As we close in on the Canada Day weekend there is lots of stuff to talk about, tho’ none of it is really “big news”. Some player news, recruit news, timelines, stadium talk, upcoming events, etc..
Among the best news, rising sophomore LB John Rush and incoming freshman Rec A’dre Fraser are in Austin, Texas at Team Canada’s training camp. They are preparing for the IFAF Under-19 World Championship which kicks off on Saturday, June 30 . The official website of the tournament is http://u19championship.com/. I will endeavour to provide some updates and further links as I find them.
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In the past month I have been out to watch perhaps a dozen football games, mostly OVFL but also a couple of OFC and OMFL games. I have seen a number of our incoming recruits in action and had a chance to meet several of them. This past Sunday I saw OT Tyler Case, the veteran leader of the Hamilton Ironmen o-line, eke out a close victory over future Gryphon teammates LB Pat McGrath and SB Colin Booth of the Sault Sabrecats. Booth scored both Sault TDs in the 19-14 contest. I’ve also watched incoming freshmen Mac Morrison, Ryan Mattei, Jesse Willick and Nathaniel Mackenzie. At these games I have run into Recruiting Coordinator Bill Brown and members of his recruit team – Mark Antonelli, John Casasanta, Steve O’Brien – plus coaches Todd Galloway and BJ Mallot.
I haven’t seen the Metro Toronto Wildcats play yet but RB Travis Jennings [7 TDs & 893 all purpose yards] and DB Tristan Doughlin [37 tackles & 4 INTs] are putting up big numbers for the 4-1 team. MTW’s top O-Lineman is Gryphon award winner Zachary Bader-Shamai. And speaking of top linemen, DT Zack Mallough [19 tackles, 2 sacks & 2 blocked passes] has received plenty of praise for his play with the 5-0 London Jr Mustang’s.
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Less than two months from today, August 24, the Gryphons will be playing their exhibition game against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Guelph will be taking 70 players and 10 coaches to Saskatoon for the game. That is considerably more players than Windsor or Western took to the game in the previous two years. It seems that rather than “pocket” some of the appearance money that UofS pays, Coach Lang wants as many players as possible to take part in the experience. In the two exhibition games vs Concordia, Guelph used 82  & 90  players. I know Coach Lang is quite committed to playing an exhibition game each season. He is already talking to other CIS programs about games in 2013 & 2014.
So football season is really not that far away. If I’m not mistaken it is only 55 days until training camp starts and 69 days until the season opener at McMaster.
While I haven’t seen a formal annoucement yet I can tell you that 2012 season tickets have gone on sale at gryphons.ca. Click here for info about season tickets and the box office link. I expect we will see a ticket marketing effort very soon. Single game tickets usually don’t go on sale until late July.
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One of the great events of the summer is the annual Friends of Gryphon Football Annual Golf Tournament. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking it is the 12th(?) year it has been held. It is nice to have a young football alumnus like Adam Dunk stepping up and running the event for his 2nd time. He is ably assisted by his girlfriend Marya Morrison and the Board of FoGF. I attended the post-golfing banquet dinner last year for the first time and will be going back again. View the Tournament Invitation here. All proceeds from the event go to support Gryphon Recruiting.
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I didn’t get to everything I wanted to share so expect a Part 2 in a few days. Speaking of Part 2’s, I talked with OC Galloway last month about formations, sets, motion packages, etc.. Since then he has shared a few pages from his playbook with me so expect another post on the offense soon.