Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CIS Corner: GGs going to women's Final 8; GoldenWatch 2009 begins...

Notes on our athletes/teams of interest from The 613 ...

  • Gee-Gees: Ottawa's women's team found redemption for that lost 2007-08 season, as they're going to the CIS Final 8 after shutting down Toronto 68-55 in the OUA East final tonight.

    It was a textbook win for Ottawa, which got 14 points apiece from Kelly Weir and senior Allison Forbes, plus 11 from OUA East second all-star guard Émilie Morasse. They pretty much shut down Toronto (32.8% shooting, just 21 points in the second half) and were a lights-out 24-of-27 from the free-throw line, including 10-of-11 by Forbes.

    Considering how last season unravelled, it's nice to see Ottawa play to its potential. Congrats are in order for Ottawa coach Andy Sparks, who was named the division's coach of the year on Tuesday.

    Plans for this weekend include getting out to Ottawa's semi-final game against either Toronto, Ryerson or York.

    Western's Brad Campbell (a Nepean High grad), took the OUA West men's honour.

  • Ravens: Carleton's graduating guard Tanya Perry seems like a pretty deserving choice as the OUA East's top defender; she was all over the floor whenever you saw Carleton play this fall. The other graduating starter, forward Ines Jelic, was a first-team all-star, with Perry on the second team.

    Carleton forward Kendall MacLeod and point guard Alyson Bush were all-rookie selections to go along with Carleton Place's Abby Edmison, a RMC post, being rookie of the year.
  • Golden Gaels: An acknowledgement is due to Queen's guard Brittany Moore for being named to the OUA East first all-star team.

    The men's picks in the West, which Greg Layson reported earlier this week, and women's picks in the East, are posted at
  • There will be a story on Ottawa native Anneka Bakker, who's helped the Alberta Pandas qualify for the CIS Final 8 women's championship, in the Ottawa Sun in the next day or two. Bakker will be matched up vs. Napanee's Matteke "Muddy" Hutzler , the starting centre for the Simon Fraser Clan, when their teams meet in the Canada West Final Four semi-final on Friday.

    In other words, it's another Ottawa and Kingston matchup, only Hutzler represents the capital since she's a cousin of Carleton's Aaron Doornekamp, which Bakker represents Queen's, since her dad, Dick Bakker, starred for the Gaels' 1978 Vanier Cup team. Of course, Bakker told me one of her youth coaches was Kingston coaching legend Tom Turnbull, so like the kids say on Facebook, it's complicated.

It might not even be worth going into this issue again.

Remember how much Internet ink was spilled last fall over Golden Gaels vs. Gaels debate with respect to what Queen's calls its sports teams? Then football season ended, the first snow flew and everyone, to quote Aldous Snow, just continued living their lives. For some of us, getting a life is not an option, so it was noticeable that CBC's Hockey Day In Canada feature (available at CBC Sports On Demand, search for RMC or Queens) on the Carr-Harris Cup rivalry contained no reference to the name Queen's has had for half the rivalry's history, 61 of 123 years.

Queen's was referred to as Gaels in the on-screen graphic and in the voice-overs (which sounded like Mark Lee, who as a Carleton Ravens quarterback in the 1970s, got to know the Golden Gaels very well, often in violent fashion). This is despite the fact Queen's athletic director Leslie Dal Cin is on record saying, "We have not changed the name."

(This might be more of a commentary on how university sports in Canada don't have much of a stickiness factor. A national journalist in the U.S. would know that the full name of the University of Minnesota's teams are the Golden Gophers, not Gophers, but it Canada it can under the radar screen.)

This all points to this whole debate flaring up again come the 2009 football season, especially now that the homecoming game has been deep-sixed, which might have spurred less outcry (since at least then there was a reason Queen's had to act decisively, even if it was knee-jerk). It's not this alumnus' place to start soapboxing, but one would hope we don't go through this again next season, lest it become a big distraction. Even in the small world of the Tricolour, it's not as important as building new stadia or raising athletics fees or any of the other issues which cause Kinger to go into high dudgeon every Friday at 4 p.m. on Offsides on CFRC 101.9 (, coming to you live from the bowels of Carruthers Hall.

It's better to settle it sooner rather than later. The football team could keep the Golden Gaels name; the other teams could be Gaels. Other schools have different names for historical reasons. It's not perfect, but not everything can cut-and-dried for marketing purposes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Andy Sparks, who well deserved the OUA East COY for rescuing the Ottawa U women's program from oblivion.
His performance proved there was nothing wrong with the Gee-Gees team that competent coaching couldn't fix.
After all, this was a program that garnered an OUA title and two consecutive nationals appearances in recent years.
However, when Angie McLeod left and the program was entrusted with Mr. Brown, things began to unravel.
Last years mutiny among four veteran players demonstrated that Mr. Brown no longer had the respect of his players.
It is telling that one of those players, Moriah Trowell is back with the Gee-Gees as an assistant coach.
Good luck to Ottawa U against Windsor and good luck in the national tournament.