12602 Tom Pijper Memorial Challenge Cup
Pictured two proud Ex cadets holding the – Tom Pijper Memorial Challenge Cup emblematic of the winning team for the seven sports competition held during Reunion Weekend. Ex cadets vs cadets. Ex cadets won this year 4-3.
10973 John McManus (raincoat) – water polo and 10952 David Harvie (Blazer) – rugby, both from the Class of 1976 were the two Ex cadets with the oldest college numbers in the competition. On the left is outgoing RMC Club president, 19307 Dave Benoit and on the right is Cadet Wing Commander, 25440 Landon Lavictoire.
Mike Allen Trophy
Water Polo – Cadets Closing the Gap
At the far end of the pool deck away from the RMC team, the Ex-Cadet Water Polo Team gathered on Saturday afternoon. Under the direction of Joel Primeau (Class of 1987), we quickly counted the number of players, and were relieved to see that we had 10 players. That meant that we would have 3 substitutes which would be critical to the older and ‘more mature’ team playing the cadets. Joel explained that we would be playing this game for the Mike Allen Trophy and that Mike (also Class of 1987) had been their goalie and good friend at RMC before going on to fly the C-130 Hercules. Mike was killed in a Herc crash when his LAPES load hung up departing the aircraft, and Mike’s family had dedicated the trophy in his name for this annual Ex-Cadet water polo game.
We quickly discussed our offensive and defensive strategies knowing that the key to success would be to slow the game down and rely on our game experience. We had a significant advantage in experience because we had all practiced every weekday when at RMC, and had played a full schedule of OUA games over our four years. The current RMC team is actually a club, and is not able to practice during the normal sports times and does not play in an intercollegiate league.
When I last played in this challenge game five years ago, I had success in swimming for the ball in both of the first two quarters. So, after discussions with the 2011-12 RMC Team Captain, IV Andrew Steele, it was decided that he would swim against me to start the game. We knew each other through CISM swimming, and he had been telling me for a while that I was not going to win the swim ball when I came back for my 35th reunion of the Class of 76 in 2011! He was right – the referee blew the whistle, and the race was on. I got a good push off the wall, took six hard strokes, and could see it was going to be close. Just as I reached out to grab the ball, Andrew super-extended his shoulder with his long arm, and tapped the ball back to his team. Knowing that the other swim balls would be against the even faster II Nicholas Lightbody, I quickly realized that the RMC team was going to get the ball at the start of every quarter! At the end of the first half, the score (which was being kept at the RMC bench) was showing 4-4. It seemed to me that we had played well, but RMC had scored on several outside shots while we were relaxing a bit too much. At the end of the game, the score showed 10-8 for the old guys but it was one of the best games that the RMC team has played against the Ex-Cadets in recent years. The one thing that became clear to me was that the RMC team has the endurance, motivation and skills to compete at the intercollegiate level. Given the opportunity for the RMC Water Polo Team to practice every weekday and regularly play other universities, things might ended differently for the old guys in 2011.
10973 John McManus
Rugby – Old Boys vs Rookie Cadets
The afternoon was cool with intermittent rain and a steady breeze which would prove to influence the kicking play to the south east end of the Rugby Pitch on Field 5 at Navy Bay as the Ex-Cadets took to the field to face the RMC Redmen rookies on Saturday October 1st.
The wind would also prove to render anything but direct conversions and penalty kicks impossible. The starting squad for the Exes was a well prepared and nicely kitted Class of 91 Squad with some quick practice under their belts and black jerseys while the Cadet Rookies sported their light red and white jerseys.
Ex-cadets from other years made their way into the lineup as the game progressed making for a good representation of the teams over the decades as the Ex Cadets took a 3 trys to 2 advantage to half time. The exes then added 4 more tries in the second half as they demonstrated the advantages of superior mass in the scrums and rucks, and managed to avoid the open field running of the first half when the young gazelles found holes and burst through to score the Cadet tries. Two conversions for the Exes and 1 for the Cadets rounded out the score to 39 to 12 for the statisticians with class of 91 flanker Joel Dooley scoring 3 tries to make his trip up from down under all the more enjoyable. The true objective of maintaining the link between the generations of cadets was heartily met as all enjoyed the Cadet Varsity Team thrashing the University of Toronto following the Ex-Cadet game and then all continued to the mandatory beer-up at the Cadet Mess with the Exes, Cadets, and U of T players all enjoying a few pops together.
The Exes, again led of course by the super turn out from the class of 91, more then held their own in the Rugby songs proving that the lessons of the day weren’t limited to the field of play. Sports was always a welcome relief from the rigors and regimentation of College life and the beer-ups accompanying the rugby forays into the worlds of Civy U’s were just way too enticing to pass up to those of us who donned the Redmen jersey and cleats to work hard and play, well, pretty darned hard as well! 4 decades of excadets were represented and while those of the 90’s sought college numbers from the cadets, the exes from the 70s sniped the college numbers from the 90s grads as well as the cadets.
It was great fun reminiscing about, for example, the College’s success against the University of Toronto over the decades with all agreeing that it is nice to prevail over a school with a student population larger then most of our home towns, while we also grimaced at the thought of those schools against whom our record isn’t so spectacular.
The ex-cadet match is truly one which neither team wants to win much more then it wants to lose because it is all about the brother to brother competition, albeit big brothers and little brothers, and balding strategists vs bounding athletes whom all exes hope benefit from the experience of the game on the field, in the mess, and in their hearts.
RMC coach Sean McDonough continues to be a tireless proponent of RMC Rugby respected by all who thank him for all he does including his fine sportsmanship refereeing the match. The exes love for the cadets is best expressed both in the competition on the field and the companionship thereafter with all saddened at the unfortunate injuries to a couple of cadets in the course of the game and trust that a quick recovery will ensue and that the rookie team will go on to make a fearsome varsity squad and savvy ex-cadet players in their own right.
RMC Rugby Rucks!
10952 Dave Harvie
RUN AROUND FORT HENRY
One of the best events of the 2011 Ex-Cadet Weekend was the run around Fort Henry by an enthusiastic group of ex-cadets and present-day cadets.
On Saturday afternoon a total of 35 persons gathered on parade square for the approximately 4.5 km run. The group included three members of the Old Brigade, a hearty batch of younger ex-cadets (the classes of ’81 and ’86 were particularly well represented), and RMC’s two harriers teams, men and women.
As anyone who was at the College that day will attest, the weather was bitterly cold, with a wind from the north so strong that the flag flying at the top of the Mackenzie Building was snapping loudly.
Undaunted, the runners charged off the square (you get warm very quickly when you run) and soon were striding around Fort Henry and up its steep hills.
The first runners were back at the College parade square in approximately 16 minutes, and everyone else came in shortly thereafter.
We all then repaired to the cadet mess in Yeo Hall for a warming drink and good cheer. Everyone agreed that it had been a good fun run, and that we must do it again next year.
See you then.
6891 Bill Aikman