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Garnet and Grey come together as a team at kickoff
Photo by Mico Mazza

Asselin and Colbon speak about the playoffs and their off-season

GEES FANS WERE crushed on Oct. 29 when the University of Ottawa men’s football team lost their first playoff game of the year, ending their playoff season with a record of 0-1. The young team will now go into their off-season to train even harder for next year.

“I think we had a good season,” said head coach Jean-Philippe Asselin in an interview with the Fulcrum. “Obviously we didn’t finish the way we wanted, but we had a young team and progressed throughout the season. I am a little disappointed with our last game, [because] I thought we had more potential than we showed on the field.”

Fourth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon also commented on the abrupt end to the Gees playoff career, saying that although he was hoping to play in the Yates Cup, the season the team had was a good one.

“I feel like the season went pretty well,” said Colbon. “It’s always tough when a season ends earlier than you want it to, but I definitely think there were some positives to take from the season.”

As Colbon’s first year as starting quarterback, Asselin believes he held a consistent offence throughout the year and will continue to prove his worth.

“I thought [Colbon] did very [well] managing the ball,” he said. “I think he knows exactly what he needs to do during the off-season and I think he’ll work hard and impress people next year.”

“Looking back at the season, I can say for sure that I met my expectations,” said Colbon. “Overall, we had a winning season and made it to the playoffs, which is a big accomplishment.”

Asselin addressed the issue of game consistency, explaining that the hiring of assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Cory McDiarmid in March 2011 brought in a new form of defensive play that the Gees weren’t used to, and it took them a while to adjust.

“On defence, putting in a new system at this level is always challenging, and unfortunately, it felt like in the last week or two our defence was really starting to pick it up and understand what we wanted to do,” he said.

“But that is going to be a lot different for next year, having that knowledge of the system from the get-go.”

The football team’s off-season will continue to push the Gees physically and will not provide a break for the team. Each athlete will continue to work out seven days a week, in addition to catching up on their schooling and, for some, even working part time.

“For our guys, it is going to be five lifts and two runs a week, so seven workouts a week,” Asselin explained. “We are also going to have our spring camp before the exams in April where we are going to practise what we learned.”

Recruiting has already begun for the 2012–13 season with the signing of receiver Scott Watson. Currently attending St. Mark’s Catholic High School in Manotick, Watson participated in the 2011 Ottawa high school all-star game. Asselin is very happy to have Watson joining the Garnet and Grey this spring.

“[He is] one of the best receivers in the region of Ottawa,” he said. “I think we already know what we are going to get from him. He has the size, the speed, the hands, and he’s really coachable.”

The Gees will be looking for 25–30 new recruits for next year, as the team is relatively young and a number of players will be returning the following year. But for now, the Garnet and Grey will be focusing on getting faster and stronger in order to make it farther in the playoffs during the 2012–13 season.

“We have a lot of potential,” said Asselin. “If we put the work in for the off-season, we are going to have a great year next year.”

—Katherine DeClerq