New Lions team bus unveiled as students hail men’s soccer champs

York’s new Lions team bus drove up for the first time following a celebration of the Lions’ men’s national soccer title

York University Sport & Recreation unveiled its brand new Lions team bus Thursday as part of a special celebration in the Student Centre to honour the national champion men’s soccer team. The red bus, sporting a special York “wrap” featuring pictures of Lions student-athletes from six different sports, was parked outside the centre as students, the York Lions mascots and athletes gathered around it.

Right: From left, Lions players Luigi Caruso, the CIS tournament all-star goalkeeper, and Adrian Pena, the CIS tournament MVP, enjoy some quality time with the championship trophy

“The newest addition to our Lions family is a tremendous way to celebrate not only the dedicated student-athletes at York, but the University as a whole,” said Jennifer Myers, director, Sport & Recreation. “We wanted to create something that would make all York students proud, and send a message to our broader community about what a fantastic place York University is. We have the unique ability to act as ambassadors for the University far and wide, and I can’t think of a better way to create awareness and pride in our University.”

There were plenty of oohs and ahhs from the crowd as everyone took a look at each side of the bus. The teams will take turns using it for road trips across Ontario. The first were the men’s and women’s basketball teams, which were scheduled to play at St. Catharines’ Brock University on Sunday.

During the celebration of the Lions’ win at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship, which was held at the University of Toronto on Nov. 14 (see YFile Nov. 16), Myers announced the team’s players and staff individually and then welcomed head coach Carmine Isacco to the podium.

Isacco said he was humbled by the team’s achievement in winning its second CIS title in three years. He encouraged all students to enjoy the team’s achievement and to take part themselves in the extra activities York offers outside of their academic work. “It’s not only about the degree you earn,” he said, “it’s also about the life lessons you learn and the people you meet.”

York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, an avid soccer fan who attended several of the games including the final, called the team’s win the “proudest moment of my presidency” and described how he was on tip-toes with anticipation during the championship until the final whistle sounded. “I enjoyed every minute of watching your games,” he said. “I couldn’t have been prouder. Win or lose, it wasn’t the issue; you made us all very proud. But, of course, the winning is better,” he said. Shoukri also offered his analysis of the final game, saying the team’s Italian-style defensive strategy after Adrian Pena’s first-half goal was a good one.

For more pictures from the celebration, visit the York U Lions Celebrate Flickr gallery.

Above: Members of the Lions sports teams listen as President Shoukri offers his congratulatory remarks in the Student Centre

For more information on the Lions teams, visit the York Sport & Recreation website.