,” Gagné said. “We’re showing that when a team has character, nothing’s going to stop them. Whether it’s at the CEPSUM, or at Percival Molson Stadium. As much as we like playing in front of our fans, our guys are audacious. We’re going to beat them in their own house. We’re not traveling for nothing.”

Football Sports

Stingers Football lose Home Opener to Université de Montréal

Spoils go to Carabins in a 43-12 victory as they look to build on last year’s winning record

The Stingers kicked off the season at home with a significant loss to Université de Montréal, although our team’s talent shone through over the game’s first hour.

The team performed better in the first half. Both offense and defense were in good shape. Their performance included an electric heat-seeking-missile sack for a nine-yard loss by last year’s walk-on linebacker Nicolas Roy. The team picked up a total of 50 tackles, led by safety Dawson Pierre who totaled six tackles and two tackle assists.

When third-year running back Dwante Morgan retaliated four minutes after an early second-quarter quarterback sneak touchdown by Rakim Canal-Charles. The Carabins scored six points after a 33-yard sideline catch at the 2-yard line by Carl Chabot, who ended the game with 78 receiving yards and a touchdown. “This year I have a more universal role, and I have to make sure that everyone’s happy and that everyone does their job,” the number 13 receiver said. “I think that if everyone does what they have to do, everyone will play well.” 

Morgan hooked into the endzone from four yards out to the right pylon all while showboating with a nasty celebration in LeSean McCoy fashion. The team’s starting running back finished with 47 yards by halftime, averaging 9.4 yards per carry by the fourth quarter. 

Stingers Running Back Dwante Morgan (maroon) celebrates as he scores a touchdown
Credit: Reuben Polanksy-Shapiro / Concordia Athletics 

Morgan also had support from fellow running back Franck Tchembe, who ended up surpassing him in rushing yards with 64. Tchembe is speedy and certainly athletic enough to evade and break multiple tackle attempts at a time, as demonstrated in the last minute of the first half.

The running back started off the Stingers’ drive by breaking two tackles after a spin move by the 40-yard sideline following a six-yard reception, picking up a first down in the next play. The drive ended in a field goal, although it was exciting to see the home team go 68 yards in a minute. Stingers’ quarterback Olivier Roy seemed grateful for the duo’s good start to the season. “If you want to beat the great teams this year you are going to have to be balanced between passing and running,” number 12 said. “It wasn’t something we were doing in the past, so that was encouraging.”

         Roy impressed the crowd with his own new found elusiveness, which had been trained over the summer. Not only did he pick up more rushing yards than his counterpart Jonathan Sénécal with 20 to the Montréal quarterback’s 17, but he seemed more mobile in the backfield and in the pocket. “We do a lot of work in the offseason to be as explosive as possible, honestly I dont think it’s one of my strengths, but once in a while I escape the pocket,” Roy said. “I think I did that a couple of times tonight. I want to keep that in my game so I can bring more to the table.”

         That being said, the team was viciously outplayed. Roy was sacked twice in the first quarter due to a short lapse in O-line coordination—keep an eye out for Nicky Farinaccio this season, he had nine tackles including two for loss and one of the sacks for a 12-yard loss. The Carabins managed two picks in the fourth quarter, as fatigue started hitting the Stingers.

         The Carabins’ offense was simply better. Quarterback Jonathan Sénécal managed to pick up 376 passing yards going 23-32, compared to Olivier Roy’s 225 yards going 18-34. For example, Sénécal threw a 48 yard pass which receiver Alexandre Jones Dudley caught over the shoulder on a lockdown one-on-one in the late second quarter. As for the team’s run game, well, Glodi Halafu and Lucas Dembele claimed 119 rushing yards alone.

Roy doesn’t seem phased by the season closer against the Carabins on the Stingers’ home field on Oct 28. “The place where we play the game doesn’t change too much,” the playmaker emphasized. “Obviously it’s a loud environment, but we still have a long way to go before we get there. Right now, we’re focusing on Sherbrooke, and we’ll see how it goes.”  

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