Kevin Civil, left, will be a crucial player off the bench for the men’s basketball team. Photo: Parker Townes/Fulcrum
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These athletes will be crucial to the success of their teams this season

The Gee-Gees are back in full force and here’s is a list of student-athletes who will be crucial to their team’s success this season.

Taylor Donato (Women’s Rugby): After finishing third at nationals in 2018, the women’s rugby team lost most of its core players to graduation. That means the 2019 iteration of the team will feature a new wave of young vets at the forefront, including fourth-year player Taylor Donato. Donato, an Ottawa native, will be the team’s leaders and someone to turn to shut down other team’s offences, according to her coach Jen Boyd.   

Taylor Donato, right. Photo: Sports Services

Matt Dunlop (Men’s Hockey): Known by his teammates as Dunny, Matt Dunlop is entering his fourth season with the Gee-Gees men’s hockey team. Coming off a career-high year in terms of goals (two) and points (11), the always reliable defenceman will be heavily relied upon late in games by head coach Patrick Grandmaître and be instrumental for #horsehockey if the team hopes to go on a long playoff run. Described by teammate Kevin Domingue as a great leader on and off the ice, Dunlop has earned himself an A on his jersey for the Gees as they enter their fourth season since re-inception in 2016.

Maeliss Trapeau (Track & Field): This long sprint runner from France will look to improve on an already good year when she takes the track for her third season as a Gee. Last year, Trapeau along with teammates Sophia Skorenky, Keili Shepherd and Marie-Eve Dahms won the 2019 OUA Bronze Medal in 4x800m relay at the Track and Field National Championships in Winnipeg.  

Kevin Civil (Men’s Basketball): The Gee-Gees sophomore guard from Montreal played a lot of important minutes off the bench for head coach James Derouin in 2018-19 and will need to keep his point total per game (10.1) up in the double digits if the Gees are to have any success in a tough OUA conference.

Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu (Women’s Basketball): After a finishing third in the country last year, the Gee-Gees will be in the win-now mode as this could very well be the last year of their current championship window. Lefebvre-Okankwu who shot for over 50 percent last year and averaged 14 points per game will need to keep producing at the same calibre if the Gees are to compete for and take home a national championship in the 2019-20 season.

Brigitte Lefebvre-Okankwu, left. Photo: Parker Townes/Fulcrum

Sawyer Buettner (Football): The winner of the Alex Lavric/Buettner starting job competition last year, Buettner was instrumental as a rookie in leading the Gees over Carleton in the 2018 Panda Game and to the second-best record (6-2) in the OUA. Now the full-time starter, Buettner will look to take the next step this season and improve on his 183.8 yardage average from last year. However, the real test will be the playoffs as the GeeGees try to make it to the Yates cup game the first time since 2010.

Sawyer Buettner Photo: Martin Bazyl

Davide Casarin (Swimming): The Italian swimmer won four medals (two silver and two gold) at the U Sports swimming championships in 2018-19 while shattering records, notably in the 200m butterfly competition where Casarin swam an impressive 2:00:41. In his third year with the Gee-Gees, Casarin is regarded as one of the top swimmers in the country and will look to improve on his 2018-19 results   

Katherine Bearne (Women’s Soccer): The fifth-year midfielder from Halifax enters her fifth and final season with the Gee-Gees and will play a very important role if the Gee-Gees hope to make it back to the national championship finals. Her offensive stats have gone down over the years, but she remains a solid presence in midfield and is great in transitioning the ball from defence to offence.