Head coach Mickey Donovan doesn’t want players looking too far ahead into the season
After finishing third in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) conference with a 4-4 record last year, the Concordia Stingers football team is looking to make the jump to the next level.
However, the team isn’t looking too far into the season.
“We’re taking it one day at a time, one game at a time,” said head coach Mickey Donovan. “This conference is too good to look ahead, and [too good] to have bigger goals than that. My approach is taking it week by week and taking care of business when we have to.”
Starting quarterback Trenton Miller agreed with his coach’s approach to the season. “We don’t have any expectations this year for the team,” he said. “The mentality this year is that we are playing for each other, and we have everyone’s back no matter what.”
“The mentality this year is that we are playing for each other, and we have everyone’s back no matter what.” – Trenton Miller
Heading into his fourth season as head coach, Donovan is looking for difference-makers to step up, be leaders and take command of the field.
“We’re creating better depth and better competition out there on the field,” he said. “Guys are understanding that because they’ve been with us for three or four years.”
That depth is being bolstered by a string of new recruits, led by defensive back Jersey Henry from Vanier College, who Donovan mentioned caught his eye.
Statistically, the Stingers were an average team last year, finishing in the middle of the pack in most categories. The team also allowed the second most points in the RSEQ last season. They will need their defence to be a lot stronger if they want to beat the two teams that finished above them last year, the Université de Montréal Carabins and the Laval Rouge et Or.
On the flip side, the offence, led by Miller, finished first in the conference last season in passing yards, with 2,403 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per throw.
The Stingers rush game last season relied heavily on running back Jean-Guy Rimpel, who ran his way to 514 yards, along with four touchdowns. Rimpel led the RSEQ in rushing yards, nearly 100 yards more than the next leading rusher. Miller also picked up yards by running, with 116 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
This season should see the same results, with Rimpel leading the charge on the ground. Miller said he’s looking at the offensive line and running backs to play well this year.
“They have worked really hard, and I think people will see that,” he said. “This team has prepared well and is ready for the season.”
“But honestly, we don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Miller added. “Talk is cheap — it’s time to prove it. Hype was our worst enemy last year. This year, we are embracing the grind, and we are ready to show it.”
The Concordia Stingers opened their RSEQ season with a home loss against the Université de Montréal Carabins by a score of 37-19. They play again on Friday, Aug. 31, in an away game against the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or.