After Sunday afternoon’s practice I spoke briefly with Gregg Butler. He was reasonably happy with the performance of his DBs in Saskatoon. They had given up too much yardage but he got to play and evaluate a lot of players. Most of the problems were technical issues which Butler said can be corrected. Interesting that 5th year cornerback Mark Durigon recently said of Butler, “He’s by far the most technical coach I’ve ever had. At first, it’s a struggle to get used to what he’s doing because it’s brand new, but now that we’re starting to get it, you can see even the young guys are starting to pick it up and we’re a much better group because of it.”
The most interesting thing Coach Butler had to say was that he thought the defensive backs were going to exceed his expectations for them. I think that is quite significant since Butler told me back in May that he thought he had plenty of talent to work with and that he would be able to mold them into a solid unit. Certainly the previously unexpected return of Mark Durigon will help.
Speaking of Durigon’s return, Stu Lang told the Guelph Mercury,
“I can tell (defensive co-ordinator) Kevin (MacNeill) sleeps better at night,” Gryphon head coach Stu Lang said. “We lost so many people – Sebastian Howard and Jordan Duncan and James Savoie — and that was not just losing players, they were great players and leaders.
… The return of Durigon, an OUA all-star in 2010 who was slowed by a foot injury suffered during training camp last year, lessened the graduation hit that the defensive back position took with the loss of Savoie (all-star in 2008, ’09 and ’10), Howard (2011) and Duncan (2010).
Read the full story here: Mark Durigon returns to Gryphon defensive backfield. The defensive backfield will face a serious test on Labour Day facing the top QB in the CIS.
One other note: Freshman DT Donnie Egerter began practicing in the past couple of days. He had been on the sidelines from Day 1 because he broke a toe before arriving in Guelph.
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A story in the Hamilton Spectator on the McMaster receiving corps features former Gryphon great Al Anonech. A record-setting receiver and a member of the 1984 Vanier Cup team Anonech has been coaching the Marauder receivers for the past 19 seasons. This Spectator article quotes Anonech several times. “I hate to be boastful, because I’m not that way myself, but I tell them (the Mac’s receivers) we’re the best group in the country,” Anonech said after Tuesday’s training camp session at Ron Joyce Stadium. “They proved that last November in a couple different games.”
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When I wrote in the previous post that “the player profiles contain only very basic information” I literally spoke too soon. I see today that many details have been added including career summaries and background information. I like it. It is professional looking and goes beyond what I recall seeing on other CIS sites. Below is one sample but you can find all of the links here.
Hometown: Burlington, ON
Elig: 4 Yr: BCOM.REH
2011: Started eight games in his third season with the Gryphons… recorded 21 receptions for 417 yards and one touchdown….Invited to and played in 2011 CIS East West Bowl Game, represented the West team
2010: Started eight games in his second season with the Gryphons…recorded 23 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns
Playoffs: Started and recorded two receptions for 36 yards in the Gryphons 42-10 OUA ¼ Final loss to the Laurier Golden Hawks
2009: Suited up in eight games in his first year with the Gryphons…recorded six catches for 76 yards
Playoffs: Suited up and recorded two receptions for 35 yards in the Gryphons 37 18 OUA ¼ Final loss to the Western Mustangs
Personal: Played high school football for Burlington Notre Dame HS… Played summer football for Burlington Stampeders… Also plays baseball, hockey, basketball… Greatest football memory is first homecoming game
Family Ties: Dillon’s father, Randy Dimitroff played football for Guelph team that won the 1984 Vanier Cup…..His uncle, Thomas Dimitroff played five season for the Gryphons, was team captain from 1987-1989 and is currently the Chair of the Department of Athletics Capital Campaign. Thomas is the General Manager of the NFL Atlanta Falcon….Dillon’s grandfather , Tom Dimitroff Sr. coached the Gryphons from 1979-1989.