Column: Keeping up with the Capers

John Browne
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“Can't anybody here play this game?”
— Casey Stengel

The famous quote by the legendary New York Yankees baseball manager refers to his first season at the helm of the New York Mets and might be appropriate to sum up Memorial University’s varsity sports teams so far in 2013.

In overall wins and loses, MUN’s varsity teams are 12-36 since the start of their seasons through to the Christmas break.

The win-loss breakdown includes:

MUN men’s basketball: 0-6

MUN women’s basketball: 2-4

MUN men’s volleyball: 0-7

MUN women’s volleyball 3-5

MUN men’s soccer: 2-10

MUN women’s soccer: 5-4

MUN AUS championships the past 5 years: 0

In contrast, the much smaller Cape Breton University Capers have won nine AUS championships over the past five years alone, including three titles in women’s basketball and two each in men’s basketball, and women’s and men’s soccer. CBU doesn’t compete in men’s volleyball.

Student population:

Memorial: More than 18,000 students.

CBU: About 3,000

So, given those records, you can’t blame Memorial University cross-country coach Art Meaney for wondering why his cross-country Sea-Hawks doesn’t get a little more attention.

Meaney says his sport “tends to fly under the radar here at the school.”

Perhaps, he says, it’s because they compete in the Fall season only and compete primarily on the mainland.

“Actually, in the past decade, the Memorial cross country program has been one of the most successful of our endeavors,” noted Meaney.

“We have won 14 team medals — seven by the men, seven by the women. We have consistently been in the top three in the AUS standings behind St. Francis Xavier and Dalhousie University and we are working on catching both schools next year. As well during the past decade, we have had a half dozen athletes attain AUS all-star status. “

Hard to argue with the cold, hard stats.

In the meantime, the 2013 President’s Task Force’s report on Competitive Sport at Memorial University, including recommendations for “future success,” has been delivered to President Gary Kachanoski.

A couple of questions come to mind:

When will the university make the announcement concerning which recommendations from the Task Force report will be acted upon?

And how much will it cost to implement those recommendations that have been given the green light?...if any have.

Either way, it will give students and fans a good idea of how serious MUN’s administration bigwigs take varsity sports.


Saint Mary's University guard Justine Colley now owns the AUS mark for career points scored. Colley scored 25 points against UNB recently to move past former St. Francis star Theresa MacCuish’s career total of 2,111 points scored in her five-year career with the X-Women. Colley from East Preston, N.S., has now a total of 2,116 points in 87 career regular season games. Memorial University’s Jenine Browne is third at 2,028 and MUN’s Michelle Healey is seventh at 1,599. I’d take Browne and Healey over Colley and MacCuish any day ... A tip of the hat to Kayla Bennett (PR) and Chris Ryan (statistician) along with anyone else responsible for providing The Telegram with the game results for the Penney Kia St. John’s Junior Hockey League this season. They are doing a very good job and their co-operation is much appreciated ... There will be dozens of Christmas movies and specials over the holiday season, but the only one that will actually spell out the true meaning of Christmas is Pig Pen’s speech from A Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

Organizations: Cape Breton University Capers, Francis Xavier and Dalhousie University

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