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By Cory Rapkin
It was not a strong season for varsity teams at Concordia compared to recent years, at least in the standings.
The womenís basketball team finished third in the Quebec division with an 8-8 record, losing in the first round of the playoffs to UQAM. The women's hockey team found themselves in the basement of a tough Quebec division with a 4-14 record, losing in the first round to their phenomenal cross-town rivals from McGill.
On the menís side, it was the first time in five years the basketball team did not conquer the Quebec division, posting a 9-7 record. They came in second behind Laval and lost to them in the Quebec final. The football team also lost to Laval in the Quebec final, and came in third place in the regular season. And the menís hockey team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in six years, with an 11-14-3 record that put them in last place in the tough OUA Far East division.
Perhaps Kevin Figsby, head coach of the menís hockey team, says it best: ďPeople look at standings and automatically paint us in a negative light because we didnít make the playoffs.
ďWhat they donít realize is that this was a season of extreme highs. Our team got to play at the Bell Center, they got to travel to Europe, and itís things like this that really complement being a student athlete. Itís so important for developing the players for future seasons.Ē
A bright spot for Concordia athletics was the baseball team, who lost in the final game of the nationals. It was the Stingersí first appearance there in their 13-year existence.
Despite the snow-covered streets, the baseball team has started indoor training sessions. There are familiar and new faces, all with an upbeat attitude.
ďThis is the third year Iíve held indoor practices, and because of the experience and success of last year, this is the best,Ē said Howard Schwartz, head coach since the team joined the league.
ďI am very impressed. They are very focused, have great chemistry and are really looking forward to next year because they believe they have unfinished business to take care of.Ē
Despite finishing a modest .500 (8-8) in the regular season, the Stingers made some acquisitions late in the season that helped in their push to the finals. Flamethrowers Julian Tucker and Danny Prata joined the team alongside Dannyís brother Andrew after losing in the finals in Repentigny of their summer season, which is spent in the Quebec junior elite league.
The three provided a boost to an already skilled team. They cruised through the Quebec conference playoffs en route to a berth in the nationals in New Brunswick. At the nationals, the Stingers came up one game short, losing to the University of New Brunswick despite a strong pitching performance by Tucker, who gave up two hits.
The Stingers have had to say goodbye to some players, including Chris Dyer, a solid lefty pitcher, and Ron Snell, a utility man, but the additions should be worth watching come September, when the season begins.