Football: Queen's getting some starters back

Queen's coach Pat Sheahan doused the notion the Golden Gaels are headed into a down cycle during a press conference introducing some hometown recruits on Friday.
"... (T)o come anywhere close to repeating, you need to return a good number of seniors and we have."

"Sheahan estimated his team will lose 10 or 11 starters from last year's championship outfit."
That is less than initially anticipated. Centre Dan Bederman and inside receiver Chris Ioannides, who attended CFL training camps, are both returned. Two drafted defensive stars, defensive end Osie Ukwuoma and inside linebacker Thaine Carter, the Metras Award and Presidents' Trophy winners in 2008, are described as "perhaps unlikely" to play a fifth season.

It seemed worth pointing out as a FYI to fellow alumni who have occasionally contended, "You know Queen's will struggle next year," since Nov. 28. Queen's tends to go a little peaks-and-valleys. Its 1992 championship season and the oh-so-close Tom Denison teams of the early 2000s gave way to a fallow period.

Also of note is the Queen's-McMaster season opener was moved ahead a day to Aug. 31. The Gaels, with semi-untested sophomore Justin Chapdelaine the favourite to start at quarterback, now get 11 days before their second game.

Meantime, the Western Mustangs, with their exhibition at Saskatchewan, will play four times in 15 days. Its fourth game is the day before Queen's second game. It's six of one, half-dozen of the other, but talk about crazy. Thanks again, Waterloo.
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  1. Queen's loses "only" loses 10 or 11 starters? But look at the names of them. Most of the leading lights on that VC team. Hard cleats to fill immediately.

    Meanwhile, the Golden Hawks also lose a lot of veterans, but have a chance to reload with some of the better Warriors. Some of the coaches around the league may feel a little resentful that WLU gets an artificial boost. However, not a thing they can do about it except grin and bear it.

    Ottawa has probably the most manageable schedule of the top OUA teams . Western the worst. 4 games in 15 days, 3 in 10 with lots of travel, is crazy.

    The Waterloo fiasco has caused a lot of headaches around the OUA.

  2. The point was that they're not going to be lousy. I've had friends say they'll go 2-6. Doubt that happens. Four and four? Sure.

    The ball always bounces for the team with the best quarterback, so Ottawa should be fine.

    Good point on the manageable schedule. Queen's earned it, but as it ended up, they never played a significant game anywhere west of Kingston last year. Its only meaningful reg-season road game was at Ottawa in Week 3 -- and it won that one without Danny Brannagan and Marty Gordon.

  3. Does Sheahan expect Chapdelaine, McPhee and Sullivan to all stick around? I'd imagine neither of them are going to want to be the third-string QB in their third year, but they're all around the same age. I guess we'll have to see how they do, but having three young, highly-touted pivots seems like a quarterback controversy in the making.

  4. In all honesty, we don't know enough about how John Sullivan, Billy McPhee or Justin Chapdelaine will develop. I'd say take the four quarterbacks, coach them up and see who emerges.

    I do recall when Craig Spear and Mitchell Smith were recruited as QBs by Queen's around the same time. Spear ended up as a receiver and Smith converted to safety. I forget who ended up being the quarterback. :)