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  • SWIM announces open tryout date
    August 21, 2017

    WATERLOO, Ont. (August 21, 2017) - Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Swim Team’s Head Coach Hans Witolla has announced his open tryouts for the 2017-18 season.

    Open tryouts for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Swim Team will be held on Tuesday September 5th  and Wednesday September 6th from 3-5 p.m. in the pool at the Athletic Complex. 

    All those interested please contact Head Coach Hans Witolla at either coachhans7@gmail.com or hwitolla@wlu.ca. 

    Incoming first year student-athletes (including freshmen, transfer students, and Laurier students not in first year who have not participated in an interuniversity sport) are required to have completed, by a physician, the Initial Health Assessment Form before they participate in an interuniversity sport, which includes the first try-out.

    Returning student-athletes are required to complete the Veteran Athlete Health Assessment Form, before they participate in interuniversity sport, which includes the first try-out. This form updates the student athlete's medical history over the past 12 months. 

    Any athlete who has been prescribed any medications must declare them on their medical questionnaire.
  • MFOOT to play pre-season game vs Concordia
    August 17, 2017

    MONTREAL, Que (August 17, 2017)- The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team is hitting the road for a pre-season tune up against the Concordia Stingers on Friday afternoon. 

    On Friday afternoon the defending Yates Cup champion Hawks will take on the Concordia Stingers at Concordia Stadium in Montreal in an exhibition tilt. 

    In 2016 the Golden Hawks finished the regular season 7-1 — the team’s best record since 2007 — before beating McMaster and Western on their way to the eighth Yates Cup title in team history. The purple and gold would have their season ended in the Uteck Bowl by the eventual Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or.

    The Stingers, meanwhile, are coming off a 2016 season that saw them finish tied for third in the RSEQ standings with a 4-4 record. Like the Hawks, the Stingers also had their campaign ended at the hands of the Rouge et Or, falling in the provincial semifinal. 

    “We’re excited our team is once again playing an out of conference game against a quality opponent like Concordia,” said Laurier head coach Michael Faulds, last year’s OUA and U SPORTS coach of the year. “Coach Mickey Donovan has done a great job with that team and they will be a very tough challenge for us.”

    The Golden Hawks lost a number of key contributors from last year’s provincial championship squad to graduation and the CFL, however Faulds and the Laurier coaching staff are excited by a core of players who return with another year of experience under their belts. 

    On offence for the Hawks, quarterback Michael Knevel (Brantford, Ont.) enters his first full season as starter after emerging as the No. 1 pivot in Week 3 last year. Knevel will have no shortage of options in the passing game as the Hawks return an explosive receiving corps led by Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (Ottawa, Ont.), Brentyn Hall (Toronto, Ont.) and Carson Ouellette (Windsor, Ont.).

    On the ground, the Hawks are coming off a season that saw them lead the country in rushing yards, averaging 281.4 per game, while scoring 21 rushing touchdowns, good for second in the country. This season a deep, talented stable of running backs will be led a thunder-and-lightning backfield of third years Levondre Gordon (Mississauga, Ont.) and Osayi Iginuan (Hamilton, Ont.). In the trenches, the Golden Hawks return three starters — Edward Cadougan (Scarborough, Ont.), Chris Reddy (Kitchener, Ont.) and Drew Mairleitner (London, Ont.) — on an offensive line that not only opened up holes for the nation’s top running game but also allowed just eight sacks all season.  

    On defence, the Golden Hawks saw Nakas Onyeka (Brampton, Ont.), last year’s President’s Award winner as the OUA’s top stand-up defensive player, and Kwaku Boateng (Milton, Ont.), the 2015 J.P Metras Award winner as the OUA’s top lineman, move on to the CFL with the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos, respectively. 

    But with a number of key contributors returning, the Hawks, led by defensive coordinator and associate head coach Ron VanMoerkerke, look primed to once again be one of the top defensive units in U SPORTS. 

    Jalen Price (Hamilton, Ont.), a 2015 first-team OUA all-star, returns on the defensive line, along with fourth year Rashari Henry (Ottawa, Ont.) and third years Robbie Smith (Brampton, Ont.) and Trevaughan James (Whitby, Ont.), while fifth year Brandon Calver (London, Ont.) anchors a deep group at linebacker. 

    Last season, Laurier’s 16 interceptions tied them for second most in the country and the defensive backfield should once again be a strength. Godfrey Onyeka, a first-team All-Canadian in 2015 and 2016 returns at cornerback, while the talented, veteran unit is rounded out by the likes of Scott Hutter (London, Ont.), Ron Kinga (Guelph, Ont.), Isaiah Guzylak-Messam (Hamilton, Ont.) and Taylor Calverly (Pottageville, Ont.). 

    Nathan Mesher (Waterloo, Ont.), who calmly went 5/5 on field goals in last year’s Yates Cup including the game winner, returns in the kicking game. 

    The Stingers, meanwhile, had the top passing offence in the Quebec conference last year, averaging over 300 yards per game. 

    Leading the way in that high-octane air attack was quarterback Trenton Miller, the 2015 RSEQ MVP, who finished second in the nation in touchdown passes last year. Miller was able to spread the ball around to a talented receiving corps led by Vincent Alessandrini (2016 RSEQ offensive rookie of the year), Justin Julien and Yanic Lessard. 

    This is the third-straight year the Golden Hawks have left the province for a pre-season game. In 2015, the team travelled to Saskatoon where they fell 33-10 to the Saskatchewan Huskies while last season they visited the Montreal Carabins, losing a tight 37-33 game. 

    “Preseason games really help to break-up training camp,” said Faulds. “We are constantly competing Laurier vs. Laurier and any time you can go against a different colour jersey the competitive juices really start to flow.”

    Laurier and Concordia have played seven previous games, with Laurier winning all but one. The last meeting between the two came in 1974, a 21-10 Golden Hawks win.

    Game time at Concordia is 2 p.m.

    The Golden Hawks will open their regular season Sunday, Aug. 27 at home against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Kickoff for the 2017 home opener is 1 p.m. at University Stadium.

    - Written by Dan Polischuk
  • MFOOT Coaches Series: Ron Vanmoerkerke
    August 17, 2017

    WATERLOO, Ont. (August 10, 2017)- David Grossman, veteran award-winning journalst, takes us inside the mind of Laurier football’s  Defensive Coordinator, Ron Vanmoerkerke.

    Once a very shy kid, who grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario, Ron Van Moerkerke is the same individual who is well known for having a remarkable and powerful impact on people.

    Van Moerkerke is not in the business of self-gratitude. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

    When he’s not teaching geography to youngsters in the Waterloo Region District School Board, Van Moerkerke’s classroom becomes the football field at Wilfrid Laurier University – a place where he uses his strong skills and wisdom as Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator for the Golden Hawks football team. 

    To gain some perspective on his very effective way of communicating, whether it’s right from wrong or shutting down opposing teams, is to watch him in action – be it on the gridiron, in a class or through a conversation in a corridor. 

    A high-spirited, confident and jovial kind of individual, Van Moerkerke also possesses the amazing ability to clearly and effectively convey his message.

    “I have a specific role at Laurier – and it’s to deal with the players who come to me for advice, energy and looking to get better at what they do,” he said. “I always make sure the players know that I care about them and that it carries over to things that are work and school-related.”

    A Provincial Volunteer Coaching award winner and also the longest-serving defensive coordinator in Ontario university football, Van Moerkerke has earned the respect of his peers. His award is the reward he gets from seeing players learn, adapt and carry out their roles.

    “I hope what people see in me is a mentorship of sorts, shown from a teaching and love of the (football),” said the native of Tillsonburg and member of that community’s Sports Hall of Fame.

    Always cool and in control, Van Moerkerke has an insatiable demand on his players. 

    “Sport is a great transforming agency – one that will have an effect on an individual’s life,” he said. “Winning comes every day, and not just in football. I see my job as making sure young people are in a position to understand things - and then make plays.”

    His interest in football may have come back in Grade 10 while watching his older brother play the game. Then, when Van Moerkerke had enough watching and chose to play in high school, he had to deal with another challenge: his mother refusing to watch for fear that he might get hurt. 

    In 1989, Van Moerkerke achieved another milestone when he was chosen the Most Valuable Player on Tillsonburg High School’s team and also a league all-star. He would take football another step, after graduation it was on to study, and play, at Laurier.

    “I have been involved with football for a long time and continue to admire the creativity and ingenuity that teams use to try score,” said Van Moerkereke, tasked with the key job of stopping offensive squads from piling up points on Laurier. “Every year, it gets more complex and it makes things harder – but it’s a challenge that I am waiting for.”

    While Van Moerkerke sets high expectations for himself, he can also spot progress in players.

    “At Laurier, we all try our hardest to learn,” he said. “We’re not always perfect. Some times there are failures and they are addressed. I have made mistakes and I am accountable for them, and players are also accountable. There is also lots of trust and people who know me, know I refuse to quit helping youngsters reach their goals.”
  • MBASK coach Serresse adds eight for 2017-18
    August 16, 2017

    WATERLOO, Ont. (August 16, 2017)-  Head Coach Justin Serresse of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team has added eight new faces to their roster for the 2017-18 season.

    Going on his second season with the purple and gold, Head Coach Justin Serresse has brought in six forwards and two guards to join a group that finished second in the West, with a 9-11 record on the regular season. These new additions include Ben Stevens, Ali Sow, Kemel Archer, Jack Demaree, Goran Veselinovic, Jordan Kenning, Vincent Carriere and Adnan Begovic.  

    Leading the roster is Stevens, a fiery power forward from Halifax, N.S., who stands at 6-8 and weighs 200 lbs. Stevens had a successful season with the club team B-East Coach, winning the 2016 U17 National Champions.

    “After being highly recruited by many USPORTS teams, we are excited that Ben has committed to be a Golden Hawk" said Serresse. “Ben will bring size and athleticism to the power forward position, something we did not have last season. We are confident that he will have a great impact on our team". 

    Sow, a 6-1, 185lbs. point guard, will be joining Laurier from his former team Ottawa Next Level in Ottawa, Ont. Sow achieved outstanding statistics from the championship game at the St-Laurent Express Tournament Championship that generated much buzz in the basketball community. By obtaining 32 points, four rebounds and four assists Sow pushed the team to finish first place in the Juvenile division.  

    Serresse, who has previously coached Sow for two years in Ottawa, reflected on Sow as a “natural shooter who is always able to finish the job at the rim”. Serresee further commented, “Ali will be able to play both the scoring guard and the point guard which will keep Kokko fresh for games. He will have a significant impact in his first season”. 

    Prior to his university career, Kemel Archer played for Canadore College where he almost averaged a double-double and received the award for the Most Improved Player last season. Weighing in at 200lbs. and standing 6-5 tall, this Brampton, Ont. native will be extremely complimentary to the team roster. 

    "Kemel is an outstanding athlete” stated Serresse. “The coaching staff is confident that he will be able to contribute right away on and off the court as he already demonstrated great work ethic during the summer". 

    Jack Demaree hails from Tillsonburg, Ont. where he played for the club team London CYO. Standing at 6-6 and weighing in at 180lbs., this player will be a great addition to the team similar to his father who also played for Laurier’s basketball team in the 80’s.  

    Serresse reflected on his plans for Demaree stating, “We would like to develop Jack as a great two-way wing player since he already has unbelievable bounce and 3pt shots. We think he will surprise a lot of people in years to come”.

    From Hamilton, Ont. Laurier also is adding Goran Veselinovic, who weighs in at 190lbs. and stands at 6-3. During his time on the court, he was able to win two Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conferences Championships.

    Reflecting on the time he coached against Veselinovic’s previous team, Serresse stated “Goran is a scrappy wing player who has the ability to get really hot shots from the 3pt line. He is a very smart player that is willing to do anything in order for his team to win the game, I think he will bring great intensity in practice and in games”. 

    Standing at a staggering 6-10 and weighing in at 220lbs., Laurier added Kenning from Kitchener, Ont. to the roster. From reviewing his time playing for his prior team the Waterloo Wolverines, this power forward is bound to make an impact on the court. 

    Serresse refers to Kenning as a “hardworking athlete that will greatly contribute to the team”.  

    Vincent Carriere, from London, Ont., is another player the team was lucky to recruit. Previously playing for Southwest Academy and the London Ramblers, the 6-1, 175lbs. guard that will positively diversify the team.

    “Vincent is another scrappy guard that will bring a great work ethic and IQ to the team” stated Serresse.

    Power forward Adnan Begovic from Mississauga, Ont. was the final recruit for the 2017-18 season. Weighing 208lbs. and standing at 6-7, the former Lincoln Prep player will be a great addition to the team. 

    Serresse commented on the player’s ability stating “Adnan will bring a great shot to our power forward position. His height will act as a great asset inside that will mix well with other athletes on the court”. 

    Every player that has been recruited will have the opportunity to show their abilities to Serresse at the team’s next exhibition game against Laval on September 28th. The game is set for an 8:00p.m. start at the Laurier Athletic Complex. 
  • MBASK announces open tryout date
    August 14, 2017

    WATERLOO, Ont. (August 14, 2017) - Wilfrid Laurier University men's basketball head coach Justin Serresse has announced his open tryouts for the 2017-18 season.

    Any student-athletes interested in trying out for Laurier's new basketball team should attend the open tryout on Monday, September 11th that will take place in the Athletic Complex Gym starting at 11:00 a.m.

    For any further information on tryouts, contact Coach Justin Serresse at jserresse@wlu.ca.


    Incoming first year student-athletes (including freshmen, transfer students, and Laurier students not in first year who have not participated in an interuniversity sport) are required to have completed, by a physician, the Initial Health Assessment Form before they participate in an interuniversity sport, which includes the first try-out.
    Returning student-athletes are required to complete the Veteran Athlete Health Assessment Form, before they participate in interuniversity sport, which includes the first try-out. This form updates the student athlete's medical history over the past 12 months. 

    Any athlete who has been prescribed any medications must declare them on their medical questionnaire.