Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11
32 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 chronicle.durhamcollege.ca Sports Photograph courtesy of Durham Athletics Former University of Evansville pitcher, Brodie Harkness, takes the mound in a game against Humber on Sept. 9, 2017. Canadians benefiting from NCAA experience Playing in the States is helping athletes dominate back in Canada Cameron Black-Araujo The Chronicle Tessa Chad switched from her local high school to The Hill Academy, a high performance athletic high school in Toronto to dedicate more time to field lacrosse (Maple Leaf forward, Mitch Marner also attended this school). She was entering a school that puts players in the same situation she’s in right now. Travelling across America doing what she loves… and even scoring some free tickets to games the public sometimes spend thousands on. Chad was one of the lucky ones among the 21,210 fans at the Louisville-North Carolina basketball game. Playing women’s lacrosse at Louisville, Chad received a free ticket to the game as most athletes do to their respective school’s sporting events. It wasn’t just free tickets that enticed her away from Canada as she is on full-ride scholarship which covers pretty much all her costs. These scholarships can easily reach more than $50,000 in worth per year, according to The Varsity. “Sometimes it’s difficult to consider Canadian schools when there is so much money on the table in the U.S. playing against elite competition,” says Chad. Chad’s Canadian 2015 gold medal winning team at the U19 Women’s Field Lacrosse World Championships included all Division-I players. Playing eight of their nine road games in different states this year and not one in-state (Kentucky), Chad’s Louisville Cardinals will have no shortage of time on the road until the season concludes with the national championship in Stonybrook, New York. The women will have their first Final Four without playing at the same venue as the men, like last year when they played at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Here’s what Louisville women’s lacrosse teams travel schedule looks like this year compared to UOIT’s women’s lacrosse team. The team’s closest game was 167 kilometres away, in Cincinnati while their furthest is a whopping 1,482 kilometres away in Providence, Rhode Island, or over a 14- hour drive. Good thing the school’s athletic department generated over $112-million in 2015-2016 and can afford to send teams around the country in the sky. The Cardinals team plays three conference games on the road this year, two in North Carolina and one in New York, for an average of approximately 943 kilometres travelled for a conference game. This would be about the same as travelling from Durham College to Cincinnati, Ohio, about an eighthour drive. The team will also travel via plane to all three conference games. As much as it may sound like sunshine and rainbows for Division-I athletes travelling across the country with top notch facilities, some athletes say they are putting in well over 40 hours to their sport per week, according to Business Insider. “There are obviously some difficulties and challenges as well,” says Chad, “but the experience, travel and memories really do make it all worth it.” Difficulties and challenges are a couple things you think a freshman would face while headlining a Division-I pitching staff. And the players that are able to do so and excel, bring some things to mind like the possibility of professional baseball. Lords pitcher Brodie Harkness, began his collegiate career at the University of Evansville in Indiana where he was an all-conference honourable mention, the only pitcher at the school to make the list in 2015. Harkness returned home after his freshman season to play just a 20-minute drive from home for the Durham Lords. Harkness went from playing against current Atlanta Braves shortstop and MLB’s first overall pick in 2015, Dansby Swanson of Vanderbilt University, to facing opponents who, for the most part, won’t play very much meaningful baseball beyond their college days. Harkness says his team in Evansville would practice Monday through Saturday during the fall for at least three hours, plus lift sessions and study hall, amounting to roughly 21-22 total hours dedicated to the baseball team. The spring, which is college baseball season in the States, was a different story. “At the maximum we could spend close to 40 hours dedicated to the baseball team and that doesn’t include going to class Monday through Friday,” says Harkness. They would play games Friday, Saturday, Sunday and once the weather was warmer they began playing some games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as well. A busy week would consist of five games on top of 2-3 lift sessions, study hall and their classes to attend. But again, it was the money and competition that persuaded Harkness, just like Chad and Marchant, as he was also on a full-ride scholarship. “The thought of having my education paid for and playing at a high level of baseball at the same time, it sounded amazing,” explained Harkness. Harkness reaped the benefits of those long hours put in with Evansville as he’s put together one of the best recent two-year stretches by a Lords pitcher and again, proving how talented you must be to compete well at the Division-I level. In Harkness’ second year with the Lords he tied the OCAA single-game strikeout record with 13. He dazzled even more this year in his final college campaign as a no-hitter helped the 6-foot-1 lefty earn OCAA Pitcher of the Year. All those hours dedicated their sport and university helps to understand why so much money is dumped back into more and better facilities. But Clemson University’s new football facility puts into perspective just how much these schools invest in them. The $55-million Allen N. Reeves Football Complex opened in 2017 and if you don’t like stairs, it includes a slide option instead. It also includes two bowling alleys, custom Clemson pool tables, arcade games, a golf simulator, a barber shop, a pool and even a nap room. Outside is a basketball court, a 9-hole mini-putt course, a turf wiffle ball diamond, beach volleyball courts and a fire pit. The facility, also home to their practice field, has a large cafeteria that includes a biometric scanner that “helps develop each players’ daily food intake based on their current weight.” With many beautiful and even advanced facilities now at universities across Canada, this shows no matter how much progress Canada makes, there’s no outdoing the NCAA. The NCAA is a one-of-a-kind program that provides incredible atmospheres and outlets for not only American athletes but also Canadian athletes and others across the world. No other country in the world does college athletics even remotely close to the United States, so it’s unfair to compare the two systems just because they share a border. Chances are no country’s college athletic organization will ever overtake the NCAA. Canadian athletes, like Marchant, Chad and Harkness, are lucky enough to live in one of the two countries a border away from a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Sports chronicle.durhamcollege.ca April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 33 Blasko, Sribny UOIT's top athletes Ben Blasko of the UOIT men's hockey team was named the male athlete of the year. He recorded 35 points in 28 games, helping the Ridgebacks reach the playoffs although they were swept by Concordia University. Cassandra Sribny of the women's soccer team received the female athlete of the year award. She scored 9 goals and recorded 2 assists as the 'Backs went 14-0-2 and placed fourth at the OUA championships. Photographs by Al Fournier Academic and athletic excellence at UOIT Students athletes recognized for academic success Austin Andru The Chronicle The 12th annual UOIT Academic Brunch recognized student-athletes who excel on the field, as well as in the classroom. Shynice Williams, a soccer player in the Health Sciences program, was recognized for achieving the Top Culminative GPA out of all student-athletes. Other Top GPA awards went to Danielle Bates (dance), Victoria Berkers (dance), Alyssa Nikkel (soccer) and Norbert Wojdyldo (badminton). “We’ve increased the number of awards being issued,” said Scott Barker, UOIT’s athletic director. “Traditionally there’s only been four.” The students were given the Bobby Baun scholarship fund, receiving up to $1,875. Baun played in the NHL for 17 seasons, 13 of them with the Maple Leafs. He won four Stanley Cups with the team, including the last one in franchise history in 1967. These varsity scholarships are awarded to students with academic and athletic excellence. This is the first year the scholarship has been awarded. Danielle Bates is a kinesiology student who won the family scholarship and Top GPA, says it’s been a great experience to have “people who are in the same boat.” “All these girls, we study together, it’s a big support system.” However, she says it requires a lot of “time management and schedules to make it work, but it’s all worth it.” Managing practices, games, homework and sometimes even a part-time job can mean staying up late to finish assignments or going to games and waking up early to go to class again. Norbert Wojdyldo, a biological sciences student who also won Top GPA, says “athletics was always something to look forward to.” Wojdyldo says playing badminton helped put him at ease and be less stressed about his studies. “The way I see it, I got an upcoming midterm, well at least I got practice coming up.” UOIT’s new president Stephen Murphy, who took office in March, says, “I’m impressed by the number of students we have that have met a very high standard of athletic performance and a high standard of academic performance. It’s not easy to do.” “It grows the culture and gets faculty to understand what a commitment varsity sports are,” said Murphy. “If you have to accommodate students for a test or an assignment, these are not students who are trying to get away with something, they’re getting near perfect grades.” Murphy stressed the importance of sports as a way to enhance the university experience. “I think students often don’t realize is how the sporting experience translates into what employers want,” he said. “You’ve learned the teamwork skills the leadership skills. It sets you apart.” Ultimate integrity behind spirit of game Mutual respect, discipline are reasons why the model works without refs Cameron Black-Araujo The Chronicle Many people would say an activity needs a referee to be considered a sport. Ultimate, formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee, is one of the few sports that does not. Like most ultimate clubs and international ultimate events, Durham Ultimate Club follows those same rules. It may be difficult to believe any sport could function without a ref, but Durham Ultimate Club president and player, Bryce Zimny, says the players make it easy on each other. “There’s that level of respect,” says Zimny. “You just call what you think but sometimes others may say, no, you’re a little out of line if it’s that bad.” The sport has tried to carry out the philosophy known as “Spirit of the Game.” Ultimate uses this to describe the way each player has an equal respect for the players and the rules of the game. Spirit of the Game is also Rule 1 in the World Flying Disc Federation rulebook followed by Rule 1.2 which explains the standard players are held to, including “not intentionally breaking the rules.” There are no harsh penalties for “breaches” but rather play resumes with what would have most likely occurred prior to the “breach.” Local clubs aren’t the only leagues that officiate themselves. Even some of the highest levels of the sport are played without them, while others like the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), have refs but retain the Integrity Rule, where you overturn an incorrect call by the official. Despite there being no officials, games are still highly competitive and intense, according to Zimny, but he says captains play an even bigger role in the sport. “It also really comes down to the captains being able to keep their hot-headed players under control,” he says. He adds this makes it difficult for players coming from highly intense and physical sports, and takes time to adjust as they’ve played sports in a certain style their entire life. The professional ultimate league, AUDL, does use referees but they have an integrity rule where any player or coach can overturn a ref’s call that is in favour of their own team and the official will immediately change the original call. Ultimate was played in the 2017 World Games, a tournament where the top players from each country compete, and did not include any refs, unlike the USDL. Charlie Eisenhood of Ultiworld says Los Angeles potentially hosting the Olympics seems promising for Ultimate to make the cut as the United States Olympic Committee recognized it as a sport in 2014. If it were to eventually make an appearance, it would be the first time a team sport was played at the Olympics without referees.