1990s

1990 marked the 45th year of football at Carleton University. Gary Shaver, a former Raven and assistant coach to Ace Powell, took over leadership in the 1989 season. Shaver began his second season with a very young and inexperienced team, as only two players were in their fourth year with the squad. The team experienced difficulties establishing an effective offence, a problem that would continue throughout the decade. However, two Ravens players, Phil Schnepf and Mark Whitton, were named to the 1990 O-QIFC all-star team.

1991 brought another win against the Ravens' cross-town rivals, and 1992 brought four new assistant coaches. Gary Shaver decided to step down as head coach in 1993. Over his four-year tenure, Shaver encouraged both the academic standards and performance of the players through individual counselling and assistance.

New coach Donn Smith had experience with championship teams and brought an air of success to the demoralized Ravens. A group of 11 Ottawa Sooners followed their former coach to Carleton, adding a new energy to the squad. These members knew what it was like to play for a winning team and their enthusiasm was contagious. Spirits began to rise after a respectable loss to McGill and a close 19-18 win over Ottawa University. During Smith's first season with the team, they beat the defending Vanier Cup champions the Queen's Golden Gaels. This win, after a 12-game losing streak, put the Ravens in a three-way tie for second place in the O-QIFC. Although the Ravens missed the playoffs that year, they were the most improved team in the conference. They doubled their offensive output from the previous season and trimmed points allowed by 71.

Expectations were high for the team going into the 1994 season. Veteran starting quarterback Sean O'Neil and Harry Van Hofwegan on defence were expected to help bring the team new success. After a longawaited Panda game win, the Ravens went on to win a match against the Gaels, however, they continued to struggle throughout 1995. Dave Bosveld, Harry Van Hofwegan (the O-QIFC outstanding lineman of the year) and Sean O'Neil (the TSN Russ Jackson Award winner) had individual successes that shed a positive light on the team.

The 1996 season was truly the high point of the decade as the Ravens started out well with wins against Laval, Ottawa, and Bishop's. This gave them the best start to a season since 1986. While sitting in first place in the conference and eighth nationally, a rainy day in Kingston brought a bitter loss against Queen's. A playoff spot was secured after winning against Laval, McGill and Concordia. For the third time that year, the Ravens would meet the Gee-Gees this time, in the O-QIFC semi-final. For the first time in almost a decade, the Ravens entered the realm of post-season play. Losing this playoff game was painful, but the Ravens could bask in the success of their first winning season in years. As a part of the restructuring of the Carleton University Department of Physical Recreation and Athletics, and the University Administration, the Ravens football team played its final game on Oct. 31, 1998. From the small group of war veterans in 1945 to its 78-member squad in 1998, Ravens football made a memorable contribution to the rich heritage of Carleton University and to sports in the Ottawa area.

Key Game - Panda Game victories were almost as satisfying as a championship title for the Ravens, and maybe more so. The 1994 game got off to a great start with a 103-yard kick off return by Jason Mallet. By halftime, the score was a firm 24-5 lead for the Ravens. The Gee-Gees threat tried to rear its head in the fourth quarter when they sat in scoring position at the Carleton two-yard line. Carleton fans breathed a sigh of relief when Gee-Gees running back Mitch Boileau carelessly handed the ball over to Ravens linebacker Bruce Cooper. Andrew Carter made 14 Y2 tackles and recovered a fumble. Carter forced a fumble as well, which enabled quarterback Sean O'Neil to make a one-yard touchdown run. After the touchdown, the Gee-Gees booted a field goal and scored a touchdown of their own. The Ravens responded and won the game with a field goal by Marco Dinardo and a 69-yard touchdown long bomb from O'Neil to wide receiver Dwight Miller.

Key Player - Jason Krait was one of several stars born on the Raven squad during the 90s. Sitting at 6' 1 ", 241 lb., this linebacker attended Nepean High School in Ottawa and started his football experience with the Myers Riders. Jason filled a leadership role as team captain from 1996 to 1998. He was named to the O-QIFC all-star team at free safety (1996, 1997), chosen a CIAU All Canadian (1997) and given the Doug Banton Award from Carleton University (1997, 1998). Shortly after the closing of the Ravens football club, Jason played in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos, the BC Lions and the Calgary Stampeders. He is currently a linebacker for the Ottawa Renegades.

Statistics (wins/loses/ties)

  • 1990 (1/6/0)
  • 1991 (1/6/0)
  • 1992 (0/7/0)
  • 1993 (2/5/0)
  • 1994 (2/5/0)
  • 1995 (1/3/1)
  • 1996 (5/4/0)
  • 1997 (1/7/0)
  • 1998 (1/7/0)