The Assiniboine Community College Cougars volleyball teams will be back this season, but the school will wait to revive its basketball program.
The Cougars’ Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference volleyball and basketball seasons were both cancelled in 2012-13 as not enough students maintained a 2.0 grade-point average to stay eligible. Interim athletic director Larry Shannon believes they have solved the problems that caused the volleyball squads to fold last season and he’s happy for the sport to return.
“The coaches are excited about it, the players are excited and I think everybody learned their lesson,” he said. “We tried to look after the problem on the educational side by maybe having study groups and that kind of thing. I think it’s just everybody has to be honest with one other, especially when our students say they need help, we’ll get it for them. It’s no cost to the students, we’ll get tutors for them. We just hope they’re honest with us and say that they need the help.”
Ken Slate and Katriana Miller will coach the women’s team. Andy Van Buskirk and Andy Strahl will coach the men’s team. Both squads will open their seasons on Nov. 2 when they host Red River College.
The basketball teams didn’t get off the ground last year, also for academic reasons. The school decided it was best to hold out one more year before trying to bring back the sport.
“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “I was hoping we would have enough again, but we had to decide back in January, February whether we were going to continue with it this year, and we went to the league very disappointed and said let’s take the year off. We’d rather do it that way and then come back with a vengeance in 2014-15 and know we’re really set with them.”
The Cougars women’s hockey team will return this year as well. They will compete in a six-team junior league in Winnipeg and have put in a bid to host this year’s Hockey Manitoba Senior B championship.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 13, 2013