The Thunder Men's Soccer team took all 6 points that were up for grabs this weekend in Grande Prairie and have moved up the north division table to 2nd place. After the long, early morning haul to GP on Saturday, the boys expended what energy they had left to go up 3-0 before settling with a 3-1 win. Two goals came from wonderful fast counter attacks showcasing the pace in this team. Man of the Match Mas Arya scored on the best of these fast break attacks.
In the Sunday rematch, the boys came out a bit flat but ascended quickly to control the game for the best part of 75 minutes, getting their first clean sheet of the season in a solid 2-0 victory. Thunder Head Coach Ian Skitch is very pleased with the play of his team in this young season. "Our defensive solidity was driven by a good tactical plan that earned Clinton Osaje Man of the Match. In attack, the boys have now hit 10 goals on the season with Ahmed Abubaker leading with 5. The only downside was missing a second penalty of the season."
Coming up, the Thunder will play their third straight double-header weekend, first heading to Camrose on Saturday for a tilt with the Augustana Vikings before returning home on Sunday to host the undefeated powerhouse Keyano Huskies. Kickoff will be at 2 PM.
Both the Thunder Ladies and Men's teams took 3rd place at the 2nd ACAC Grand Prix hosted by SAIT in Calgary on Saturday. Elise Nawrocki ran her fastest time ever over 5km to lead the ladies as the 5th place ACAC runner across the line. Rachael Smillie was the next Thunder lady across the line in 8th place while Baylee Frissell also ran a personal best to finish right behind her Co-captain in 9th place. Rookie Haley Dunwoodie completed the scoring for the women in 11th place, also running a personal best followed closely by 2nd year runner Bailey Troccoli-Hughes in 12th. Co-captain Shelby Edgar finished in 17th while rookie Mienna Starosielski finished in 21st, also running a new personal best. Third year runner Anna Zulic opened her season in 22nd place. As a team, the Thunder Women ended up in 3rd place, only 8 points behind first place Lethbridge and just 4 points back of 2nd place Red Deer. "The women ran very well today," said Head Coach Matt Norminton. "Four of the ladies ran new personal best times and we put 6 ladies in the top 20 today. That's a great 2nd race of the season."
The Thunder Men were led by their Co-captains Ian Lee and Michael Quick, who finished in 10th and 15th place, respectively. "Ian had a great run. He moved through the field really well today," said Norminton. Rookies Keith Spruyt and Connor Reinson finished in 16th and 17th, respectively, both running new personal best times for the 8k distance. Rookie Mohammed Abdullahi also ran a new personal best time to finish in 27th place overall to be the 5th Thunder runner across the line while 4 other rookies, Nils Jansen, Darien Khan, Brad Agnew and Jackson Murrell all ran new personal best times to finish in 34th, 35th, 38th and 40th places, respectively. The men finished in 3rd place overall as a team behind SAIT and Lethbridge but beat Red Deer who got the better of the Thunder Men the week before at the season opener. "For the guys to lose all 7 of our runners from last year's team and be contending as a top 3 team this season is really impressive," enthused Norminton.
The Thunder teams will take a week off before heading up to Grande Prairie to check out the ACAC Championship course on October 1st.
In an unprecedented outcome, the Concordia Thunder Women's Soccer team lost both matches this past weekend against Grande Prairie, delivering a massive blow to Concordia’s aspirations of a league title. The first match Saturday afternoon in Wolves’ country finished in a 3-1 defeat. As is always the norm for the Thunder women, during the same day travel to Grande Prairie, the women stepped off the bus to play their first match lacking the mental and physical focus needed, and fell to 2-0 at half. The Thunder awoke in the second and controlled the run of play and were rewarded in the 62nd minute by a Jaida Stasiuk goal. Playing desperately for the tying goal, Concordia were caught on a counter attack and conceded the third and final goal of the match.
Sunday’s rematch promised to be a different result and different it was. The Thunder controlled the majority of play throughout the match but were victims of a 'wolf spell' that seemed to repel soccer balls from the Grande Prairie net. The Thunder created numerous opportunities toward the goal but were stopped by cross bars, goal posts, goalies’ hips, players’ torsos and numerous other unfortunate wolf obstacles. On Grande Prairie’s first chance, Concordia found itself down 1-0. On GP’s second chance, Concordia found itself down 2-0 and so this theme continued until GP went up by 4-0. At the 71st minute Stasiuk scored the Thunder’s first goal and started to alter Concordia’s fortunes. The Thunder scored two more goals, Stasiuk’s second of the game and Jill Sander’s first, but unfortunately time elapsed for Concordia and the result was a 4-3 final score.
The Thunder will have a chance to redeem themselves when they travel to Augustana on Saturday, September 23rd to face the Vikings before returning home to host the Keyano Huskies on Sunday. Game time is at Noon.
This weekend was busy for the 2016-17 edition of the Concordia Thunder Hockey team as they closed out the preseason. Following an organized scrimmage against NAIT put on by the Edmonton Oilers at the new Rogers Place on Thursday night, the Thunder headed to Lac La Biche for a game against the Portage Voyageurs on Friday. The Thunder took an early 1 to 0 lead but despite multiple chances could not beat the Portage goaltender and ended up falling 3 to 1.
Saturday night the Thunder returned home to face the Voyageurs once again. The Thunder played an excellent game and finished with a 7 to 3 win. Phil Dillon led the way with 4 points (2 G, 2 A) and rookie line mate Ian McLellan also chipped in adding 3 points. Tanner McCorriston was excellent between the pipes picking up the win.
Sunday night the Thunder travelled to Camrose to face an excellent Augustana Vikings squad. Playing what was essentially their 4th night in a row, the Thunder couldn't sustain a consistent level of play and eventually succumbed 7 to 1 to the Vikings.
Head Coach Dan Glegloff is looking forward to the start of the regular season and had these comments: "Next weekend the games start to count and this young Concordia team is eager to begin. We hope to see lots of Thunder fans on Friday night when SAIT comes to town for the home opener." That game will go at 8:15 PM at Clareview Arena.
Photo Courtesy of Nick Kuiper
The Thunder Athletics department is looking for some good people to fill positions on our game day staff. If you have an enthusiasm for sports and a good knowledge of hockey, basketball or volleyball, please send (or bring!) your resume to Athletics Program Coordinator Scott Bancarz in CE214 in the Ralph King Athletic Centre or by email to email@example.com.
In front of a large, enthusiastic home crowd Friday afternoon, the Concordia Thunder Women's Soccer team opened their ACAC regular season with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Eagles of King’s University. Jaida Stasiuk scored a goal in each half in the 32nd and 82nd minutes, respectively, to secure the victory. The latter goal was a pile up in front of the Eagles goal line which saw a number of Concordia players crashing the area to ensure the ball entered the back of the net. Concordia’s commitment to its defensive play diffused any offensive opportunities from the visitors. The Thunder’s central defender Nicole Klepic earned Player of the Game honours and Kathleen Lang earned the clean sheet in goal.
On Sunday, Concordia hosted their crosstown rivals, the NAIT Ooks, a team against whom the Thunder have struggled to earn a result of any kind over the last several years. On this day it would be different. The game was played on a rainy and windy day that saw both teams motivated to play. The Thunder demonstrated a continuous attack throughout much of the first half and were rewarded midway through. Central midfielder and Player of the Game Kaitlyn Diduck played a brilliant through ball to forward Shyanne Walton who broke through the NAIT’s back line to earn her first goal of the season. Concordia had several chances to score, but were unfortunate at times. Late in the first half Concordia attempted to clear the ball from deep in their zone and unfortunately, the shot was deflected off a NAIT player into the back of the net to tie the match 1-1. The second half saw chances from both sides but no goals were scored and as a result, Concordia earned its first point off NAIT in over three years. Although the weather was cold the temperature on the pitch was heated. The game saw 22 fouls and four yellow cards. The rematch is scheduled for October 15th at NAIT. It may be colder for the second match, but the intensity will certainly be heated.
The next action for the Thunder will see them take the long trek north up to Grande Prairie for a pair of games against the GPRC Wolves on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, the 18th.
The Thunder Men's Soccer team opened their 2016 ACAC campaign this past weekend, putting 3 of a possible 6 points into the ledger. Friday night's home opener saw the boys fight back twice to overcome an improved King's side, 4-2. Ahmed Abubaker got the hat trick and earned the 'Man of the Match' title. On Sunday the Thunder hosted NAIT on an unseasonably cool & inhospitable day. Despite coming up short 4-1, the boys showed they are not far away from the top sides. Unforced errors plus a missed penalty were the difference against a savvy and bigger NAIT squad.
Next up for the Thunder will be the annual away trip, this year to Grande Prairie to face the GPRC Wolves on September 17th and 18th.
The Concordia Thunder Cross Country Running team got their season rolling this past weekend, hosting the first race of the 2016 season at Tiger Goldstick Park. The ladies team started the day with the top 5 Concordia women finishing all together from places 9-13 out of the CCAA competitors and within 26 seconds of each other. Elise Nawrocki led the way, followed closely by Baylee Frissell and Co-Captain Rachael Smillie. “Our top 5 ladies really packed in well. I’m excited to watch them improve as the season goes on,” stated Head Coach Matt Norminton. Next across the line was rookie Lannie Houle and 2nd year runner Bailey Troccoli-Hughes. Co-Captain Shelby Edgar and rookie Haley Dunwoodie crossed the line in 19th and 20th place, respectively while rookie Mienna Starosielski finished in 24th place out of the CCAA competitors. The ladies finished in 3rd place out of the CCAA teams, behind UBC Okanagan and Red Deer College. “To have 8 competitive women out there today was really great to see,” said Norminton. “We’ll be ready to give RDC a run for their money at the ACAC Championships at the end of October.” Thunder alumni Marriya Jenkins finished in 5th place overall while Kristen Hansen (Thunder Assistant Coach) ended up in 33rd place overall and Vanessa Chambers finished in 48th spot.
The men were up next and with the entire 2015 XC team having all departed, Coach Matt Norminton knew that this would be a great learning experience for his Thunder men. Co-Captains Mike Quick and Ian Lee (both ran Indoor Track last year but not Cross Country) led the way for the men, finishing in 9th and 14th place, respectively. After the 2 captains, it was all rookies across the line for the Thunder with hockey player Connor Reinson finishing just ahead of Keith Spruyt in 15th and 16th places. Darien Khan, Nils Jansen and Jackson Murrell were the next Thunder men across the line in 31st, 32nd and 34th, respectively. Concordia students Mo Adbullahi, Ojeme Ogharo and Benjamin Garnett Lopez also competed in the race finishing 48th, 63rd and 64th overall. “With the exception of Mike, I don’t think any of these guys have ever raced an 8km so we did exceptionally well today!” enthused Norminton. “I think more than half of them have never even done an actual running race before so I’m really proud of these guys. They are only going to get better from here. I strongly believe that they can be competitive at the ACAC Champs this year”. The Thunder men finished in 4th place overall behind SAIT, UBC Okanagan and one point behind Red Deer.
Thunder Alumni Kirk Sundt picked up the overall win at the race while Kenton Sportak finished in 27th place overall.
Next up for the Thunder XC teams will be a trip down Highway 2 on Saturday to take part in the Jordan Fish Open XC race, hosted by SAIT.
All students who are interested in participating on any of the Thunder Athletics varsity teams for the upcoming 2016-17 season are welcome to attend at the appropriate time and place listed on the attached document.
The Concordia Thunder Athletics Department is pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual 'Bring the Thunder' Classic Golf Tournament will be held on Sunday, August 21st at the Raven Crest Golf and Country Club. Tee times are still available for this auspicious event but space is filling up fast. For more information on how to register, please contact Athletics Game Day and Special Events Coordinator Nate MacLellan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A long time Concordia tradition will continue in 2016 as Thunder Athletics will once again be holding our annual K-days Parking Scholarship Fundraiser. This year's event will run from Friday, July 22nd through Sunday, July 31st with the 'gates' open from 11 AM to 11 PM daily. The cost is just $10/day/vehicle. Concordia's student-athletes, coaches and staff are looking forward to seeing all our friends and fans come out for some great mid-summer K-days fun and to help support Concordia Thunder Athletics.
Fresh off the plane from France – where he represented the CCAA at the 13th International University Sports Federation (FISU) forum – Thunder Athletics Director Joel Mrak will be adding to his frequent flyer miles next summer as the Administration Manager for the Canadian delegation at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan, August 19th to 30th. Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) – as the Canadian representative to the International University Sports Federation – announced the appointment of Canada’s mission staff for the 2017 Universiades earlier today in Toronto.
The Universiade is a biennial, international multi-sport competition and is second only to the Olympics in the number of participating athletes and countries. The games are open to competitors between the ages of 17 and 28 in the year of the games who are full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, cegep) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the games.
Joel will be joined by two fellow ACAC colleagues at the games as UofA-Augustana AD Greg Ryan and MacEwan University Athletics Administrator Lindsay Schulha have also been named to the mission staff.
For the complete story and listing of all the Canadian delegates to both the Winter and Summer Games, please click on the link below to go to the CIS website.
On behalf of Concordia University of Edmonton, Thunder Athletics is pleased to welcome the Canadian Olympic Women's Basketball team to the Ralph King Athletic Centre! As they continue to prepare for Rio, our National Team ladies will be holding a practice – approriately enough – on Canada Day from 3 to 5 PM at the RKAC.
Welcome to Concordia ladies and good luck in Rio!
Concordia's very own Joel Mrak will be heading to France early next month to represent the CCAA at the 13th International University Sports Federation (FISU) Forum. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association is the national-level organization encompassing five collegiate sport member-conferences across the country including Alberta's ACAC. Joel will be joined by CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) rep Jean-Pierre Hamel of Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) from July 4-9 in Montpellier, France.
For the complete story, please go to the CCAA website by clicking on the link below. 'Bonne chance' (and safe travels), Joel!
The Thunder Men's and Women's Soccer programs will both be holding ID Camps in June. The Thunder Women will hold two days of activity on Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th on the pitch at Concordia. Both sessions will run from 10 AM to Noon. The Men's program will hold just one, 3-hour session on Saturday, June 11th from 10 AM to 1 PM, also on the field at Concordia. For complete information and contact numbers, please click on the appropriate link below.
May 9th – September 2nd, 2016
The Thunder Men's Soccer program and Head Coach Ian Skitch are proud to present the first group of recruits that are going to be sporting the Thunder Navy and Gold come September. Additional recruits are 'in the pipeline' but here are the first three from the Class of 2016-17.
Israel Olufuwa: Israel was born and raised in Nigeria and is a seasoned veteran of post-secondary athletics, having played 4 years with Covenant University FC in Ota, Nigeria. Israel Captained the team for two years, winning awards as MVP, a Golden Ball, a Silver Boot as well as numerous medals in his tenure with Covenant. Israel is coming to the Thunder as a graduate student and will be pursuing a Master's Degree in the Autumn.
Christian Hernandez: A product of the Soccer Academy at Edmonton's Archbishop O'Leary High School, the 5'10" Striker/Attacking Midfielder has been on the winning end of four provincial titles with Inter 98 and was a national finalist with them as well. Christian was also a participant on a St. Francis Xavier Academy team that went overseas to play in Italy last year.
Stephano Silva: Another graduate of Archbishop O'Leary High School, Stephano is also a club team veteran, having spent time with both the Drillers and Ital Canadians and was a USA Cup finalist. A versatile talent, Stephano can cover the field as both a Central Midfielder or a Defender and will be coming to Concordia in pursuit of a Bachelor of Management degree.
Following a season in which they graduated 7 players, the Concordia Thunder Men’s Hockey team has many holes to fill on their roster. Coach Dan Glegloff and his staff have spent a majority of the Spring recruiting and are proud to officially introduce the excellent student athletes that will be joining the team next season.
Tanner McCorriston – Goaltender – Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL)
Tanner, a St.Albert native, joins the Thunder following an excellent three year career as a starting goalie in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Spruce Grove Saints and Whitecourt Wolverines. He brings with him plenty of winning experience including an AJHL Championship in 2014 with the Saints. In his two years with Whitecourt, he set Wolverine team records for career wins (36), career shutouts (2), wins in a season (24) and shutouts in a season (2). McCorriston also holds the team record for most starts by a goaltender in a season and career.
Ian McLellan – Forward – Grand Prairie Storm (AJHL)
Ian is from Red Deer and has spent the past three seasons with the Grand Prairie Storm of the AJHL. This past season Ian served as Captain of the Storm and had a career high 38 points. Ian is an excellent two-way player and will bring his leadership skills to the Thunder. Ian is also a player with Championship experience winning the Telus Cup (National Midget Championship) with the Red Deer Chiefs in 2013. Ian will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Management program at Concordia.
Jakob Lavoie – Defenseman – Canmore Eagles (AJHL)
Jakob is from St.Albert and has spent his last 3 seasons playing with the Canmore Eagles. Jakob was the Captain of the Eagles last season and is a physical defenseman that takes pride on his work in his own end. Jakob will bring a strong work ethic and leadership to the Thunder and will be a huge help to the Thunder PK. Jakob will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Faculty at Concordia.
Rory Davidson – Forward – Battlefords North Stars (SJHL)
Rory is from Delburne, Alberta and spent last season with Battlefords of the SJHL. Previously Rory played 2 seasons with the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL. Rory is an excellent skater and his speed will be an excellent asset for the Thunder, especially at home where they play on an Olympic-sized rink. Rory has been part of many successful teams and won 2 Telus Cups (National Midget Championship) with the Red Deer Chiefs in 2012 and 2013. Rory will be taking Science at Concordia next year.
Chance Thomas – Forward – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Chance is from Edmonton and has spent the last 2 years with Dauphin in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Previous to his time in Manitoba, Chance spent a year playing for the North Bay Trappers of the NOJHL. Chance is an offensive forward that was able to put up 107 points in his 166 game Junior A career. Chance will be enrolled in the Faculty of Management at Concordia.
Romano Morrison – Forward – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Romano is from Edmonton and spent last season with the Dauphin Kings in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Romano previously played 2 season in the AJHL with the Calgary Mustangs and Whitecourt Wolverines. Romano is a big and fast power forward that will contribute at both ends of the ice for the Thunder.
Patrick Carlin – Defenseman – Neepawa Natives (MJHL)
Patrick is from Edmonton and played the last two seasons with the Neepawa Natives of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Patrick is a strong skating two way defenseman who led his team’s defense in points last year with 25. Patrick is a strong student and will be taking the Bachelor of Management program at Concordia.
Jordan Busch – Defenseman – Kimberley Dynamiters – KIJHL
Jordan is from Edmonton and played the last three seasons with Kimberly of the KIJHL. Jordan is a strong skating, puck moving defenseman who put up excellent number in his three years in Kimberley. Last season Jordan was named Best Defenseman in his division and scored 66 points in only 52 games. Jordan will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program next year and eventually plans on pursuing a career in Education.
Concordia Thunder Athletics and Thunder Women's Basketball Head Coach Robbie Valpreda are pleased to present the recruiting 'Class of 2016-17'.
Gracie Fox: 5’10 Guard, Harry Ainlay High School: Set to join the team is Gracie Fox, a very long and versatile Guard. “We are very excited to have Grace join our Thunder team for the upcoming season. Grace provides length and rebounding for us on the perimeter. I have had the pleasure of knowing Grace and her family for a long time,” said Coach Valpreda.
Morgan Dool: 5’6 Guard, transfer from Red Deer College: During her two years at RDC, Morgan averaged 10 ppg and shot 32% from the 3pt line. “Morgan has got some range and can definitley score the ball from the perimeter. She has the experience of playing in the conference already and we will look to her for leadership as well.”
Allison Raitz: 5’9 Guard, Leduc Composite High School: Allison is set to join the Thunder Women’s Basketball team from Leduc Comp. She played all three years on the senior team and this last year the Leduc Tigers completed their best season yet, finishing 5th in Division 1. “Allison has great footwork and strength. She comes from a well coached program at Leduc Composite and she was also part of Basketball Alberta’s “Targeted Athlete Strategy Program,” states Coach Valpreda.
Lise Heinricks: 5’6 PG/Guard, Strathcona Composite High School: Lise has great potential for the ACAC, coming from a basketball family and an excellent program and school at Scona. “Lise has great fundamental skills and good basketball IQ. She competes hard and is an excellent all around athlete.”
Jamie Shaigec: 5’10 Forward, transfer from Keyano College: Jamie will be joining the Thunder squad after a 1-year absence from ACAC competition. Jamie is a Forward who can shoot the ball well from 15 feet out and rebound under the rim. “Jamie is someone who we are excited to have. She has played in the league and understands the game. Her challenge will be to get used to the game again and the demands of being a student-athlete," concludes Coach Valpreda.
On April 8th, the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) published the complete list of this season's winners of the Academic All-Canadian award. This is the CCAA's most prestigious award (their words!) and is awarded to those rare student-athletes that are named as both All-Conference athletes (ACAC Conference All-Stars) AND who also have an honours-level GPA. This season, Thunder Athletics had a record SEVEN athletes that were awarded this honour: Takeisha Wang, Badminton; Marriya Jenkins and Kirk Sundt, Cross-Country Running; Laura D’Andrea, Brynn deVries and Magdalena Boras, Women's Soccer; and Jose Villaneuva, Men's Soccer.
The new list reflects how rare this achievement is especially in light of Concordia being a relatively small school in comparison to most of the others on the list. Of the 94 CCAA member institutions across the country, there were only 50 that had athletes that qualified for the award and of those 50, only TWO schools had more winners than we did; Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI with an enrollment of 8500 and Humber College in Toronto with an enrollment of 83000(!).
Congratulations to our award winners. You've done your school proud!!
Click on the link below for the complete list of winners:
On Tuesday April 5th, the Concordia Thunder Athletics community celebrated this past year's achievements and outstanding performances at the 2015-16 Thunder Athletics Awards Banquet. The banquet was held in the Robert Tegler Student Centre and was attended by over 170 Thunder Athletes, Coaches and Concordia Dignitaries.
Kicking off the evening, the Men's Soccer team and Head Coach Ian Skitch took to the stage where first year Defender Erik Archimowitz was named the Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year Midfielder and two-sport athlete Avian Prince was selected as the Most Improved Player. Team Captain Jose Villanueva started off a string of award wins as this season's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete for Men's Soccer. Jose remained at the podium to collect the Most Valuable Player trophy along with a pair of parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian Athlete. Two of the team's veteran ironmen – Serhiy Adamyk and James Sousa – were honoured as Graduates.
On the Women's Soccer side, Head Coach Franco Imbrogno started things off by naming Goaltender Selina Verkland as this season's Rookie of the Year. The Most Improved Athlete award went to second year Midfielder Alexandra Manzanillo. For the second year in a row, Maggie Boras took Outstanding Scholastic Athlete honours while third year defensive stalwart Kaitlyn Diduck was named as the Most Valuable Player. In an embarrassment of riches, no less than five Thunder ladies received acknowledgement as ACAC All-Conference athletes – Jaida Stasiuk, Laura D'Andrea, Maggie Boras, Brynn deVries, and Selina Verkland. Boras, Devries and Verkland were also recognized as CCAA Academic All-Canadians. Rounding out the evening, fourth year Forward Alexa McGillivray was honoured as the team's lone Graduate.
The Women's Basketball team and Coach Robbie Valpreda began their portion of the evening naming first year stand out Sofia Lucadello as their Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year athlete – and first year Concordian – Ann Stewart was selected as both the Most Improved and the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Another veteran athlete – but in just her first season in a Thunder uniform – Nakita Newman was feted as the Most Valuable Player. Two of the evening's earlier winners were brought back to the podium with Sofia Lucadello being recognized as the ACAC Rookie of the Year while Nakita Newman took home the parchment as an ACAC All-Conference selectee.
Next up, it was the tall men's turn on the dais. For the second year in a row, third year Guard Brett Jakubec was named as the Most Improved Player. The Most Dedicated Athlete award went to 5th year veteran 'Mr. Thunder Basketball' Nathaniel Wojcicki. First year Guard Bevan Purnell earned the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete award while the team's top point-getter Jason Jones Jr. was named as the team's Most Valuable Player and also received recognition as an ACAC All-Conference Athlete. In his fifth and final year of competition, Nathaniel Wojcicki was celebrated as the team's lone Graduate.
With Indoor Track now firmly established as a full-fledged ACAC sport, the XCR/IT teams boasted yet another large number of winners on this night. First up, it was the ladies team that took to the stage with Head Coach Matt Norminton naming last season's Female Athlete of the Year Rachael Smillie as his Most Improved Athlete. Third year veteran Shelby Edgar was selected as the Most Dedicated Athlete while perennial all-star Marriya Jenkins collected her FIFTH consecutive Most Valuable Athlete trophy. Jenkins then proceeded to add to her status as the most decorated athlete in Concordia Thunder history collecting two more parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian athlete and a crystal trophy as a CCAA All-Canadian. In her final appearance at the podium, Jenkins was joined by teammate Kristina Dong as both were feted as Graduates.
Next up, it was the men's turn to take the stage with Kenton Sportak starting off, taking the hardware as the Most Improved Athlete. Co-Captain and fourth year veteran Kevin Chambers collected his second consecutive Most Dedicated Athlete title as well as his second consecutive Outstanding Scholastic Athlete certificate. With his record-breaking, multi-Gold Medal season, fifth year veteran Kirk Sundt was unquestionably the Most Valuable Athlete. Sundt – along with team mate Sportak – were both lauded as ACAC All-Conference athletes and as co-winners of the ACAC Player of the Year designation. Sundt continued to rack up the accolades, being recognized as a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. The 'running men' closed out their portion of the evening acknowledging their Graduates, Kevin Chambers and Ben Thomas.
After saying good-bye to the core of his record-breaking 2014-15 team last Spring, Thunder Badminton Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine showed prodigious recruiting skill in the off season and put the 2015-16 edition of the Thunder right back up on the medal podium. Leading off the parade of winners was second year player Alex Stewart, who was named as this season's Most Improved Athlete. One of the few remaining team veterans, Lindsay Ross took home the hardware as the Most Dedicated Athlete. Then it was time for the 'Takeisha Wang show', with the rookie phenom being celebrated as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete, the Most Valuable Player, the ACAC Player of the Year and – along with Women's Doubles partner Rachael Smillie – an ACAC All-Conference athlete. Rookie Calvin Siu also received acknowledgement for his All-Conference selection. Wang rounded out her incredible season, receiving honours as both a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. Badminton wrapped up their time on the dais with the acknowledgement of Graduates Alysha Dyck and Lindsay Ross.
Boasting a full Men's team again this season, Thunder Golf named second year player Connor Beeston as the team's Most Dedicated Athlete. Fifth year veteran and two-sport athlete Beau Ferbey was named as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while fourth year Graduate Brendan Algeo was named as the team's Most Valuable Player.
Led to the stage by first year Coach Travis Jones, the Thunder Curling team wasted no time in naming Jessica Panchyshyn (the team's only rookie athlete) not surprisingly, as the Rookie of the Year! Next up to the podium was fourth year 'versatile veteran' Jason Ferster who receive kudos as the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Second year athlete Adrienne Maschmeyer took home the hardware for Most Valuable Athlete and stayed at the podium to receive accolades as the ACAC Player of the Year for Skipping her squad to the ACAC Mixed Team Gold Medal. Thunder Curling closed out the evening with Jason Ferster – along with fellow fourth year player Konnor Wood – receiving recognition as ACAC All-Conference Athletes.
With their players literally hanging off the stairs at the end of the stage, Thunder Athletics' largest contingent of athletes 'took the face-off' on their portion of the evening with Hockey team Head Coach Dan Glegloff naming Defenseman David Randall as the Rookie of the Year. Next up, the puck bounced to third year Defenseman and former two-sport athlete Connor Reinson as he was selected as the Most Improved Player. For the second time that night, fifth year veteran Defensemen (and Golfer) Beau Ferbey took the parchment as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while the team's top scorer, Nathan Smith took home the hardware as the Most Valuable Player. Rounding out the evening, the team could have filled an entire wall with Graduation plaques with seven athletes being so recognized: Jordan Hoffman, Filip Kejdana, Rhys Hadfield, Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Filiph Bystrom and Beau Ferbey.
Thunder Women's Volleyball began their presentation with Head Coach Trever Turner naming Libero Tierra Pitt as the team's Rookie of the Year. The Most Dedicated Athlete trophy went to third year Outside Hitter Shandelle Meyer. Second year Middle Julia Heupel earned the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award and then turned right around to return to the podium as she was also honoured as the team's Most Valuable Player.
On the Men's Volleyball side, short and sweet was the order of the day with first year Head Coach Lucas Jacobson bringing Middle Hunter Scott to the podium as the Rookie of the Year. For the second year in a row, fourth year Right Side Connor Reeves was named the Most Dedicated Athlete. Reeves and Scott were not done yet as they were named as the co-winners of the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award. For the third consecutive year, fifth year Setter and team Captain Alex Ingstrup was named as the Most Valuable Player. Ingstrup was also joined by fourth year Libero Christian Legg as they received Graduation plaques.
In his fourth year as a Thunder Minor Official, Gabe Wood was feted as this season's Minor Official of the Year. Gabe has filled multiple roles over the course of his service to Thunder Athletics and this season was the DakStats Operator for Thunder Volleyball AND the DakStats Spotter for Thunder Basketball.
This year's recipient of the Tom Austin Sportsmanship Award was 5th year Men's Basketball stalwart Nathaniel Wojcicki.
In 2014-15, Thunder Athletics observed that it is a rarity when a Coach is selected as an ACAC Coach of the Year in their respective sport and so it is an even more unusual circumstance when not only one but TWO Thunder Coaches were chosen as COY's in 2014-15. This season, Thunder Athletics had not one, not two but THREE coaches that were so honoured. For the second consecutive year, Franco Imbrogno was named as the ACAC Women's Soccer North Division Coach of the Year. Cross-Country Running and Indoor Track's Matt Norminton was the COY in Cross Country Running last season and this season, took the same honours for Indoor Track. Badminton's Kevin MacAlpine also took home his second ACAC Coach of the Year parchment, having been honoured with the same title back in the 2010-11 season. All three coaches were recognized for their remarkable achievements by their respective team Captains.
This year, Thunder Athletics honoured Eleven athletes who completed all 5 years of their eligibility in collegiate sport and of those eleven, Eight of them completed all 5 years in a Thunder uniform. Plaques of appreciation were given to Men's Basketball's Nathaniel Wojcicki, Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins, Kristina Dong, Kirk Sundt and Kenton Sportak, Hockey's Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Beau Ferbey and Filiph Bystrom, Men's Soccer's Justin Pucci and Men's Volleyball's Alex Ingstrup.
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year were: Badminton's Takeisha Wang – Takeisha was an ACAC All-Conference athlete and Player of the Year, an ACAC Silver and CCAA Bronze Medalist in Women’s Doubles and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins – Marriya was the team Captain, MVP and Thunder top finisher in every race, an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Curling's Adrienne Maschmeyer – Adrienne was an ACAC Gold Medalist, the first female Skip to win a Mixed-team title in ACAC history and the first Mixed-team player to be named an ACAC Player of the Year; and Soccer's Kaitlyn Diduck – Kaitlyn was a team Captain and MVP, 1st Team All-Star at the ACAC Championship and the Player of the Game at the CCAA National Championship.
The Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year is TAKEISHA WANG!
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year were: Basketball's Jason Jones Jr. – Jason was an ACAC 1st Team All-Conference athlete, team Co-Captain and top scorer averaging 16 PPG and he recorded four, 30+ point games in 2015-16; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track/Badminton's Kirk Sundt – Kirk was an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete, an ACAC Triple Gold Medalist in Indoor Track and co-winner of Player of the Year and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Hockey's Nathan Smith – Nathan was the team MVP, the top scorer with 34 points in 29 games and was 9th place overall in ACAC scoring; and Soccer's Jose Villanueva – Jose was the team Co-Captain and MVP, an ACAC All-Conference athlete and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian.
The Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year is KIRK SUNDT!
CONGRATULATIONS to all of our honourees and to ALL of our Thunder Athletes on another fantastic year!!
Athletes of the Year Takeisha Wang and Kirk Sundt
The Concordia Thunder Women's and Men's Basketball programs will be holding an Identification Camp for prospective student athletes on Saturday, April 2nd at the Ralph King Athletic Centre. For complete details and contact information, please click on the link below.
The Concordia Thunder Women's and Men's Basketball programs will be holding an Identification Camp for prospective student athletes on Saturday, March 19th at the Ralph King Athletic Centre. For complete details and contact information, please click on the link below.
The Thunder Badminton team once again had some successful results at the 2016 CCAA National Badminton Championships this past week, hosted by Vancouver Island University in in Nanaimo, BC. The Women's Doubles team of Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang went 3-2 in the round robin. To open tournament play, they defeated a PACWEST team from Langara 21-7, 21-14. Their second win came from defeating a team from Atlantic (Mount Allison) 21-5, 21-5. In the round robin they also defeated a team from Ontario (George Brown) 21-18, 21-10. Their only two loses were at the hands of the powerhouse duo from NAIT (and eventual National Champions) 21-16, 21-11 and from a team from Ontario (Seneca) 21-14, 21-14. This put them in 3rd place after the round robin and a rematch against the girls from Seneca.
In the semi-finals, Takeisha and Rachael went into the match with a different game plan than the round robin. They knew they had to play better and change up a few things in order to defeat the Ontario team. Takeisha and Rachael ended up losing a nail biter 21-17, 16-21 and 21-18 which put them in the Bronze Medal match. That medal match was against the team from Langara, however it was much tougher this time around as the Langara girls played very well. Rachael and Takeisha were able to hold on with a win in 3 games, 21-17, 19-21 and 21-18 to capture the Bronze Medal. "This was Takeisha Wang's first trip to Nationals as a first year athlete at Concordia and ACAC Female Player of the year, so a Bronze is not a bad start to her career," enthused Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. "Rachael claimed a Silver Medal last year at Nationals in Women's Singles and with a Bronze Medal this year, she is looking to get the Gold next year as she rounds out her degree at Concordia."
In other action, the Thunder had 4th year player Lindsay Ross claim a 5th place in Women's Singles defeating a girl from Atlantic (Kings College) in her last match 21-13, 21-17. "That is the 2nd year in a row that Lindsay has claimed 5th place at Nationals in Women's Singles, which is an incredible accomplishment."
First year players Dshant Sharma and Calvin Siu had a great experience this past weekend but definitely have a lot of room to improve and get better and this experience will hopefully motivate them to work harder and elevate their game. "The improvement that this team has shown in the last few weeks and even just at the Championship itself was truly amazing. They lost their last match to a team from Atlantic (Mount Allison) 18-21, 21-15, 21-10 which put them in 6th place."
Overall Kevin MacAlpine and Assistant Coach Samantha Wong were very proud of the entire team and look forward to working hard and seeing more improvement next year! Well done Thunder!
Over the past two weeks, numerous Thunder athletes have risen to the top at their respective ACAC Championships and the list of medal winners and ‘best of’ accolades is an enviable one. Beginning with the ACAC Badminton Championships, Thunder athletes Calvin Siu, Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang all received honours as ACAC All Conference athletes. For Takeisha, the accolades did not stop there as she was the unanimous choice of all the Coaches of the ACAC Badminton schools as the Female Badminton Player of the Year. This is a remarkable achievement for any athlete but it is even more exceptional than usual in that Takeisha is in just her first year of ACAC competition. In the final high point of her remarkable rookie season, at the Nationals banquet on Wednesday, March 2nd, Takeisha Wang was named to the CCAA All-Canadian National team.
In just the 3rd year of ACAC competition, the Thunder Indoor Track team rocked their ACAC Championship with several runners dominating the field. In a most unusual development, two 5th year runners – Kirk Sundt and Kenton Sportak – were named as ‘co-recipients' of the ACAC Men’s Indoor Track Runners of the Year. With their great showing at the Champs, the Thunder Women’s team finished 3rd overall and the Men’s team claimed their first ACAC overall team title. In the final ‘icing on the cake’, Head Coach Matt Norminton was also named as the ACAC Indoor Track Coach of the Year.
Long held as one of the ‘quietest’ sports on campus, the Thunder Curling team came out roaring at their ACAC Championship. The ACAC Mixed Curling Gold Medal was the first ever for any Thunder Curling team. Thunder Skip Adrienne Maschmeyer was also selected as the ACAC Female Curler of the Year. Adrienne further distinguished herself as the first women to Skip a team to the Gold Medal in Mixed competition and was the first Mixed player to ever be selected as the Female Curler of the Year.
Although neither team were able to make the playoffs this season, both the Men’s and Women’s Thunder Basketball teams had players that were recognized by the ACAC for their individual performances. On the Men’s side, 2nd year Thunder Guard Jason Jones Jr. was selected as a first team All-Conference athlete while on the Women’s side, versatile first year Thunder Guard/Forward Nakita Newman was selected as a second team All-Conference player.
To cap off her first year in a Concordia uniform, Thunder Guard Sofia Lucadello was selected as the 2015-16 ACAC North Division Rookie of the Year. Congratulations to all of our distinguished Thunder personnel on their accomplishments!
The Thunder Indoor Track teams had a big weekend down in Calgary where the ladies team finished 3rd overall and the men’s team claimed their first team title with a decisive victory over their rivals from Lethbridge.
Ladies Co-captain and 5th year runner Marriya Jenkins got things going in the 3000m with a solid 2nd place performance behind the women’s Athlete of the Meet Vanessa Trofimenkoff from MacEwan. Second year runner Rachael Smillie finished in 6th place, running a big personal best. On the men’s side, 5th year runner Kirk Sundt claimed his first Gold Medal of the meet, finishing well ahead of the competition. Men’s Co-captain and 4th year runner Kevin Chambers finished in a solid 6th place running a season’s best while rookie Ian Lee finished in 10th place. In the 300m heats, rookie Baylee Frissell finished in 9th place while 5th year runner Kristina Dong finished in 11th place. In the men’s 300m heats, 5th year runner and Co-captain Ben Thomas finished in 3rd place while rookie Avian Prince ran a personal best to finish in 7th place, both qualifying for the finals. Rookies Qasim Valji and Andrew Sanchez-Orosz finished in 10th and 11th place, respectively.
Ladies Co-captain and 3rd year runner Shelby Edgar finished in 4th place in the 1000m while rookie Bailey Troccoli-Hughes picked up 2 points for the women’s team by placing in 9th place. Second year runner and soccer player Brynn deVries finished in 10th place in a season’s best time. In the men’s 1000m, 5th year runner Kenton Sportak picked up his first Gold Medal of the weekend, setting a new Championship record in the process. Second year runner Michael Quick picked up his first medal of the weekend, running a season’s best to finish 3rd place overall while Chambers doubled back to finish in 6th place.
In the men’s 300m finals, Avian Prince ran a fantastic race to win his section and claim 5th overall. Thomas also ran a solid race to finish 3rd overall and pick up his first medal of the weekend. “That was a great first day,” said Head Coach Matt Norminton. “Everyone ran very well and the men have a nice a lead heading into Day 2 and the women are sitting in 3rd place”.
Day 2 started with the ladies 600m and Kristina Dong made a big surge at the end of the first lap to run a season’s best and finish in 11th place overall and score the team a point. Rookies Frissell and Troccoli-Hughes both ran personal bests to finish in 12th and 14th place overall. On the men’s side, Kenton Sportak claimed his 2nd Championship record and Gold Medal of the meet. Ben Thomas ran a season’s best to finish 4th overall and score some huge points for the team while rookies Avian Prince, Andrew Sanchez-Orosz and Qasim Valji all ran personal bests to finish 13th, 14th and 17th, respectively.
In the women’s 1500m, Marriya Jenkins pressed the pace early and ran away from the field to add another ACAC medal to her collection. Shelby Edgar finished in 7th place, Rachael Smillie ran another personal best to finish in 11th place while Brynn deVries ran a season’s best to finish in 14th. In the men’s 1500m, Kirk Sundt picked up his 2nd Gold Medal of the weekend and set his first Championship record. Michael Quick ran the smartest race of the weekend, going out at a sensible pace and gradually picking off those who went out too fast to claim 2nd place overall. Kevin Chambers finished in 5th place while Ian Lee finished in 11th place. The final event of the weekend was the 4x400m relay and the women ran a new school record to finish in 4th place. The men’s B team consisting of Valji, Orosz, Lee and Prince ran their fastest time of the year and finished in 6th place. The men’s A team consisting of Thomas, Quick, Sundt and Sportak took the lead from the gun and did not look back, running a new Championship record in the process. Sundt and Sportak also shared the Male Athlete of the Meet honours with their 3 gold medals apiece. “What a weekend,” exuded Norminton. “This is truly a special group of young men and women. To have so many talented and hardworking individuals all on the same team at the same time has been such an incredible experience. It’s up to the rookies and returning members to carry on this tradition now. It took us 4 years to get to this point. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of miles run and a lot of sweat by the core of this team. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Photos Courtesy of Andrew Crossett and SAIT Athletics
This past weekend the Concordia Thunder Mixed Curling team travelled to St. Paul and came away with ACAC Gold at the 2015-16 Championships. Skip Adrienne Maschmeyer led her team to a 2W-1L record after the round robin to take #2 ranking and move into the 1 vs 2 page game. A win over RDC in the page game gave Concordia its berth to the Gold Medal game, facing the Olds Broncos. The Thunder got off to a shaky start, finding themselves down 3-0 after the first end. But led by some terrific shot making by their Skip, the team battled hard throughout the entire game resulting in an 11 to 7 victory after 7 ends. "I'm very proud of this team," beamed Head Coach Travis Jones. "They all came together and brought Concordia into the ACAC curling world as a competitive contender. Adrienne and (Third) Jason (Ferster) helped lead their team all year. I could not ask for a better group of student athletes."
Records were set as Skip Maschmeyer is the first ever female Skip to win the Mixed Gold Medal and the first Mixed player to ever win Female Player of the Year. Two of her team mates were also recognized for their outstanding play as Konnor Wood was awarded All-Conference status as a Lead and Jason Ferster the same as a Third.
Well done Thunder!
This weekend the Thunder closed the 2015-16 season with a split on a road trip to Fort McMurray. Friday night the Thunder won 4 to 2 with goals from Tyler Stevenson, Adam Wheeldon, Nathan Smith and Fil Kejdana. Connor Dobberthien was stellar, making 50 saves in the win.
Saturday the Thunder fell 5 to 2 to the Huskies. Tyler Stevenson and Colin Minardi scored for the Thunder in the loss. Congratulations to Brett Richards, Kegan Bowman, Jordan Hoffman, Fil Kejdana and Tyler Stevenson who are graduating after excellent careers with Concordia! Great job, guys!
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh
Concordia's University's School of Physical Education and Wellness is pleased to announce their drop-in Fitness Class schedule for March. All students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in these 30 minute sessions, which go in the main gym every Wednesday from 12:05 to 12:35. For more details and a schedule of the classes, please click on the link below.
The Thunder Badminton team had a very strong showing in the ACAC Championships this past weekend, held at NAIT. The event got started out on the right foot with the ACAC Championship Banquet being held on Friday night wherein the Thunder had Calvin Siu, Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang all receive honours as ACAC All Conference athletes. The awards did not stop there for Takeisha. The Coaches from all the ACAC Badminton Schools chose her as the Female Badminton Player of the year.
On Saturday, the attention focused on the Badminton court with Men's and Women's Doubles getting underway first. DShant Sharma and Calvin Siu lost a close final to a strong NAIT Ooks team 21-15 and 21-14. "Overall they played very well and I think they continue to get better and better and hopefully (will) peak at Nationals," stated proud Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. Takeisha Wang and Rachael Smillie also came up against a very strong NAIT team in their final. "They did not have their best game and have a lot of work to do in the next couple weeks but are looking to reverse the result on the Nationals stage." Rachael Smillie was last year's 2015 ACAC Women's Singles Champion and she claimed a Silver Medal at Nationals. Takeisha Wang is a first year player for the Thunder who has dominated the Women's side in all events in the ACAC this year. Lindsay Ross and Alysha Dyck also played very well winning the Bronze medal in Women's Doubles over a team from Olds.
Next up was the Singles competition. The Thunder had graduating player Lindsay Ross taking Silver in the Women's side, losing in the final to an athlete from Olds College 21-15 and 21-11. Lindsay also qualified last year for Nationals and the Thunder are is hoping that she can improve on her 5th place finish from last year and end her career in the ACAC on a high note. The last event of the day was Mixed Doubles wherein Concordia had graduating players – and future teachers – Kirk Sundt and Alysha Berkner win a Bronze Medal. "It was a great way for them to end their ACAC careers," said MacAlpine. "Alysha played all 4 years on the Badminton team with Kirk coning aboard just this year. Kirk is a very high level runner on the Thunder Cross Country team and decided to come out for Badminton this year, too. The improvement he made was incredible." In the overall team competition, the Thunder finished in 2nd place behind the powerhouse NAIT Ooks.
Overall the Thunder captured 3 Silvers and 2 Bronze Medals at the Championships and will be sending 5 players to Nationals. This year, the CCAA National Championships are being held at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC from March 1st -5th. Good Luck Thunder!
Friday night the Thunder Women’s Basketball team took to the court in Camrose where they squared off against the Vikings of Augustana. Right from the start, the contest was going to be a battle as both teams were competing for the last playoff spot in the North. It was the Vikings who came out and set the tone early, creating havoc for the Thunder on both ends of the floor. The Vikings came out with energy, hustle and continued to pour in basket after basket and as a result, the Thunder found themselves down 24-7 after the first quarter. “We were not focused and prepared after that first quarter. It was like a shock for us. I had to remind the girls what we were playing for and to tell them that now for the next 3 quarters, we had to push ourselves to our limits to get back in the game,” stated Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. As the second quarter began, the Thunder were the ones who came out with a vengeance as they continued to attack the rim and not settle for jump shots. They applied pressure to the Vikings that had them turn the ball over enough times to get the Thunder back in the game. Concordia did an excellent job, only allowing the Vikings to score two field goals in the second quarter and cutting their deficit to 32-24 at halftime. As the second half began the Thunder continued to battle back, but couldn’t get past the 7 point deficit they were in but when the fourth quarter began it was the Thunder who made the final push to take the game into overtime. “We battled every possession; we hustled after every loose ball and we never gave up,” remarked Coach Valpreda. Overtime began with the Thunder getting out to an early four point lead 58-54, but again the Vikings battled back to be on top with a 59-54 lead with 19secs left. Sofia Lucadello was able to put back an offensive rebound with 2.9secs left and gave the Thunder a 60-59 lead. Augustana inbounded the ball with one last attempt to win the game and for them it paid off as they scored the shot at the final buzzer to win 61-60. “(What an) incredible finish. This was an excellent game for everyone involved. I cannot say I have coached a game like this before,” glowed Valpreda. "Both teams were outstanding but even though the outcome was not what the Thunder wanted, their effort and resilience was exceptional. I’m so proud of the way these girls fought tonight, most teams would have given up after being down 24-7, but these girls fought and battled and played their hearts out and did everything to give us a chance. We played together as a united family.” Congrats goes to Nakita Newman who was POG with 21pts, 5rebs, and 2Blks.
Saturday evening the Thunder were back home to play their final regular season game. Coming into the game the Thunder still had a bitter taste in their mouth from the previous night and were looking to finish the season with a win. “At this point it’s about finishing with pride and confidence. This team has developed immensely over the second semester and we just want to continue to get better.” The Thunder came out of the gate with the passion and energy they needed to win and after one quarter, the game was tied at 16. But the Thunder gave themselves some momentum on transition baskets to take the lead into halftime 30-25. Going into the second half, the Thunder continued to make basket after basket and jumped out to as much as a 7pt lead. The Vikings battled back, hitting some big 3 pointers and kept the game close. The Thunder held on to a small lead right to the last second as the Vikings gave it one more attempt from half to win the game; another possible buzzer-beater to win, BUT it fell short as the Thunder went on to win the game 53-51. Concordia received big contributions from everyone. Shyanne Walton, Ann Stewart and Nakita Newman all scored in double digits but it was Kendall Armstrong who was excellent off the bench. “Ken was great tonight. She was vocal, she battled and she scored 8pts off the bench. This is exactly the type of play Kendall can provide for us,” said Valpreda. "The Thunder should hold their heads high for a long time as they performed above all expectations this weekend. I’m so honored to have coached a team like ours. To win this game says a lot about who we are; to come back and win after losing a game for a playoff spot at the buzzer in OT the previous night and compete tonight…other teams might have just packed it in but not our team. This is a great team to have coached this season and I look forward to the future of this program and the players,” vowed Valpreda.
Congratulations to POG Kendall Armstrong on her strong performance. The Thunder will host their Identification Camp on April 2nd. Times will be announced soon. THUNDER UP!!!
This past weekend was the final one for the Thunder Men’s Basketball squad for the 2015-16 season. Travelling to Camrose on Friday night for the first of a home and home with the Augustana Vikings, the Thunder would start very slow and not be able to overcome an early 18 point deficit and dropped the game by a final score of 84-70. Leaders for the Thunder – Mike Malin with 12 points and 6 rebounds, Ryan McLaren with 11 points and 12 rebounds, Jason Jones Jr. and Artez Scharer also added 11 each with Brett Jakubec chipping in 10.
Saturday back at the RKAC would be the final game of the season and it too, did not start well for the Thunder who found themselves down by as much as 26 points in the second quarter and trailed 44-24 at the half. However the Thunder would find the resolve to go on a 47-5 run and would lead by 16 early in the 4th and close out the Vikings by a final score of 78-68. Leaders for the Thunder – Brett Jakubec with 27 points and 9 rebounds, Ryan McLaren with 17 points and 7 rebounds, Bevan Purnell added 13 points with Ben Grimsrud in his final game registering a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“The final game of a year is always tough,” remarked Coach Reagan Wood. “This year we say goodbye to two amazing guys – Ben Grimsrud and Nate Wojcicki – so I’m glad we found a way to send them out with a win. They have been team captains and leaders both on and off the floor for us. Ben was my first recruit as a Head Coach and to see how he has grown as a player has been remarkable, I couldn’t be more proud of Ben and what he has accomplished through his hard work, especially overcoming his ACL tear, and getting back to a point where he could compete at such a high level. Nate has been the heart and soul of our team for many years and has always given 100%. He too, has battled injuries and had to miss a lot of time over his career but his dedication to our team has been unquestioned. Replacing what he brings to our team is going to be hard to do. I know that as he moves into the next phase of his life he is going to continue to be an incredible person and a leader wherever he is. I want to thank Ben and Nate for the combined 10 years they have put into our program. We are all much better for the time they have given to our team and I am going to miss them tremendously.”
The Thunder Men's Volleyball team had to settle for a weekend split after two hard fought, 5-set matches Friday and Saturday. Playing a pair of home games against the visiting Grande Prairie Wolves, the Thunder hit the court of a vengeance on Friday night. Graduating 5th year Setter – and team Captain – Alex Ingstrup was the star of the show, putting on two excellent setting performances in his final weekend as a member of the team. In a nearly two hour match, the Thunder battled back after a first set loss that went to extra points to eventually take the match 3-2 (24-26, 25-16, 29-27, 22-25 and 15-10). On Saturday afternoon, the Thunder once again pushed the Wolves to a fifth set, after dropping the first two sets and then roaring back with two set victories of their own. Unfortunately in the end, it was the Wolves who would own the fifth set on this day, handing the Thunder a defeat in their final match of the season (25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 22-25 and 15-7). "Hunter Scott had his most efficient performance as a member of the team and we look forward to more of those next year," stated Coach Lucas Jacobson. "Although the record was improved this year we as a group left a few wins on the table. We all look forward to a good off season and getting back at it in September and making a playoff run."
This weekend the Thunder faced a huge challenge as they took on the undefeated NAIT Ooks. Friday night at home the Thunder honoured their graduating players before the first face off. Congratulations to Jordan Hoffman, Brett Richards, Filip Kejdana, Tyler Stevenson and Kegan Bowman on their pending graduation. The game itself however was a disappointment for the Thunder as they dropped an 8 to 1 decision to the Ooks.
On Saturday night at NAIT, the Thunder battled hard in enemy territory. Goals by Filip Kejdana, Brady Bakke, Aaron Petten and Phil Dillon kept the Thunder close but they eventually lost a 6 to 4 decision to the now 30 – 0 Ooks. The Thunder played hard in the loss and will take lessons from playing an experienced championship caliber team. Concordia will look to finish the year on a winning note when they visit Fort McMurray this weekend for a pair of games against the Keyano Huskies.
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh
The Women's Volleyball team wrapped up their regular season play over the weekend as they hosted the Grande Prairie Wolves in two home court matches. Playing one of the top teams in the Conference, the ladies came out hard in the first set on Friday and challenged the Wolves but unforced errors did them in and they lost the set 25-23. After the first set the team lost focus in their first contact and although they tried to stay with the Wolves, the team struggled and went down to defeat with scores of 25-7 and 25-18. Dayna Starke was the Player of the Match for the Thunder.
In Saturday's afternoon match, the ladies showed signs of fighting with Grande Prairie but the Wolves showed why they are a favorite to win the league title as they defeated the Thunder in straight sets 25-15, 25-15 and 25-17. Tianna Smith was the Player of the Match for the Thunder.
Coach Turner's comments from the match and season: "The weekend was a chance to get all players in and see what they have for the upcoming season. Although we struggled to get a league win this year, I am very proud of this team for their commitment to the program and the steps we have taken to bring the women's volleyball team at Concordia to the level that it needs to get to, to be successful. The individuals that we have on this team that are returning had the chance to see what the level of volleyball is in the ACAC and know how hard they need to work over the summer months to be successful. I know we can get there and we as a coaching staff are excited to see this team and ladies succeed."