A Friday article in the Mercury focuses on sophomore linebacker John Rush – Gryphons get a Rush out of LB. With four fifth-year linebackers returning, including the OUA’s leading tackler Jake Reinhart, the fact that DC MacNeill is shifting people around in order to get Rush into the starting line-up is notable. Rush was the fourth leading tackler in his freshman season at Guelph, in spite of limited playing time on D and only one start. He was a big contributor on special teams. And Rush will benefit from his experience as a starter for both Team World and Team Canada this offseason.
There are many things to like about this article and Rush’s comment therein. In particular, “Our team’s really coming together as a group”, “I think we’re good and we’re ready”, and speaking of the Mac game “It’s their home opener and all that and they’re the defending champs and all that, but that’s all in the past. We’re up and coming”. After his role in leading two squads to victory over Team USA would you expect him to be intimidated? I will have more comments on this tomorrow.
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With little more than 24 hours until the OUA season begins the media coverage has picked up steam in recent days. Ontario University Athletics has released its own 82-page, full colour 2012 OUA Football Season Preview. Among other things it contains profiles of all ten teams by Mike Hogan and a player feature on Zack Androschuk.
In the blogosphere, Always OUA has released the pre-season edition of their OUA Power rankings. They have the Gryphons at #6, not that preseason rankings mean that much. But based on their comments, it seems these guys have a pretty good comprehension of the situation at Guelph.
6) Guelph – The Gryphons are a tricky case this year with many unknowns on the roster. A lot of youth is being asked to step in and play key minutes at key positions. Obviously teams have had successful seasons with youth before but it is far from a guarantee. I do like that they appear to have improved their physicality along the offensive and defensive lines, as indicated by their result against a very good Saskatchewan team. Provided their running game improves from a year ago and Jazz Lindsey continues his development, this team has the potential to build towards a deep playoff run.
Christine Rivet of the KW Record has her own OUA projections for 2012. She is one of the few who isn’t picking the McMaster Marauders to finish first in the OUA. She is giving that honour to Queen’s and has Guelph at #7, in between the hometown teams – Laurier #6 and Waterloo #8. Based on her “question mark” for Guelph I really have to wonder how familiar she is with what is going on here.
One person who seems to have a better grasp on where the Gryphons program is at may be CIS Director of Communications Michel Belanger. You can hear his comments in RougeRadio.com’s 2012 CIS Season Preview, a 7 minute interview and discussion.
Tim Baines tells me the Ottawa Sun’s OUA Preview is out today. It may be in the print version but I can’t find the link yet at http://www.ottawasun.com/sports.
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I imagine many Gryphons fans would be interested to hear the UofS Huskies won their season opener 32-0 over the Alberta Golden Bears. Huskies Outsider has the game story here.