by John Austen
Two new coaches will be at the helm of Stinger teams as the fall sports season at Concordia kicks into high gear.
Graeme McGravie will coach the mens rugby team, while Jorge Sanchez takes over as womens soccer coach.
McGravie comes to Concordia with an impressive coaching résumé. The fully certified Level 3 coach is currently coach of the Montreal Menace of the Canadian Rugby Super League, and also the Montreal Wanderers, a Division 1 mens team based in Verdun. He has been involved in coaching provincial teams as head coach of the Quebec entry at the Canada Summer Games in 1997 and as an assistant coach with the 2001 team.
McGravie also served as head coach of the Dawson College mens rugby team from 1997 to 2001 and coached at various high schools in the Montreal area.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have a coach of Graemes calibre agree to take over our program, said Julie Healy, Concordias intercollegiate co-ordinator. He has a lot to offer our student athletes.
McGravie takes over a team that has won three consecutive Quebec university championships. However, the 2002 team will be young and will likely rely heavily on his leadership and teaching ability.
I know the game of rugby well, and Im prepared for whatever the game has to offer, McGravie said My biggest job is to get the team physically and mentally prepared. There will be a lot of young athletes making the jump to university rugby, and its a big jump. But the 18- to 23-year-old athletes are the ones you can have the most fun with. They are very focused.
Athletes who figure prominently in the coachs plans include John Chiniborch (No. 8) and Jared Walker (flyback and fullback). Both spent the summer at Rugby Canadas elite academy in Kingston, Ont. McGravie also has high expectations for rookie scrum half Scott Gill, who played for John Abbott College and the Montreal Menace.
McGravie also works as a service assistant in the Birks Student Service Centre. He recently graduated from McGill University with a bachelors degree in social work. As head coach, he replaces Gerry Clayton, who has moved to Toronto.
Jorge Sanchez, a Dorval resident, takes over the womens soccer program, which has been in transition for a couple of seasons. He has more than 30 years of experience as a player, coach and administrator.
He is coach of the Lac St. Louis Lakers U-17 soccer team, and was an assistant with the National High Performance Centre in Montreal. Sanchez has also coached at John Abbott College and with the Lakeshore Soccer Club.
I don`t believe in winning ugly, Sanchez said. My goal is to put the best team on the field to play quality soccer. This will be a compressed season, which challenges you as a coach.
Sanchez graduated from Concordia in 1989 with a major in economics and a minor in business studies.
Coach Kevin Figsby and his mens hockey team will play a tournament in Boston before opening their regular season Oct. 18 at UQTR. The Stingers first home game will be Oct. 25 vs. the Ottawa Gee-Gees.
The womens team, coached by Les Lawton, will also open in Trois Rivières on Oct. 18 before coming home Oct. 25 for a game against Ottawa.
The men`s basketball team, guided by coach John Dore, begin play Nov. 16 in Laval before coming home for a Nov. 22 date with McGill.
Keith Pruden and the women`s squad will also open Nov. 16 in Laval. The home opener for the Lady Stingers is Nov. 22 vs. McGill.