At the end of the day, or season for that matter, the Queen’s Golden Gaels win/loss record in the tough OUA football conference will not be one to remember. That said, no one around the team is hanging their heads, nor will they be mailing it in during the last game of the season.
The Gaels take on the York Lions in the annual homecoming game this Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 at Richardson Stadium. Game time is 1p.m. Tickets are on sale at www.gogaelsgo.com/tickets, the ARC, or at the stadium on Saturday.
Head Coach Steve Snyder was emphatic when he talked about the big strides the football program has made this season despite the lack of Ws.
“In a lot of ways, we’ve pushed forward as a program. There’s been new messaging, a new competitive environment put in place, and high levels of accountability and teamwork,” Snyder said. “The expectations are very high and were high all season. We expected to win every game and compete for a championship, and that will never change.”
Snyder went on to explain that there is no risk of his players mailing it in this Saturday.
“Our student-athletes see the big picture in improving the program. They also are well aware of the significance of homecoming and want to honour their senior teammates who will be playing in their last game,” he said.
He also stated, “this is an emotional week for those players. You can see it in practice. I appreciate what they are dealing with having gone through it myself as a player.”
The Lions come to town off of a huge 34-14 upset win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues last week. They are led by fifth-year quarterback Brett Hunchak, who ranks seventh in the conference despite missing two games due to injury. Hunchak relies on a trio of talented receivers including Luther Hakunavanhuh who is in his third season. Rookie running back Darnell Jarrett has had an impressive first season averaging over five yards per carry.
As for the Gaels and their fans: It’s about the future.
“We were forced into situations this season where we had first year players placed into roles that were not favorable to us on the day, however those experiences should pay huge dividends in seasons to come,” Snyder said.
So while this season’s record may not show it, there is a lot to be optimistic about with the program. A young offense that has progressed throughout the season, and a defense that has the potential to be a conference leader come next August given, they should be returning many key starters from this years unit.
Tim “The Coach” Cunningham has played every sport ever. His inside knowledge can be heard and seen on radio, television and in print across Canada. Follow him on twitter at @TheCoachTC.