By Rodrigo Verney, August 12 2023—
The offseason is a period in which the great minds of the sports world, who often work behind the scenes for most of the year, have a chance to shine. Planning the upcoming year to ensure that the best possible outcome for their teams becomes a reality. This doesn’t always mean a championship. To accomplish their goals, these players make the most out of the offseason by signing new team members and developing a coherent schedule that pins the best against the best all season long.
Needless to say, this time of the year is filled with rapid-fire news and speculations. Often times, this barrage of information can alienate casual sports fans. This is even more present in college sports fans that have to deal with school and whatever life throws in their way as well. It is normal to feel overwhelmed and not know what is real and what are just rumours. To fix this, here is everything you need to know for the upcoming season.
Football: September 1 – October 28
Kickoff is a celebratory event that marks the start of the academic year and the beginning of the Dinos Football season. This college tradition is held every year on September 1. This time around, it won’t be any different. The boys are looking to come back from their terrible performance last season and reaffirm themselves as the champions they were prior to the pandemic in 2019.
However, the core positions are still filled by the same key players and unless they work to reinvent the way that they approach the game, a championship run is unlikely. If the season proves too much to them, their run will meet its last stride at the end of October.
Although experience seems to point that way, sports have a funny way of defying the odds. If somehow they make it into the postseason, the team will be extending their play time for at least another two weeks. Everything after this period is yet to be decided but, usually, it can go as far as the beginning of November. That is not counting USPORTS Championship, but going from a losing record to a defining conference victory like this is so unheard of that it’s best to simply go for the Lombardy trophy at that point.
Men’s and Women’s Hockey: September 28 – February 10
The once-in-a-generation men’s hockey team has the Canada West title in mind but is looking to redeem itself at the USPORTS University Cup level. Their record last season proved to Canada that they would be a force of unprecedented nature come September 28. Post-season is pretty much expected after a 25–3–0 record. Even if they lose nine more games this season, they still break the .500 mark. Absolutely incredible.
The women’s team had a decent performance last season and is looking to improve upon what they built. Their season starts a day after the men’s does — however, they do have a preseason period that will be hosting the Mount Royal Cougars as their first matchup after the offseason break. Although it isn’t a match to take lightly given the history between the two, all is forgiven during preseason.
Men’s and Women’s Volleyball: October 20 – February 17
The Men’s Volleyball team starts their season off the same day the Women’s team will, October 20. They are looking to cause a bigger impact than they did last season in which they got stuck at the .500 with a record of 12–12. Their first matchup will be the MacEwan Griffins on a back-to-back home series. They look to break mediocrity and take this squad to the offseason, but a brilliant performance isn’t quite a reality, that is to say, there aren’t any huge indicators of it on the horizon — at least not yet.
The Women’s Volleyball team has a similar calendar. They start by facing the Griffins with a homecourt advantage on a back-to-back series as well. This young squad wants to improve their record of 13–11 and put an end to the Thunderbirds’ winning record against them, which seemed to put them off their center and lead them to a bad spot to face the Cougars in the Canada West quarter-finals.
Both of their seasons end a week after the Hockey teams, on February 17, but they can extend this play time to as far as March 9 if they make it to the Canada West finals. Although somewhat unlikely, it is possible to see a deep playoff run from both teams. That is if they figure out how to better use the pieces and rotations they have been experimenting with.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball: November 3 – February 10
These teams have had a good performance last season but look to expand their postseason run. They open up on November 3 against the Victoria Vikings and close their season on February 10 on the last game of a back-to-back stretch against the Thunderbirds. The schedule is looking pretty tough for both teams but their high capacity to adapt and play the long game more often than not has proven to be a winning strategy to get them to at least the play-in stage. Only time will tell how far they can go, but if they have a decent playoff stretch, this postseason can stretch to as far as February 25.
New year, new possibilities. The Dinos had a decent season overall last year, but for all of these people who work day in and day out to ensure the Dinos are the best that they can be, decent won’t suffice. These teams are working on bringing a new era of history to the Dinos name and for this to happen, greatness has to be seen all throughout the board. We can only speculate this early, but some major changes will be necessary in order to bring in the storm that they claim to be brewing. Yet, they have time by their side and just like the dinos themselves, these teams are much more dangerous when they are slept on.