Hawks rebound after slow start to salvage success in 2023-24 athletic season

Mar 28, 2024 | Headlines, Sports

The Humber Hawks athletic season has ended and Associate Athletic Director Michael Kopinak reflected on the year that was.

He described the season as a “good news, bad news” kind of year for the school’s teams this season.

“There were a lot of seconds, [we] started out slow, [but] we really turned it up late in the second semester, and really what I would say is saved our year,” Kopinak told Humber News.

The Hawks saw more mixed results this athletic season than it’s become accustomed to, as they almost matched the number of golds they won with an equal amount of silver medals.

Humber won 10 OCAA gold medals across all sports this athletic season but also came up short by bringing home silver nine times.

While expectations are always high for the Humber Hawks, Sports Information and Marketing Coordinator, Brian Lepp, told Humber News that the results this year were what he expected.

He said that some may view this year as a bad year, but he is not one of those people.

“I think all of our teams did what we expected they would,” Lepp said.

“Realistically I don’t think it was a bad year,” he said.

Along with the more than 20 medals Humber won at the provincial level, Lepp said Humber accomplished other feats, as well, such as having 11 All-Canadian team members and extending their streak of winning a national championship to 20 years.

And where they came up short, Lepp said he hopes these teams use that as motivation to improve going forward as they prepare for next season.

Kopinak shared Lepp’s hopes and said this summer the teams that finished second in particular should use that as fuel in preparation for the upcoming season.

“All those seconds, I’d be posting those up in the team rooms, in the locker rooms and let’s have those conversations of how to get over the hump,” Kopinak said.

One of those teams that has the motivation to improve on their shortcomings is one of the bigger success stories for Humber this year, the OCAA champion men’s basketball team.

Omar Miles, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said his team coming up short in the CCAA semifinals and having to settle for a national bronze medal has created a sense of hunger in his team to improve.

“I know that my guys are naturally hungry,” Miles said.

“We are going to earn it next year if we have the fortune of getting back to that stage,” he said.

Miles said his roster is young, as only two players on the team this past season were on the roster that won a national championship a few years ago.

He said the experience that his young roster gained from this year is more important than anything he or his staff could coach them on.

He also said how important losing can be to learn and grow along with the experience they gained and the hunger they have to improve.

“You don’t learn anything from winning all the time,” Miles said.

“When you win you don’t [ask] what you could have done better, because you just have to be grateful to have gotten that far,” he said.

Kopinak said the issue of coming up just short and having too many silver medals is a good problem to have and put into context how good one of Humber’s down years is compared to other schools across the province.

“Our bad year is often some other school’s decade,” he said.