GBC varsity teams reflect on 2018, counting every step as a win
2018 has been a year of changes for George Brown College’s (GBC) Huskies, especially for the baseball, soccer and cross country teams.
With shifts in coaching, and new players entering the field, sports this fall followed a common theme of building, strengthening and looking towards the long term.
Baseball found a new head coach in former assistant coach AJ Wideman, while the women’s soccer team welcomed new leadership with Leslie Fitzpatrick.
Having assistant coaching experience with the women’s indoor soccer team, Fitzpatrick was not new to the school either.
Both of these teams had low win-to-loss ratios, but manager of sports and recreation, Melanie Gerin-Lajoie was happy with how far they have come and is optimistic for their futures in the OCAA.
She explained that there is a bit of a process and trend that can be expected with the coming of new coaches.
“You know the first year you come in, your hands are kind of tied with what you’re inheriting from the previous administration and you’re getting to know the rules around our leagues and the policies,” said Gerin-Lajoie.
“Second year, you’re starting to incorporate some of the learning from the first season,” she added.
Gerin-Lajoie believes that the women’s team is ahead of schedule in that plan.
GBC is currently fourth overall in women’s soccer at the OCAA after the Huskies tied the majority of their games, 3-5-2.
Gerin-Lajoie is optimistic about the roster they had this year and hopes to build on that in the coming year.
For baseball, the new head coach has been growing on the culture that the previous head coach left him.
With strong focus and spirit, the Huskies may not have had a knock-out season, but they remained optimistic even when they lost.
“You know, everybody’s positive, ” said pitcher Jack Middleton after losing against the St. Clair Saints back in September.
“We all think we have a really good team. Our pitching is behind us. Defense, hitting has always been there for us. We’re just all ready to go. We just need to develop a little bit more,” he added.
The cross country team found a star athlete in Garrick Loewen, who is only in the first of a four-year program.
Loewen’s debut at college cross country placed him 32 at Nationals. He is expected to run for GBC again next year, which brings great promise for the team.
Meanwhile, the men’s soccer team saw an influx of new players. They ranked third in the Central Division, but saw a disappointing defeat at the OCAA tournament in their own backyard.
“We had a good core of returning players, but also a lot of new players. I think a good part of the performance had to do more with just inexperience playing at that level,” said Gerin-Lajoie.
The hopes, moving forward, are to build on the experience they have gained from 2018 and work towards a more cohesive unit for 2019.
With files from Matthew Green.