As the football season in Canada winds down the last Guelph team still standing are the D-10 Champion J.F. Ross Royals. [Not including the Guelph Ticats, of course.] The Royals, coached by Gryphon alumnus Jeff Yanchus, won their third straight title. The game was played a week ago Friday at Alumni Stadium, one of many high school games played at Alumni this season. The championship game pitted Ross against the Lourdes Crusaders. Lourdes led 7-6 at the half on the strength of an interception return for a touchdown by Gryphon DB recruit Nick Parisotto. But Ross dominated the final half to win 33-7.
The Guelph Mercury story on the game included this revelation:
The D10 title win might have been the final one for coach Yanchus.
“I think it probably is. I’m not a young man anymore. It is a grind. You’re responsible for 50, 55, 60 kids every year and there’s a lot of stuff that goes into that,” he said. “I think this is probably my last year. I’ll be helping behind the scenes … I think it’s time for somebody else to step in and take the helm.”
Jeff Yanchus was an OUAA All Star linebacker on the 1984 Vanier Cup Championship team. During his long coaching career at JF Ross, Yanchus turned out many CIS players including plenty of Gryphons – Colin Dyer, Justin Dunk, Adam Dunk, Mark Durigon, Joel Mohr and Reza Shayani among the more recent ones. His son Jackson plays for the Laurier Golden Hawks where he is coached by another former Royal in Michael Faulds. Yanchus was named the NFL Youth Coach of the Year in 2005.
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In addition to Parisotto and the multiple Ross Royals, D-10 schools have produced lots of other quality CIS football players. Guelph is lucky to have received commitments from two more top Guelph prospects in St. James’ linebacker Liam McCormack and Guelph CVI offensive tackle Spencer Swan.
The 6’5″ 235-lb McCormack has a star for the Lions on the gridiron and on the hardwood. McCormack was named to the D-10 All Star back in 2011. But he actually earned more ink as a high scoring basketball player. [You’ll know if you’ve read this blog faithfully that I love the correlation between basketball talent and football ability/success.] McCormack has the size and athleticism to be a excellent Mac, Mike or Jack LB. It’s easy to imagine him as an outstanding pass rushing LB [or stand up DE] in a 3-4 scheme.
At GCVI Swan played under another ’84 Gryphon alumnus in Frank Teresigni. Swan’s position coach at GCVI was assistant Guelph O-Line coach and former CIS All Canadian Zach Pollari. At 6’5″ and 260 pounds Swan has a frame to add weight and, combined with his athleticism, develop into a potential future OL stud. He was aggressively recruited by Western, McMaster and Laurier. In a D-10 semi-final the Green Gaels of GCVI lost a hard fought game to Lourdes. Fellow Guelph recruits Job Reinhart, the GCVI QB, and Nick Parisotto played major roles in the game according to the Mercury story: Lourdes led 14-0 on a pair of touchdowns by Nick Parisotto. And, … GCVI quarterback Job Reinhart barged into the endzone on a six-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The Lourdes’ coach gave credit to Swan and the GCVI O-Line … “We knew we had to get pressure on Job,” Camilleri said. “We tried hard. We were sending six or seven guys at the start, but we weren’t getting much heat on him.”
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Tomorrow the Ross Royals will take on Cambridge’s Jacob Hespeler Hawks in the CWOSSAA championship. The winner will play the SOSSA champion Westdale Warriors on November 27 as part of the OFSAA “festival” of eight bowl games. Jacob Hespeler are the Waterloo Region Tier 1 champs [WCSSAA] having defeated Kitchener’s Resurrection Pheonix 23-16. These squads were the #11 and #8 ranked teams in Canada according to Canada Football Chat. Once again Guelph recruits played pivotal roles.
From the KW Record:
James Roberts has scored important touchdowns before but nothing like this one.
The Jacob Hespeler Hawks quarterback rushed for a one-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play on Thursday night to lead his team to a 23-16 win over the Resurrection Phoenix in the Waterloo County senior boys football final.
From Canada Football Chat:
The Phoenix got within a touchdown midway through the second quarter before receiver Marcus Joseph made a truly incredible catch between two defenders to tie the game up 9-9.
“Marcus had a truly great game for us, going up for that big TD over two guys and he was asked to play corner last night as well and he did an incredible job,” said Phoenix head coach Kyle Armour. “He has had an incredible season, averaging two touchdowns a game for us.”