While countless fans were glued to their seats–and the pages of the Gauntlet–throughout the past semester, many students hit the books and missed out on the sporting achievements of the Dinos. Here’s what the studious around campus missed.
Tollestrup is silver lining to Dinos’ dismal season
The Dinos football team faced tough competition in 2006, finishing with a disappointing 2-6 record that left them far from the playoffs. The season wasn’t a complete loss, as it featured the emergence of rookie quarterback Dalin Tollestrup. Despite some bowling-shoe-ugly outings, the 33-10 loss to the division-winning University of Manitoba Bisons Sept. 16 and the 27-3 loss to the University of Regina Rams Oct. 7, Tollestrup quickly progressed from a shaky rookie pivot into an accomplished on-field general. This evolution was made evident in the pair of Dinos victories that capped off the season, especially Tollestrup’s 462 yards of passing in a season-ending 39-7 win over the Simon Fraser University Clan Oct. 28.
For his efforts Tollestrup was named Canada West and Canadian Interuniversity Sport Player of the Week. He was further honoured when he was named the CIS rookie of the year in November, showing that while this season was less than stellar, the future looks very bright for Dinos football.
Kerr goes for gold
Runner Geoff Kerr proved to be one of the fiercest Dinos in 2006, winning the gold medal Nov. 11 at the CIS cross-country championship in Quebec City. Kerr became the first Dinos runner since 1998 to win cross country gold. In addition, Kerr finished the season undefeated against CIS and NCAA competition, gaining victory at every event he entered throughout the year. Kerr will also compete for the Dinos track and field team in 2007, aiming to match his cross-country achievements.
Men’s soccer settles for silver
While the Dinos men’s soccer team has never been to the CIS championship, they got closer than ever before during the 2006 season. After winning a bronze medal in Canada West play during the previous season, the Dinos took a bite out of their competition in 2006, posting a 7-5-2 record and a fourth place finish.
The Dinos surprised UBC in the Canada West semi-finals, besting their rivals by a 1-0 score to advance to the gold medal game. Despite their best efforts, the Dinos fell 4-1 to Trinity Western University, ending their quest for gold for another year.
Men’s hockey goes streaking
The Dinos men’s hockey squad entered the season smarting from a playoff loss to the U of A Golden Bears and set their sights on the division leaders. After losing three of their first four games, the Dinos began winning. When the dust settled, coach Scott Atkinson’s team had won a remarkable seven straight games, including their first victory over the Bears in seven years.
The streak catapulted an unranked Dinos team to a seventh overall national ranking and a fierce 8-3 record. Despite cooling off since the streak and relinquishing the Mountain Division lead back to the U of A, the Dinos remain poised for a strong playoff push.
Federkeil hits the NFL
Dan Federkeil became the first Dinos player to play in a regular season NFL game Dec. 3 when he suited up for the Indianapolis Colts in a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He saw action on special teams, hitting the field during kickoffs and field goal attempts. Federkeil also played Dec. 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and made his playoff debut Jan. 6, in a 23-8 Colts victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Federkeil played five seasons for the Dinos football squad, winning multiple honours including Canada West lineman of the year during his final season with the team. The Colts face the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL’s divisional semi-finals Sat., Jan. 13.