Update from practice #7

Training Camp 2012 – Aug 26 @ Varsity field

The Gryphons were back at work at Varsity Field on Sunday afternoon.  There was a very upbeat but workman-like atmosphere. I didn’t hear any talk about the preseason victory except when I asked questions about it. The “celebrating” was done and the team seemed focused on correcting their mistakes and getting better. While the trip to Saskatchewan was beneficial it did cost the team three days of practices. The Gryphons face the toughest opponent they will face all year in just seven days. While I want the Gryphons to do well on Labour Day it has always been my belief that it is the least important game of the year. And actually I didn’t hear one mention of the upcoming game. I expect the team won’t start working on the game preparations for McMaster for another day or two.

So the Sunday afternoon practice looked a lot like the Monday afternoon practice a week earlier. A lot of work on teaching and fundamentals but with a little more work for the complete offensive and defensive units. Plus some special teams. Coaches were getting after players who made mistakes, making sure they knew what they had done wrong and how to correct it. I continue to spend more time watching the OL and DL units since I think they will be key to success this season. [One player who got a significant amount of praise yesterday was DT Pat Gerrie.] I believe the progress there has been significant compared to this time last year.

OC Galloway made a similiar comment about the running backs, “every one of them is better than last year.” We may not have a FitzGibbon-calibre back but I think we have some excellent talent and depth. Speaking of depth, the guys behind Rob Farquarson all played well in Saskatoon. Cory Davidson had 9 carries for 59 yards. Mark Rutledge was 6 for 52 and Ryan Nieuwesteeg 4 for 31. Those are very impressive averages of 5.5, 8.7 and 7.8 yards per carry. If one player opened eyes to his potential it was the freshman Nieuwesteeg. The 160 lb. speedster awed people with his power, that is his ability to push the pile. Several times he ran into a wall after picking up 2 yds and drove defenders back to gain 6 or 7 yds.  QB Nangle also picked up 39 yards on 3 carries.

*     *      *

No visit to Gryphon training camp these days is complete without stopping by to look at the new turf in Alumni Stadium.  The field is rounding into shape very nicely. The south endzone is now complete as are almost all the yardage numbers and hash marks. The entire field is now framed by a wide, white boundary that sets the colours off. Taking a look at it Sunday afternoon I enjoyed seeing that this is a football-only field. No soccer creases, boxes or centre circles. No field hockey markings or lines for rugby or lacrosse. This is a football-only field.  The hill is completely sodded and looks like it will be ready for a huge Homecoming crowd.

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3 Responses to Update from practice #7

  1. Steve says:

    And to think Nieuwesteeg almost didn’t get to make the trip. If Ray Bahr hadn’t taken ill, he wouldn’t have been there and Galloway’s eyes may not have been “opened”. My point is that Guelph has a lot of talented recruits and players. Some well known, some lesser known. I hope the coaches give ALL the players an opportunity to show their stuff.. Not just the well known and leave the lesser known wasting their talent. You never know where you might find a diamond. Just give them a chance.

    • Steve, keep in mind Guelph took 68 players to Saskatoon and played them all. The previous two years Windsor and Western only took 50-55. The Gryphons played 90 last year versus ConU and used 82 on their visit to Montreal. McMaster took 55-60 in their games at Laval. Recruits are probably getting better opportunities at Guelph than just about anywhere else. Bottomline, players still need to take advantage of opportunities and Ryan N. did that.

    • marcus says:

      Steve…you are absolutely right about the diamonds in the rough! I would be curious to know how many former recruits, or current players the coaches havent given a chance to play and show their stuff. Shame really. Makes you wonder why there are so many recruits all wanting to play and may never.

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