This year’s edition of the Dinos was not a compilation of star players, propelling the team into the playoffs. In fact, the squad boasted only one First Team All-Star selection, that being stalwart defender Brian Newmarch. But despite lacking any dominant talent, the Dinos had no weak spots either. Scoring sensation "Real" David Hernandez took care of much of the offence while the midfield was expertly patrolled by speedy Luis Morales and Matt "Heart and Soul" Houston. The list could also include Andrew Zakaluzny, Colin Hill and a litany of others-a testament to the depth and determination of this tight-knit squad.
This team is 100 per cent heart. They gave their all for 90 minutes every time they took the pitch and it showed. The result-or possibly the cause-of great team chemistry, this group never gave up and always had each others’ mates backs. Even after a disappointing weekend in Victoria to close out the year, every player you asked would talk with humble sincerity about how great a group of guys they played with and how they had never been on a team that was so fun to be part of.
There’s a number of reasons why Head Coach Andy Gibbs was selected as the 2001 Canada West Coach of the Year, however to do them all justice an entire article would be needed, not just this little blurb. In short, Gibbs means more to this program and more to these players than anyone could hope to express. Flanked by player-turned-Assistant Coach Lothar Chmidt, the brains of the operation led a group of overachievers to the Canada West playoffs and looks set to take them even further next season.
With a glut of teams that seemed to be more talented on paper as their conference foes, many didn’t give the Dinos much credit-or much of a chance-at the outset of the season. The soccersaurs kicked off the season living down to those low expectations, dropping their first three games. Then, following a confidence boosting upset of UBC the Dinos went on a tear, winning six straight. A weak West Coast road swing to close out the campaign left them with a 6–5–1 record-good enough for third in the conference and an improbable berth in the Canada West playoffs in Victoria, home of the second place Vikings. The weekend was disappointing as they lost twice to finish fourth, but for a team that wasn’t supposed to be there, it was a great accomplishment.
This team is a testament to team work,perseveranceand hard work. A close-knit group, their camaraderie was evident on and off the pitch and was a big reason for their success this season in a tough Canada West Conference. As we all know, winter in Alberta lasts upwards of eight months. Factor in the much more favourable West Coast conditions (home of powerhouses University of British Columbia and University of Victoria) and it is clear the Dinos are at a disadvantage. However, in the 2001 season, this didn’t make a lick of difference.
Pro Wrestler this team reminds me of: The British Bulldog. They are all hard work and determination-besides there’s no denying the accent.