This year, like most years, feels like it has flown by, despite it being 365 days, 8,760 hours and 525,600 minutes long. This year, the Ooks have seen a fair share of ups and downs, from hosting the nationals in basketball to the heartbreaking overtime loss to rival MacEwan Griffins in the men’s hockey final.
Some top moments for some NAIT Ooks may not even be sports centred at all, just ask Ooks Libero Lauren Smith. The Spruce Grove native and third-year player had a big moment this summer when she became an aunt.
Ooks men’s assistant volleyball coach Ethan Redman, a former player with the Ooks, said that his favourite moment of the year came on Dec. 1 when the men went up against the Augustana Vikings.
“Augustana is a team that NAIT has battled with a lot over the years,” said Redman. During the Dec. 1 contest, Jordan Teliske was taken out of the game only to be put back in to try and put away the Vikings.
Teliske is a fifth-year player on the team and has won a bronze medal with the Ooks.
The Ooks ended up winning the game with Teliske getting the final point and seeing “all the guys wanting to get the ball to him to score the final point” was the best part for Redman.
The women’s hockey team has been without a loud and essential piece to their team for the past season – Hayley Douglas. Hayley has been out for a majority of the year with a major shoulder injury that has taken her down a long road to recovery. But at the start of this season Douglas got the news she had been waiting for so long; she was cleared by doctors to finally get back on the ice.
After having surgery on her shoulder and six months of rehab, Douglas is slated to return to the Ooks lineup when the season gets started again in January.
Staying on the ice, but a different, more rough sheet of ice, is John Ritchie. The business student from small-town Calmar, Alberta is currently on the Ooks curling team. The second-year player attended the athletic banquet held for the Ooks earlier this year. He said he enjoyed the event because at the banquet “we celebrate [the] team’s accomplishments for that year.”
And isn’t that what being an Ook is – celebrating the accomplishments and moments with the NAIT community
– Brett Holden
Image via NAIT Athletics