As the 2004-2005 season comes to an end for Dinos athletics teams, they look to the future. For the men and women of the basketball and volleyball teams, a new contender will be stepping onto the court.
The team now known as the University College of the Cariboo Sun Demons will be stepping into the realm of CIS competition in September 2005.
UCC was named B.C.'s newest university during the fall and will change its name to Thompson Rivers University when it gains university status on Apr. 1, 2005. As well, the basketball and volleyball teams, after 35 long years, will part with the British Columbia Colleges' Athletics Association and join Canada West competition.
"[We're moving to] full university status," commented Director of Athletics and Recreation at UCC Ken Olynyk. "And a part of that plan was to take some teams up to CIS."
The Demons men's basketball program won the 2005 BCCAA Provincial Championship. The women's and men's volleyball squads took gold and silver respectively. These results prove that TRU is ready for CIS.
These new teams should add more challenge to an already fierce CW league. In both men and women's basketball and volleyball, at least three and as many as seven CW teams are on the national top 10.
"We will be as competitive as possible," promised Olynyk, while acknowledging how stiff competition is in the West. "There is a three to five year progression to being one of the best teams."
TRU also hopes to bring other varsity teams up to the CW level once the basketball and volleyball programs have settled in.
While many team monikers have been thrown around, like TRU Rapids or Renegades, no name has been picked. Unless they come up with a squad to back up their tough name, they will make a rapid exit from university competition with their furry appendages tucked between other furry appendages.