Tag Archive | "Jennifer Brenning"

Top athletes celebrated at annual awards banquet

The feeling was one of togetherness and celebration at the Ravens annual Varsity Awards Banquet on March 19, as the teams reflected on the year and recognized their best athletes.

The annual event celebrates the end of the athletic year, and recognizes outstanding achievements by Carleton’s athletes that year. Awards include each team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), as well as Top Male and Female Athletes, and graduating player awards. There are also alumni and memorial awards.

Jennifer Brenning, Ravens athletics co-ordinator, said the winning athletes have a unique combination of fortitude and humility.

“They are grounded, they’re humble, but they’ve got this desire to compete and be successful,” Brenning said. “In terms of the number of hours they put into practicing, and the time they put into their sport and their studies, it’s incredible. So not only do they have the talent, they also have that drive to be the best.”

Brenning said the choices of athletes were tough this year, as there were a lot of qualified recipients.

“We’ve had immensely talented athletes, and certainly the number nominated this year, especially on the male side, that were very deserving. It’s very challenging to select,” Brenning said.

Thomas Scrubb received Male Athlete of the Year, while Phil Scrubb received Outstanding Graduating Male Athlete.

Women’s basketball player Lindsay Shotbolt won the women’s basketball MVP award.

She said despite an up and down season, including an injury, the banquet was a huge success for her.

“It’s just a really fun atmosphere to celebrate the success and how hard not only the athletes work, but also everyone who supports the athletes,” she said.

Shotbolt said that the recognition belongs to her whole team.

“It is really nice and I’m so thankful to get the award, but at the same time, I honestly feel like you have to give credit to everyone that you work with and my entire team,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the girls on my team and the coaches and all the support that I get, there’s no way that I’d be able to be the player that I am or the player I’ll be able to be in the future.”

Kendra Murray, who competed on the women’s Nordic ski team, won Outstanding Graduating Female Athlete. She said the award came as a complete surprise.

“Carleton is a big school with a lot of outstanding student athletes, so I was pretty surprised and happy,” Murray said. “It’s nice to have a recognition of your athletic accomplishment at school.”

Brenning said the banquets, which have been going on for “at least 30 or 40 years,” provide a valuable opportunity to recognize the contributions of the athletes to the school.

“Win or lose they are working so hard both in the classroom and in their sport.” she said. “Representing the university as well as they do, they are wonderful ambassadors to the school.”

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Banquet celebrates basketball’s stellar success

Carleton athletics held a celebration for the Ravens basketball team celebrating their success in the past 15 years at Alumni Hall on March 23.

The event invited past Ravens alumni such as Wes Nicol and numerous fans, friends, and family to the team. It held refreshments and had speeches by a variety of people, including President Roseann Runte and Athletics Director Jennifer Brenning. The atmosphere in Alumni Hall was full of excitement as past and present Ravens and 50 supporters celebrated the team’s achievements.

“We are so fortunate to have such an incredible coach, Dave Smart. His statistics are staggering. His serious win record with 493 wins and 45 losses since 1999. This season, the team’s regular season record was 23 wins, two losses, with a 92 win percentage, finishing with two championship banners. We are witnessing history in the making,” Brenning said.

Brenning said Smart has proved to be an irreplaceable asset to the Raven’s program, as his leadership has led the team to new heights over the years.

“You have to play smart. Not every team can play smart because they don’t have a coach named Smart,” Runte said.

Following Runte, Ravens forward Thomas Scrubb who won CIS defensive player of the year had a few words of reflection regarding the five years of support Carleton and its fans have offered him and his brother.

“I just want to thank all of you for coming out, during my five years we’ve had amazing support,” Scrubb said. “I’ve been to a lot of other schools and they haven’t followed basketball too much.”

Assistant coach Rob Smart was impressed by the normally quiet Scrubb being so talkative.

Rob Smart believed the success from the basketball team has spread throughout campus. Rob Smart had similar thoughts as Scrubb, as the whole team seems humbled by the praise they have received following the recent win.

“I think the key thing in terms of sport, it’s a lot of like-minded people, what we’re trying to pass on is skills that will help guys in the future. Things that will help them and from the professors that have supported a lot of the people who have helped with our program. We talk a lot about culture and the culture of our team exists in this university,” Smart said.

With three big graduating players, only time will tell if their will be another ceremony like this next year.

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OUA limits uniforms, training camp attendees for 2015 football season

The athletic directors at Ontario University Athletics (OUA) schools competing in football voted to limit the number of uniforms teams are allowed to have per season, as well as capping the number of student athletes who can attend training camp and be listed on the official roster.

Teams will now be limited to three uniforms and two helmets per season, and can only host a maximum of 110 student athletes at their annual August training camps.

Additionally, teams are now only allowed to list 90 student athletes on their official rosters.

The University of Guelph and the University of Western Ontario were the only two schools to vote against all three motions.

Of the 11 schools competing in OUA football, seven of them supported all three motions.

Carleton voted against limiting the number of uniforms to three, while supporting the remaining two motions.

“We believe that limiting the roster size can assist in the distribution of talent across the league, which in turn address the competitive parity issue identified, as well as save on costs such as training camp,” Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning said in an email.

“In terms of uniforms, we believe there should be institutional autonomy in spending operational budgets on jerseys and/or helmets.”

Currently, the Ravens’ football roster contains 85 players, meaning they would not be affected by the new ruling.

“We made the decision way back that the people we were going to bring to training camp would be the people that we’re going to carry through the year,” Ravens head coach Steve Sumarah said.

“I think that, unfortunately, some guys make decisions about schools and don’t actually look at rosters and realize ‘I’m not going to play there,’” Sumarah said.

“Coaches are now forced not to over-recruit, and that was the whole premise . . . to keep the numbers tighter so that people didn’t over-recruit.”

However, within the OUA, the Ravens are the team with the second-highest number of uniforms, with two helmet designs and four uniforms.

Guelph remains the front runner, with six helmet styles and six uniforms to chose from.

“At some point you just hope that it becomes an across-the-country type of situation, as opposed to just in the OUA, because it does adversely affect us,” Sumarah said. “It would be nice if everyone in the country did it, then it wouldn’t be so bad.”

In response to the rule change, sports columnist Morris Dalla Costa published an article in the London Free Press criticizing the OUA for its decision.

“It’s obvious the organization has decided that instead of encouraging all universities to attain excellence, they would seek through legislation to encourage all universities to settle for being average at best,” Dalla Costa wrote.

Dalla Costa further criticized the decision by saying it simply doesn’t make sense.

“They haven’t limited anything else, they haven’t limited the amount of money an alumni can give towards the building of a stadium, or they haven’t limited the amount of money a program can collect from their alumni,” Dalla Costa said in an interview with the Charlatan. “It just doesn’t make sense. There’s no progress in it.”

He also believes the OUA should spend more time building its own brand in order to attract football players.

“The bottom line is that if the product gets better, more people will want to play it, and more people will want to go to the school that improved their program,” Dalla Costa said.

“The OUA needs to keep their nose out of the individual schools’ business, they need to keep their nose out of how many uniforms Guelph has, how many players come to Western’s camp,” he said.

For Dalla Costa, it’s about attracting new talent.

“The OUA needs to build the OUA brand of football, they need to make it attractive so that money from sponsors comes into the OUA,” he said. “That’s what they need to do, instead of trying to regulate the good programs so that they all become mediocre.”

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When Ravens pitch in

Student athletes have a lot of work between balancing school and sports, but they also have to handle being a role model.

In 2014, the Ravens football team held a pie-in-the face event in the atrium which raised more than $400 for Relay for Life. This was just one of the events the football team has been involved with.

Ravens athletic director Jennifer Brenning said the football team visited an elderly home before Christmas, and they also visited Shepherds of Good Hope, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping the homeless in Ottawa, according to the organization’s website.

The women’s hockey team has had its share of involvement this past year, the most recent being Hockey Fest on Jan. 11. This featured them and the University of Ottawa women’s hockey team teaching young girls different hockey skills.

Olympic women’s hockey gold medalist Cassie Campbell was also there alongside the Ravens and Gee-Gees.

“It was a good turnout with the 230 kids that were involved,” Ravens forward Chelsea Lefebvre said. “A lot of the kids were excited because we had Cassie Campbell there.”

Hockey Fest featured children of all ages being trained by high-level hockey players to improve their skills.

The football team has also been involved in training initiatives with children.

“We go to a lot of schools. Last year, especially, groups of five or six would go for 20 to 30 minutes and get the kids to do different football drills like speed and ladder drills, easy things of course but still fun little things to do,” Ravens receiver Nate Behar said.

These community outreach programs are important because they give these children someone to look up to, as well as tear down misconceptions about athletes, Behar said.

“It’s a good thing, especially coming from a sport like football,” he said. “When some people think of football they think of rough, tough jocks. I think when people see football players in a community involvement showing that they care, I think that is always beneficial. It sends a strong message.”

Lefebvre said it also gives children goals to strive to achieve, such as becoming a varsity athlete.

“It definitely gets our name out there, and we just hope that someone can use us as a role model too, and to give kids the training to play at our level someday,” she said.

The different community outreach programs can be credited to a variety of people, whether it be the athletic council, the coaches, or the players, Brenning said.

Ravens receivers coach Josh Sacobie is also the community outreach organizer, and part of his job is finding ways for the Ravens football team give back.

For the women’s hockey team, it is often players or coaches who choose to participate in events such as Hockey Fest.

“All of our teams are very involved, and I don’t know actually everything that they do, it’s hard to say which team is doing more than the other but I know that they are all very involved,” Brenning said.

“The teams actually have a bit of a contest of community involvement, and the women’s rugby team won it last year.”

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Hall of Fame Gala honours former Ravens

For the first time since 2003, Carleton has four new faces decorating its Ravens Athletics Hall of Fame.

Former men’s basketball player and Ravens legend Osvaldo Jeanty, Olympic fencer Marc Lavoie, Olympic water polo player Waneek Horn-Miller, and men’s hockey team builder Paul Correy have joined the ranks of illustrious Ravens alumni.

In addition to the four who were honoured with plaques on Oct. 16, the 32 Hall of Fame inductees from years past were invited to sit at the 15 dining tables set up in the third floor banquet hall of Residence Commons, along with friends and family.

The inductees were toasted with champagne at the beginning of the ceremony, during which guests were served a three-course dinner.

Lavoie, Jeanty, and Correy all arrived at the ceremony from their Ottawa homes, but Horn-Miller arrived the same day on her flight from Saskatchewan.

During her speech at the gala, Horn-Miller reflected on her time at Carleton, which began when she learned to swim at the school when she was three years old.

“I’m more excited to be inducted in the Ravens Hall of Fame than I would be in the Canadian Hall of Fame,” she said.

Horn-Miller encouraged the audience to “dream as big as possible and find people to believe in those dreams.”

“At Carleton, I found those people,” she said.

Horn-Miller is the only Mohawk woman ever to have competed in the Olympic Games, which she went to in Sydney, Australia in 2000. She was also was Carleton’s female athlete of the year three times during her time in university.

Lavoie, who was introduced by fellow Carleton fencer and alumni Paul ApSimon, described his best accomplishment as being the Canadian national fencing champion seven times after his Ravens career from 1972-76.

Lavoie’s induction marks the first time a fencer will appear in the Hall of Fame.

“You don’t have to be as athletic as you have to be in football or hockey or basketball,” he said.

Ravens basketball head coach Dave Smart came on to introduce Jeanty, whom he coached from 2003-07.

“We talk about him everyday because we want everyone to be like him,” Smart said. “I’ve coached for 30 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as competitive as Osvaldo, and I know I haven’t seen anyone as tough.”

Jeanty, who is the only Carleton athlete to win five national championships and the fourth in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history, said he is honoured to join the faces on the Hall of Fame wall.

“I’ve been looking at that wall since I was a kid. Now that it’s back and being part of it, being on that wall myself, it’s just such a great honour,” he said. “Dave says I’m too young to be inducted, but I’m losing my hair, so I don’t understand why he says that.”

The only non-athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame was Paul Correy, a team builder who helped bring the Ravens men’s hockey team to competitive club status in 1991, and then back to the CIS in 2006.

Former Ravens’ hockey player Terry McCarthy introduced Correy as “the most relentless, single-minded man” he has ever met.

Correy began as a Ravens’ hockey player and coach, but McCarthy said, “he couldn’t shoot, he couldn’t pass, and he couldn’t go left.”

Correy agreed, but said his way of helping the team out was coaching, managing, and fundraising in an effort to bring the men’s hockey team back to varsity status.

McCarthy read an email from Brad Good, Ravens men’s hockey team captain from 2006-07 who wrote, “had it not been for Paul Correy . . . myself and my teammates would have missed out on some of the best years of our life.”

Correy said he was excited to see his old teammates at the ceremony, some that went back to the 1960s.

“For me, it’s like a party,” he said. “The only way I can handle it is to share it with my friends and my teammates.”

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Football team gets a money boost

Two local construction companies, Tamarack Homes and Taggart Parkes Foundation, donated $500,000 to the Carleton Ravens football team just before the Panda Game last week.

Approximately half of the donation will be put towards student scholarships. The rest will be put into a trust used to operate the team, according to Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning.

The family-owned company has no direct ties to the Ravens football team, but three of the shareholder managers, brothers Jim, Ian, and Chris Taggart, all graduated from Carleton.

Jim Taggart attended the Panda Game against the University of Ottawa at TD Place Sept. 20 where the donation was announced.

“I made the terrible mistake of leaving with a minute and a half to go,” Taggart said, at the time unaware the game would be taken back for Carleton with a last second Hail Mary, caught by Ravens receiver Nate Behar.

Brenning said she was excited to see how Ravens football can engage the community, referring both to the Panda Game and the donation.

Taggart Parkes Foundation and Tamarack Homes met with Ottawa entrepreneur and Carleton alumni John Ruddy and Carleton University president Roseann O’Reilly Runte several months ago, when Carleton representatives asked if the organization would make a contribution to the team.

“We hadn’t done anything for Carleton in a while,” Taggart explained.

The Taggart brothers later brought the proposition to their management meeting to get the donation approved.

Edwards added he hopes there will be a direct correlation between the team’s success and the size and frequency of donations from the community.

“We hope that continued success on the field will bring more students to the game, prompt more alumni to come back and more alumni to support [Ravens football],” he said. “Clearly, winning programs seem to get a stronger cultural support from the school.”

In addition to the donation from Taggart and Tamarack, a $5,000 donation from NFL Canada was made at halftime during the game.

Since the Ravens ended their season last year with no wins, the program has received over $1 million in donations.

Four out of five of the Ravens’ top donors had no affiliation with Ravens football in the past, according to Edwards.

“A lot of the time we’re only able to actively pursue individuals who already played or coached with Ravens football,” he said. “But this shows that were going to be able to continue to build.”

Brenning said these recent donations were evidence of the team building momentum.

“We want this program to be a national contender,” she said.

The Carleton Ravens football team has operated entirely on corporate sponsorship and gifts since the program’s revival last year, according to Brenning.

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Carleton adds new competitive clubs

Carleton University is adding some new competitive clubs to its athletic program for the 2014-15 year.

As a function of the new combined administration between the Carleton Unviersity Students’ Association (CUSA) and Carleton Athletics, there is enough grant money to support four new competitive clubs on campus. The new clubs are tennis, Quidditch, cricket, and powerlifting.

The club roster has a wide variety of sports including cheerleading, figure skating, and badminton.

These clubs compete against other universities just as any varsity-level team would, such as football and basketball.

Carleton currently has eight varsity teams, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s football, and women’s rugby. Each of these compete at the national Canadian Interuniversity Sport level, unlike the competitive clubs which participate in provincial championships through the Ontario University Athletics.

Carleton athletic director Jennifer Brenning said student interest is the primary generator of these new activities.

“Our whole objective with the club program is to provide competitive participation opportunities that are not as highly intense as the varsity teams,” she said.

Brenning added while these competitive clubs have tryouts, they are open to all students.

“We want the clubs to be healthy, and have a healthy roster size,” she said. “We want students to meet new people, make new friends, and have a positive experience.”

Brenning explained this upcoming school year is the first year under the newly- joined administration between CUSA, Athletics, and the Graduate Student Association.

“We gave grants to clubs, and CUSA gave grants to clubs, and now that we’ve combined, there’s more funding for additional clubs,” she said.

The Ravens powerlifting club are holding  open tryouts Sept. 15-19 in the old varsity gym as a way of breaking in their new competitive status, and the Quidditch team will also be having a tryout Sept. 19 at Ravens Road Field.

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This month in . . . Issue 2

Vol. 44 Issue 30

Vol. 44 Issue 30

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Dave Smart, the head coach of the Ravens men's basketball team for the past 15 years, will serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada in the Pan Am Games.

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