Colour awards: Queen’s Journal edition

The Journal’s sports editors dish out their own spin on the year that was for Queen’s Athletics

Left to right: Spencer Abraham, Brogan MacDougall, Gabe DeGroot, and Kara Gani.
Left to right: Spencer Abraham, Brogan MacDougall, Gabe DeGroot, and Kara Gani.
Photo: 
Coach of the year—Gabriel DeGroot
 
Spending seven years on the sidelines as men’s volleyball assistant coach must have taught Gabe DeGroot something, because in his first year as head coach, the Gaels won an OUA Championship and finished fifth in the country. 
After starting their season with a 2-2 record, the men’s volleyball team ran away with the OUA East, losing only one more regular season match since being .500. Entering the playoffs on an eight game win-streak, the Gaels took down McMaster in the Forsyth Cup to secure gold on home court. While they didn’t reach the podium at the U Sports National Championships, they improved on last season’s seventh-place finish.
 
As the team continues inching up the national hierarchy, DeGroot has set the bar for next season awfully high. But after what he’s accomplished in just 10 months, who knows what else the men’s volleyball team has in store.
 
Brightest Future—Brogan MacDougall
 
Barring an injury, Queen’s could see unprecedented success from Brogan MacDougall over the next four to five years. With the exception of last weekend’s World Cross Country Championship, MacDougall turned in winning performance at all five of her races this past fall—as a rookie, no less. 
 
All five wins came by significant margins. At the OUA Championships, she was 31 seconds faster than her sister, Branna, who came second at the U Sports Championships, she took two laps of the Fort Henry course to lose her closest follower and win by 12 seconds.
 
There are no guarantees, but a consistently healthy MacDougall could mean a breakthrough for the women’s cross country team—and create a career defined by unprecedented success at the 
university level.
 
Most Disappointing Season—Men’s Basketball
 
Starting out the season, the men’s basketball team broke out onto the U Sports top-10 rankings for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
 
Unfortunately, it didn’t last.
 
The Gaels trended downward over the course of their season after beginning hot. They finished their regular season with a nearly even 11-10 record, and were knocked out during the OUA quarterfinals with a heartbreaking 80-63 loss to the Carleton Ravens.
 
Best new jersey—Navy Hockey
 
Some people are a fan of change—and some aren’t. Luckily, the different colours of Queen’s hockey jerseys provided some variety with consistency this season. 
 
While the tricolour spectrum is a busy array of colours, the Gaels turned down the volume to provide a fresh take on a classic look with light touches of red and
yellow—while letting the navy do the talking.
 
Though the patterns aren’t the same across the colours, the new jerseys are so classic and so clean that they were automatically our favourite. A simple “Queen’s,” a varsity “Q” on the shoulder, and a light sample of tricolour is all we could’ve asked for from Athletics’ sponsor, Nike, in their debut season with the university. 
 
Worst new jersey—Rugby Gold
 
We know that a rugby jersey has a lot to withstand: being pulled on, stepped on, bled on. They need to be as tough as the players wearing them. 
 
But did they have to be so ugly?
 
Although we’re a fan of a Golden Gael, the offensively bright yellow jerseys boast “Gaels” in a block font that Nike must’ve dug up from the archive of the 2003 Microsoft Word. The look isn’t new, but it should be.
 
They lack the tasteful patterns and varsity “Q”s we loved so much about the other new jerseys this year. We tried to come around on these new threads, but some things are better left undesigned.
 
2019-20 dark horse—Women’s Rugby
 
Having been awarded the opportunity to host the 2020 U Sports Championships, the women’s rugby team is guaranteed a spot on a very bright stage two seasons from now. But they also have the chance to earn that victory.
 
The Gaels have made appearances at three of the past four U Sports Championships, garnering a silver medal, and fifth- and sixth-place finishes. After winning OUA silver this season, finishing with an overall 5-4 record, they know what they’re capable of—and it’s more than what their record this season showed.
 
With a deep veteran lineup who’ve played in three U Sports Championships, and one U Sports MVP in Sophie De Goede at the helm, the Gaels are poised to enter next season as a favourite.
 
To make sure they’re contenders for gold when they’ll be hosting the Championship game in two years time, the Gaels will be digging deep to show their worth. And our bets on them to do just that.
 

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.