More on Summer Showdown – Part 2

 

def huddleI combed through the game logs and here is what I came up with for Games 4 & 5 statistics.

Game #4 vs StFX

Defensive & Special Teams Tackles

Job Reinhart  2
Kosi Onyeka  2
Lukas Brennan  1
Dean Yaromich  1
Datun Aketepe 1
Elijah Walker 1
Derek Drouillard 1
Ben Lack 1
Jared Beeksma 1

Offensive Stats

Passing – Theo Landers – 5 of 8 for 39 yards
Brayden Lassemba – 1 of 3 for 3 yards

Rushing – Jamal Hooker – 4 carries for 24 yards, 1 TD
Harry Robinson – 5 for 39 yards
Theo Landers – 2 for 18 yards
Ryan Isenor – 1 for 5 yards

Receiving – Hordan Terrio – 3 for 31 yards, 1 TD
A.J. Chase – 2 for 18 yards
Ryan Isenor – 1 for 3 yards

Game #5 vs Mt A

Defensive & Special Teams Tackles

Josh Cassista 3
Dean Yaromich 2
A.J. Allen 2 (incl a sack)
Mitchell Thiele 1
Brandon Schofield 1
Joe Diorio 1
Daniel Facione 2
Jason Richards 1
Alex Jafs 1
Datun Aketepe 1

Offensive Stats

Passing – Deandre Rose – 4 of 8 for 21 yards

Rushing – Harry Robinson – 3 carries for 3 yards
Deandre Rose – 1 carries for 18 yards

Receiving – Sam Lewis – 1 for 3 yards
Aidan Mielszarek – 1 for 0 yards
Nick Mirijello – 1 for 13 yards
Zeke Margaritis – 1 for 5 yards

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More on Summer Showdown

Game 1

Photo: Terri Pickett

Game stories from each of the university athletic departments …

Mountiepride.ca: Mounties go 3 and 1 in exhibition football summer showdown

Guelph 30, MtA 0

  • Johnny Augustine scored a one yard TD run on the Gryphons opening drive of the game to give them an early 7-0 advantage
  • Gabriel Ferraro booted his first of three field goals at 4:39, this one came from 31 yards out
  • Running back Jamal Hooker scored a touchdown on a 21 yard run to increase the lead to 17-0
  • Terrio scored his second major of the afternoon, catching a 10 yard pass from Theodore Landers with 50 seconds left in the game
  • Ferraro then booted two field goal bombs with 17 seconds left (51 yards) and no time on the clock (57 yards) to give Guelph the 30-0 shutout

GoXgo.ca: StFX hosts Guelph and Mount A in ‘Summer Showdown’

Guelph defeated StFX 15-3 in the first game, then beat Mount Allison 30-0. The Mounties defeated conference rivals StFX 20-2 and following a half-time break, Guelph beat StFX 17-0. Mount Allison then followed up with wins over Guelph (10-0) and StFX (10-3).

Gryphons.ca: Gryphon Football Impresses in Three-Team Summer Showdown Exhibition

MacNeill saw many positives on both sides of the ball. He said one of the main goals was to get push and control the line of scrimmage. The Gryphons did that, particularly in the first three mini games, all wins.

Fourth-year quarterback James Roberts showed a great grasp of the offence and third-year man Theo Landers impressed with both his arm and scrambling ability. Veteran Johnny Augustine and second-year running backs Patrick Pierre and Jamal Hooker were a force in the ground game, while Jordan Terrio flashed his skills with three touchdown receptions. Linebacker Luke Korol was all over the field and made the day’s first huge play when he scooped up a Josh Millar fumble and ran it 36 yards to the house in the first mini game.

Summer Showdown Mini Game Scores
1st Mini Game – Guelph defeats StFX 15-3
2nd Mini Game – Guelph defeats Mount Allison 30-0
3rd Mini Game – Mount Allison defeats StFX 20-2
4th Mini Game – Guelph defeats StFX 17-0
5th Mini Game – Mount Allison defeats Guelph 10-0
6th Mini Game – Mount Allison defeats StFX 10-3

Game 2.jpg

*     *     *

Here is what I could glean from the stats sheets (I’m talking actual stats sheets, errr … at least, the third-generation photocopied and photographed version of actual stats sheets). I can’t guarantee you that I read/interpreted everything 100% correctly but this is what I came up with …

Game #1 vs StFX

Defensive Tackles (I did not distinguish between solo & assisted tackles)

Luke Korol  5
Royce Metchie  2
Derek Drouillard  2
Kosi Onyeka  2
Alain Cimankinda 1
Mikey Carney  1
Datun Aketepe  1
Jason Richards 1
Lukas Brennan 1
Charlie Taggart  1
Offensive Stats
Rushing – Patrick Pierre – 10 carries for 89 yards
Passing – James Roberts – 8 of 11 for 65 yards, 1 TD

Receiving –

Zeph Fraser 2 receptions for 33 yards
Jordan Terrio 2 receptions for 24 yards, 1TD
Kian Schaffer-Baker , Patrick Pierre, Johnny Augustine, Kade Belyk 1 reception each
Overview 
The Gryphon D forced 3 consecutive 2-&-outs to start the mini game. That included forcing a safety and a 36-yd fumble return TD by Luke Korol.
The Gryphon offense had a pair of 2-&-outs, then a 5-play, 36 yard drive that ended with a punt.
StFX then put together a 52-yd drive that culminated in a FG. Score 9-3 Guelph
The Gryphons responded with an 81-yard TD drive that ended with a 16-yard pass from Roberts to Terrio. 2-Pt convert attempt failed. Score 15-3 Guelph
StFX responded with a nice drive of their own to the Guelph 15-yd line. Akkem Knowles ended that threat with an INT.
Guelph then handed the ball to Patrick Pierre 5 times in a row. He hammered the X-men D for 51 yards and ran out the game clock.
*     *     *

Game #2 vs Mt Allison

Defensive Tackles 
Luke Korol  3
Derek Drouillard  1
Lukas Brennan  1
Orion Edwards  1
Josh Cassista  1
Elijah Walker  1
Offensive Stats
Rushing – Jamal Hooker – 9 carries for 46 yards, 1 TD
  Theo Landers – 4 rushes for 28 yards
  Johnny Augustine – 2 carries for 3 yards, 1 TD
  Ryan Isenor – 2 carries for 18 yards
Passing – Theo Landers – 6 of 7 for 110 yards, 1 TD (sacked once for -13-yds)
Receiving – Kade Belyk – 2 for 57 yards
  Kian Schaffer-Baker – 1 for 21 yds
  Ryan Isenor – 1 for 6 yds
  Zeph Fraser – 1 for 16 yds
  Jordan Terrio – 1 for 10 yds, 1 TD
Overview
There were some huge plays on special teams including a 43-yard KOR by freshman Ryan Isenor to open the mini-game. Guelph took advantage of the short field and scored on their first drive, going 52-yards in 6 plays.
On the ensuing kickoff freshman P/K Chris Maclean hit the upright [65 yards in the air] which means Mt A did not have an opportunity for a return and the ball was spotted on their 20-yard line. They fumbled on their second play and Derek Drouillard recovered it at the 32. Three plays later Gabriel Ferraro hit the first of his 3 field goals.
After a Mt A 2-&-out, Guelph marched 67 yards in 7 plays to take a 17-0 lead.
The Gryphons had a third touchdown drive covering 88 yards in six plays and reaching the end zone with 50 seconds left on the clock. Then, AMAZINGLY, they added two FGs in the final 17 seconds of the mini game. That is almost unbelievable. But even better, Ferraro hit from 51 and 57 yards, showing that he is ready for another All Canadian season.
*     *     *
I will try to work through the other game logs [Games #4 and #5] and post the info I can cull from the sheets tomorrow night.
I also hope to offer some analysis/opinion about what this tells us about the 2017 version of the Gryphons.
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Summer Showdown – live blog

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Game 5 underway – Mt Allison vs Guelph. This is the final game of the game for the Gryphons. Expect them to make it a perfect 4-0 on the day.

*     *     *

Game 4 is underway – Guelph vs StFX – 2nd edition.

*     *     *

Still no resolution to the issues with the online broadcast. Two more “mini-games” coming in 90 minutes or so. We’ll should see more of the Gryphon freshmen and scout team players in those games. Hopefully, we’ll have the online broadcast to watch. Great start for the 2017 Gryphon football season.

 

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Training Camp report – August 17/17

We’re 9 days into training camp and the Gryphons have been registered, weighed and photographed, had six 4-hour practices and a full intra-squad scrimmage. The scrimmage was run like a real game, complete with OUA referees.

Scrimmage'17 3

Photo: Gerry Fraser

There are dozens of pictures from the Intra-Squad Scrimmage on Facebook herehere and here.

Team Towriss wore the camo jerseys and Team Jeffries is in the all-red unis. In case you don’t recognize the players and numbers, the QBs in camo jerseys were #4 James Roberts, #12 Brayden Lassemba and #8 Kyle Simms, and in red, #17 Theo Landers and #2 Deandre Rose. As for RBs, Johnny Augustine is #27 in camo while #8 Jamal Hooker and #30 Harry Robinson wear red.

*     *     *

As I mentioned the other day, O-Lineman Spencer Swan is back with the team. Sports writer Rob Massey talks with him – Big Man Swan Returns

Offensive lineman Spencer Swan is back and couldn’t be happier about it.
“It feels great,” Swan said after a training camp workout. “It’s tough, but this is all the kind of stuff that I miss — and it’s worth it in the end, all the hard work you put in.”
Guelph native Swan took a break from football and the Gryphons after his first year with the team, but discovered he really missed both the sport and the team.

In another interesting story on the Gryphon Team App Massey catches up with 5th-year RB Johnny Augustine. They talk about Augustine’s move to H-Back and his time with the Edmonton Eskimos – Augustine With a New Attitude ..

Johnny Augustine is hoping to become even more involved on the field in his fifth and final year with the Gryphons … Augustine is looking for a lot more catches than he’s had so far and will line up in a new position this year.

“The new position is basically H receiver — kind of a slotback,” he said following an extra self-imposed catching session following the normal on-field session at training camp. “(It’s) being able to run routes and just doing different things.”

The position is one he was put in by the Edmonton Eskimos at their training camp in June. He scored a touchdown from the position in Monday’s intrasquad game.

The latest article talks with DE Charlie Taggart – Taggart Promises to Finish

The third-year Gryphon and the rest of his teammates completed their training camp Thursday.

“It went all right,” he said. “As a team, we were really flying around. Everyone seemed to be really focused which was really positive and the energy has been outstanding. We’re flying around on the football field.”

“We can’t wait to play,” Taggart said. “There’s a lot of unfinished business and I think everyone has the same feeling in their stomach. We can’t wait to get out there.”

*     *     *

Yesterday morning’s practice was the last of the week. Today was a travel day as the team headed to Nova Scotia for Saturday’s jamboree with StFX and Mount A.

I will be at a Sauble Beach cottage for the weekend. I have been assured I will be able to watch the game on some sort of big screen, smart TV. Our host is an offensive line coach so I think I can trust him.

I may or may not be able to post something on the blog tomorrow, during or after the game. We’ll see.

When the team returns they will begin with their regular season practice schedule as they get ready for the season opener with the Ottawa GeeGees on Sunday, August 27. That means a shift to late afternoon/early evening practices which are easier for me to attend. I hope to have several reports next week.

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Training Camp 2017 Report – Aug 14/17

Today was Day 4 of training camp. The intra-squad scrimmage was held this morning. I wasn’t able to attend but I was at Alumni Stadium for most of Day 3’s practice.

scrimmage'17.jpg

Gryphons intrasquad game at 2017 Training Camp    Photo: Gryphons.ca

All I really know about the scrimmage came from this Gryphons.ca – Legendary football coach Brian Towriss visits Gryphon training camp

Coach Towriss … got a taste of manning the sideline Monday morning. He faced off against another legend, Gary Jeffries, as the two led their respective sides in the Gryphons’ intrasquad scrimmage at Alumni Stadium.

Team Towriss defeated Team Jeffries 26-8 in the first competitive action of 2017 training camp.

“It was fun to be on the sideline with those guys,” said Towriss. “This is a good group of kids and there’s lots of potential here

I had a chance to talk with former UofS Huskies head coach Brian Towriss on Sunday. He has been long-time friends with Gary Jeffries. and has know Kevin MacNeill since he worked at UBC. It was MacNeill who invited him to TC back in May while at the USports East-West Bowl. Some of what we talked about is also covered in the Gryphons.ca article.

A few other points … he likes the talent Guelph has … he commented specifically on the size and talent of the O-Linemen in this year’s recruiting class … he is really high on the coaching staff … a great group of teachers … the Mac guys [coaches Forsythe and Sardo] are great additions.

With a large number of coaches already on the field, Towriss says he is there to be an extra set of eyes, share some ideas, help evaluate, give advice when asked, etc. He said he is also there to learn some new things himself.

Scrimmage'17 2.jpg

Photo: Jerry Ashford

*     *     *

Today’s scrimmage combined with the first 3 power practices was going to be used to make the decision on who would go to Nova Scotia this Friday. The team will take 70 healthy players for Saturday’s exhibition games with StFX and Mount Allison.

GUEnews_summer_showdown

Reminder: the games will be streamed on-line via AUStv.ca. The start time is noon Atlantic Time which is 11 a.m. in Ontario.

*     *     *

Speaking of healthy players … this training camp appears to be off to a great start. There was no long line of wounded players like I’ve sometimes seen in the past. There were very few players not participating in practice. Some minor strains and sprains and some blisters were the worst I saw or heard about. The few players with pre-camp injuries may be the only ones to miss any significant time at this point.

One explanation I heard for there being fewer injuries: this team is in better condition than previous years. Not just are there fewer injuries but fewer players are reporting soreness and tired muscles. To put it simply, a lot of players put in a lot of hard work and its paying off.

One coach mentioned freshman DL recruit Mitchell Thiele as an example of a player who didn’t play summer football and who put a great deal of effort into his training. He reported in better condition than is usually expected for freshmen.

This seems to echo what Coach MacNeill has said,

“We did lose some good vets who will be sorely missed, but the work this group has put in during the off season has been tremendous and the leadership of this group has been awesome,” said MacNeill.

*     *     *

David Wright.jpgI made it a point to meet and speak with the new team trainer – Dave Wright. When you have to replace your trainer just a few weeks before camp starts I’m not sure how you could find a candidate with better experience and qualifications.

From RedBlacks.com …

David Wright serves as Director of Athletic Therapy for all three OSEG sports teams, overseeing conditioning and therapy for REDBLACKS, Fury FC and 67’s players.

A Certified Athletic Therapist with over 28 years of sports medicine experience, Wright was a founder and director of Mind to Muscle Sports Medicine & Conditioning, located in Mississauga, ON where he assisted in the development of athletes from the novice to professional levels.

He also held a faculty position as an instructor with the University of Guelph/Humber, teaching in the Kinesiology degree program and instructing at Humber College in Fitness and Health Promotion.

Wright was the Head Athletic Therapist with the Toronto Argonauts from 2011-2013, including the club’s 100th Grey Cup championship.

Fortunately for the Gryphons, Wright’s home and family are in Erin, and the time was right for him to work closer to home and spend more time with his family. Wright has a full-time assistant working with him during the season. Nikita is a Sheridan College student on a co-op placement.

*     *     *

There are 106 players at training camp. That includes offensive lineman Spencer Swan who is back on the field after taking last year off.

A story by Tony Saxon at GuelphToday.com provides some details …

One of the good news items of this year’s camp is that two key players that missed all of last season with injury are back in uniform: defensive back Orion Edwards and receiver Jacob Scarfone.

… Key losses from last year’s squad are receivers A’dre Fraser and Ryan Nieuwesteeg, defensive back Tristan Doughlin, running back Daniel Palmer-Salmon and linebacker Andrew Graham.

The brother duo of running back Mack Jones and receiver Colton Jones did not return this season.

Some returning players are working at new positions. Johnny Augustine appears to have moved from tailback to H-Back. No question, that would allow him to better utilize some of the skills he wowed people with at the CFL Combine – blocking and receiving. Harry Robinson who spent his freshman season as a DB and special teams player is back on the offensive side of the ball at running back.

On the defensive side of the ball, AJ Allen has moved up to DE from linebacker while Justis Croasdale has gone the other way, from LB/DE to Corner. I’m not sure that these will be where these players end up but that is where they were working yesterday.

*      *      *

Everyone seems to be impressed with the new recruits. The coaches are very pleased with what they’ve seen so far.

Alumnus Chris Portwood told me he was 6’4″ 230 when he reported to training camp in 1996. He looked around the room and saw some big guys but thought “I fit in here”. Standing on the sidelines Sunday and looking at the size of the OL and DL recruits he admitted he’d have been scared.

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Training Camp 2017 underway

TC'17 1

Day 1 of training camp at Alumni Stadium Photo: Jerry Ashford

It is also hard to believe that training camp is already underway.

Players reported on Thursday. Practices started yesterday.

Here is the Week 1 schedule …

Fri-Sun – 8 am to 12 noon – Power practices

Monday – 9 am – Intra-squad scrimmage – * The public is invited to watch * – kickoff is at 9:30

Tues-Thurs – 8 am to 12 noon – Power practices

Friday – leave for Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Saturday – Summer Showdown – StFX vs Guelph vs MtA

*     *     *

If August 11 seems like an early start training camp, it is. There are two reasons for that.

In 7 of the past 8 years the OUA football schedule has had to begin the regular season in late August in order to handle an uneven number of teams and the bye week it creates.

Now in 2017, the length of training camp has been extended from 14 to 17 days which was a very good move in my opinion. That initiative came from USports athletic directors and not the football coaches themselves, but it was warmly received.

Fourteen-day training camps were really 7 or 8 days of training camp. After that point the focus of camp shifted to preparing for the first game of the season. The added three days will allow for more teaching, more coaching and more evaluation.

The fact there is more time and opportunity for on-field teaching and coaching is the reasons teams bring in additional coaches to help with training camp.

*     *     *

Speaking of guest coaches, Kevin MacNeill has pulled off a real coup this year, bringing in Brian Towriss, the winningest head football coach in Canadian college football history. Towriss recently retired from the University of Saskatchewan where he coached 315 games and led his team to 9 Vanier Cups appearances with 3 victories.

BT w Gryphon swag

Brian Towriss poses with Kevin MacNeill while Gary Jeffries snaps a pic

Coach MacNeill recently wrote …

We are very lucky to have two U Sports coaching legends at camp this year in Gary Jeffries and Brian Towriss. They met against each other in the 2005 Vanier Cup and will be the Head Coaches of the respective teams in our intersquad scrimmage on August 14th, 9:30am kickoff.

Also from Coach MacNeill …

We are very excited to get back to training camp and prove that last year we were not the team our record showed. The commitment and motivation this preseason has been at an all time high. This year’s captains deserve a lot of credit for creating a culture of hard work even through the summer.

The return of Johnny Augustine and Jacob Scarfone are definitely welcome ones for the offence. We open our training camp on August 10th with meetings and are on the field starting August 11th.

This 2017 Gryphon squad is again fairly young. There are only a handful of fifth-year players. To have Johnny Augustine and Jacob Scarfone back from CFL teams is huge in my opinion. Check out this Gryphons.ca story – Gryphon offense gets key veterans back for 2017.

Adding veterans instead of losing them already differentiates this year from 2016 when Scarfone and Orion Edwards were both lost for year due to off-season injuries. Now, if we can just avoid the unprecedented number of injuries experienced during the season last year as well, in my opinion, this team will be back as a serious contender for the Yates Cup.

Scarf Auggy

*     *     *

There are lots of things I’m going to be looking for when I make it to Guelph to watch some TC practices. [I’m hoping that is tomorrow morning but it will be a “family” decision.] But number one on my list might be watching the new coaches – OC Jean-Francois Joncas, LBs coach Joe Sardo and DBs coach Mark Forsythe.

I know their backgrounds. I have met all three. And I have heard many good things about each of them. I look forward to seeing them in action.

If these changes are news to you, here is some background info – JF Joncas hired as new Offensive Coordinator and Gryphons add two new defensive coaches from OUA rival McMaster.

Coach Joncas moved his family from Quebec to Guelph several weeks ago. Coaches Forsythe and Sardo from Burlington and Hamilton. They are part-time coaches. How committed are they? Committed enough to be at training camp full-time. They are staying in on-campus housing until the season opener against Ottawa on August 27.

*     *     *

Some more quick notes based on feedback I received from Day 1 of camp …

♦ The new $10-million Football Pavillion looks great from the outside. Most of the work that remains is on the interior. The locker room will be ready for the team to move into when they return from Nova Scotia. The grand opening is still scheduled for September.

♦ As the photo here shows, Theo Landers is working as a quarterback. That decision, made back in June, turns out to be fortuitous in light of the fact that two of the QBs in camp are not participating in practices. One is a freshman who suffered an injury in summer football. The other is Zach Buchan who was expected to be the #2 behind James Roberts. Buchan’s was not a football related injury.

TC'17 2

Photo: Jerry Ashford

♦ With Scarfone back the Guelph receiving corps has “a ton of great receivers”.

♦ Defensive line transfer Alain Cimankinda is “a beast” who will give our opponents fits.

*     *     *

And from social media …

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21st Annual FoGF Golf Tourney

Golf 1

The 2017 tournament participants. It does beg the question … why are so many wearing powder blue shirts at a Gryphon Football event?

By all reports this year’s Friends of Gryphon Football Golf Tournament was a success with good weather, a large turnout and lots of fun. There were 120 golfers and more than a dozen volunteers including numerous current players.

According to FoGF president Randy Dimitroff and lead organizer Jen Green, some of the credit for this being a bigger and better event goes to the sponsors who stepped up, including …

Alltech Canada [Steve Parisotto]
Adviant Financial [Bryan Maltby]
Northern Productions [Ronnie Caron]
Skyline Group of Companies [Mark Durigon]
Steelcase Canada [Luke Nangle]
Wellington Brewery [Brent Davies}

*     *     *

One mystery has been solved.

For years, no one seemed to have a definitive answer to the question … How long has the Friends of Gryphon Football golf tournament been going on?

I originally titled this post … 18th Annual FoGF Golf Tourney. Then someone told me it was the 20th annual tournament. Back in 2015 I wrote that it was the 15th Annual which would have made this year’s version the 17th edition.

As it turns out, Wally Gabler remembers exactly when it started. It was 1997.  Gabler, along with fellow assistant coach Rudy Florio, worked together to organize the first tournament. Back then, what we now know as Friends of Gryphon Football, went by its original name – The 25th Man Club.

[In case you haven’t heard, after more than a decade with the Wilfird Laurier Athletic Department and two years in the OUA office, Gabler is back at the UofG.  He was named Assistant Manager of Intercollegiate Programs last month.]

*     *     *

Golf 3

Head Coach Kevin MacNeill with assistant coach/OAC grad Gary Jeffiries

Golf 5

Former teammates John O’Brien (left) and Brian Cluff (right) flank FoGF president Randy Dimitroff

*     *     *

The event started with a barbeque lunch and ended with a steak dinner and awards banquet. Athletic Director Scott McRoberts was at the dinner to address the crowd.

MOST HONEST FOURSOME

Most honest 4

Most Honest Foursome (l-r) – Gary Jeffries, Kevin MacNeill, Stuart Lang & Bill Laidlaw

BEST SCORE – Ron Aimola foursome

Golf 4

Best Score – Ron Aimola & Freinds

LONGEST DRIVE – WOMEN – Laurie Richardson

LONG DRIVE – MEN – Zach Buchan

CLOSEST TO THE PIN – WOMEN – Laurie Richardson

CLOSEST TO THE PIN – MEN – John Casasanta

CLOSEST TO THE KEG – Doc Richardson

PUTTING CHAMPION – John Casasanta

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Welcome back Jacob & other CFL transactions – July 31/17

jacob+scarfone

From Ticats.ca

The Tiger-Cats also announced the release of wide receiver Jacob Scarfone so he can return to Guelph University for the 2017 U Sports season. Scarfone was selected by Hamilton in the sixth round, 47th overall, in the 2017 CFL Draft in May.

There is a good news / bad news element to this story. It’s good for the Gryphons’ prospects this season but unfortunate in some respects for former CIS All-Canadian receiver Scarfone.

This is big news! In 2015, in his first year as a starter Scarfone burst onto the OUA scene. He filled the big opening left in the receiving corps when Alex Charette made the Montreal Alouettes roster.

In 2015 Scarfone made 57 receptions for 940 yards in 8 regular season games after recording just 8 receptions in his first two seasons.

Scarfone missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing knee surgery in June. He was not cleared to return to football until April which was after the CFL held their Combine. Obviously he sufficiently impressed the Tiger-Cats for them to draft him and keep him on their practice roster. In the long term it may be in Scarfone’s best interests to have an opportunity to play a 4th season of university football.

*     *     *

A week earlier the Tiger-Cats made two other transactions involving former Gryphon players …

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Tuesday that the football club has signed three free agents to practice roster agreements, including international defensive back Dominique Ellis, international offensive lineman Ryker Mathews and national linebacker Curtis Newton.

Newton, 24, played in two games with the Toronto Argonauts this season before being released on July 11. The 6-2, 220-pound linebacker played in 16 games for the Argonauts in 2016, registering five special teams tackles. The native of London, Ontario, was originally selected by Toronto in the fifth round, 40th overall, in the 2016 CFL Draft. Newton played in 29 games over four seasons (2012-15) at the University of Guelph, registering 139 defensive tackles, 16 tackles for loss, seven quarterback sacks, four interceptions, six pass breakups and three fumble recoveries.

The Tiger-Cats also announced a series of other transactions on Tuesday.

The following two players have been released:
NAT – DB – Tristan Doughlin
NAT – OL – Mathieu Dupuis

The Ticats re-signed Tristan Doughlin (he was with them in training camp) and put him on their practice roster a week or two earlier.

*     *     *

UPDATE – Receiver Alex Charette has a new CFL team.

Argos press release here.

The Argos also announced this weekend that the team has made two Canadian additions to the practice roster, adding wide receiver Alex Charette and defensive lineman Linden Gaydosh.

Charette, a 6-1, 200-pound native of St. Catherines, Ontario, has played in 27 career CFL games after being selected by the Montreal Alouettes in the fourth round (36th overall) in the 2015 CFL Draft. His most productive season came in his 2015 rookie year when the Guelph product hauled in 24 receptions for 208 yards in 18 games.

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Thorn seeing lots of CFL action

Thorns

Cam Thorn with his parents Brian and Melinda

I tuned into the Stampeders @ Alouettes game this past week and immediately noticed that #58 Cam Thorn was playing every series. I meant to check the Stamps depth chart to see if he was the starter.  The following story explains the situation.

From Stampeders.com – Cam Handles Thorny Situation

When dressing for a game, you have to be ready to step up when your number is called.

During Friday night’s contest against the Montreal Alouettes, offensive lineman Cam Thorn found himself pressed into action when Brad Erdos was sidelined.

Going from being the sixth man to playing every snap was an adjustment but the 27-year-old quickly found his form and felt more comfortable as the game progressed.

“Sometimes it’s hard,” Thorn said. “Realistically, the coach makes sure that everyone that dresses is prepared to get into the game and when you go in, you have to be ready at any moment. It was an adjustment, not a big one, but it’s something that you have to adjust to at first but then you settle in.”

Answering the bell isn’t anything new for the Midhurst, Ont., product – a similar situation occurred against the Ottawa RedBlacks earlier in the season. It can be a difficult situation but Thorn hopes his performance has left a favourable impression on the Stamps coaching crew. And he vows to again be ready the next time he’s called upon.

“I always knew that it doesn’t matter where you are in the position chart,” Thorn said. “You can play at any time because of injuries. They are unfortunate, but they do happen during the game and they’re a part of football.

“Doesn’t matter which position you play, it always takes a couple snaps to get into it, but I think I did a good job and held my own.”

The lineman is all too familiar with adjustments, even back before when he was playing college football with the Guelph Gryphons. Thorn spent the majority of his college career playing on the defensive side of the ball before making the switch over to the offensive line during his final season. He was named to the first-team Ontario all-star and second-team all-Canadian during his lone season at guard in 2013 and ever since he has been protecting his own quarterback rather than attacking the opponent’s.

Last season with the Stamps, Thorn started three games at centre and one at left guard. He vows to keep working on his craft at practice.

“Overall, I’m trying to get better each and every week,” Thorn said. “You pick a couple things a day to get better at and work on them. I’ve been in these situations before and I’m ready to step up if needed.”

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First FoGF CFL Tailgate Party

I’m really looking forward to this game today …

Ticats at Argos

And it’s not just because there will be 5 Gryphons playing in it – Bomben, Walker, Reinhart, Newton and Finley. Nor is it because it is the oldest rivalry in professional football.

I think it has more to do with the fact it will be the first tailgate party of the season for Friends of Gryphon Football and the Parents of Players Group.

Here is evidence that I’m not the only one who feels that way …

It is the people who make Gryphon Football special and who make the tailgating aspect of it so much fun!

I’m really happy that many of the people who have been organizing the POP Group tailgates for the past 8-9 years will be there. I’m even happier that they will be able to enjoy today’s tailgate without having to do much, if any, of the work. They deserve it.

The above photos are from various tailgate parties over the past 3-4 years and were all taken by Lou Toppan.

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