As the last tears from the semester's last midterm dry up, Dinos teams across campus have another reason to weep. As players graduate or run out of their five-year eligibilities, they are torn from the heart of teams they have spent years bonding with and getting to know.
The men's soccer squad is no exception and, according to Head Coach Andy Gibbs, they are as close with each other as any crew. In ultra-random fifth-year order, Mathew Houston, Luis Morales, Jonathan Remmer and Andrew Zakaluzny will be graduating from the Dinos soccer program.
"They've all had a good five years here," Gibbs explained.
And the results show it. During their five-year sentences as Dinos, the guys have competed in three or four Canada West playoffs each and, despite no national playoff berths, have been one goal away on two occasions.
Gibbs, who has 16 years of Dinos coaching under his belt as well as some experience playing semi-professional football (that's soccer for you NFL junkies) in England, likes to joke about the boys.
"They proved that a bunch of intelligent suburban Calgary folk can play soccer," he said with a hint of sincerity.
While all of the boys-turned-men spent high school in Calgary, their educational interests vary greatly.
Morales the mid-fielder will be graduating with a law degree next year. He is most proud of being named to both the CW first and second all-star teams during his years, as well as this year's team making the CW finals.
"It was a lot of fun. I can't complain about any of it," he said of his experiences.
Remmer was a forward and will move forward into the real world with a mechanical engineering degree. After completing his internship this year he will likely go on to grad school, with hopes of attaining his MBA or an architecture degree.
He most enjoyed the team's trips to the west coast each year and will sorely miss the mysterious "Tigers." As the memories remind him of good times, one piece of wisdom will always stick with him.
"The coach is always right."
Zakaluzny spent his time on defense and has run out of eligibility. Another school year will earn him a Master of Science degree in computer engineering.
In the meantime, he hopes to take a road trip with some teammates to try out for the Canadian team competing for world domination in the 2005 World Summer Universiade this July in Izmir, Turkey.
While Zakaluzny wishes the team had attained national recognition, he has learned a lot and has fond memories of the team. But what were his favourite gains as a Dino?
"The friends I've made and the creation of the Tigers," Zakaluzny said of the enigmatic group of gentlemen formed within the Dinos.
Lastly, Houston departs this great institution with fond memories and a Communications and Culture degree. Hopefully both of them last him in the years to come. The forward is currently in Malaysia and unable to comment on his experiences except through Morse code.
"It's lucky the coach is an educated person," Gibbs reminisced. "They're a lot of fun but they're smart. If you're not educated, you're dead!"
As this group of hell raisers departs, another group will begin learning the ropes. Hopefully, one that after a couple years in the cocoon will turn into manly butterflies and help the team to a national banner.