The high school football season is behind us and many of the recruits who have committed to the Guelph Gryphons are picking up post-season honours.
For QB recruit James Roberts that meant winning the Doug Shuh Award, the highest honour that can be given to a HS football player in the Waterloo Region [WCSSAA]. Newspaper headlines in the K-W Record tell the story: Quarterback stands on top in WCSSAA league and James Roberts first pivot to win Doug Shuh Award since ‘04. Roberts who broke his leg in the 1st half of his final HS game is the subject of a feature in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record – Quarterback stands on top in WCSSAA:
Despite winning the biggest individual trophy for a Waterloo County player, Roberts is still thinking about what could have been. Getting farther than any other Cambridge school since the Western Bowl was adopted, the Hawks were one win away from the bowl game, with just Brantford’s Assumption Lions in the way.
What isn’t ridiculous is what Roberts meant to his team. The 18-year-old’s season was incredible, completing 66 of his 125 passes for 16 touchdowns, while throwing only one interception. He also rushed for 223 yards on 30 carries, with seven touchdowns.
Known as a team-first player, Roberts, of course, downplayed his individual statistics.
“The award itself just reflects on our team success and the guys around me that helped me, too,” he said.
Roberts’ outstanding season also earned him a place on the Waterloo County First-team All Star squad. He wasn’t the only Gryphon recruit to be named to WCSSAA’s first team. He is joined by receiver Marcus Joesph of the Resurrection Pheonix. Coincidentally, Joseph was the other finalist for the Doug Shuh Award, handed out annually to the Waterloo County senior football league’s most valuable player. The award is voted on by the league’s coaches and goes to the graduating student who will best represent the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletic Association in the future. The player must also be an exemplary citizen of his school.
Joseph’s Resurrection team lost out to Roberts’ Jacob Hespeler Hawks in the WCSSAA Championship game. These two teams finished #24 and #21 in CanadaFootballChat’s national rankings of high school teams. Jacob Hespeler and Resurrection led the WCSSAA first-team balloting with four and three nominees apiece. Find the full list of WCSSAA All Stars here.
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Not to be outdone, the Gryphon recruits from District 10 were all named to the D10 All Star team. Liam McCormack of the St James Lions was named to the team as an all star at linebacker. GCVI Green Gaels teammates Job Reinhart and Spencer Swan were selected to the D10 team at the quarterback and offensive tackle positions. A two-way star for the Lourdes Crusaders, and two-time member of Team Ontario, Nick Parisotto was named to the team for a third time. McCormack  and Reinhart  were two-time D10 All Stars.
Down the 401 in London big linebacker recruit, and member of Team Ontario in 2013, Thomas Waight was named to the London Tier 1 All Star squad. The 6’2′ 225 LB out of Oakridge SS dominated in the middle for the Oaks.
Meanwhile in Windsor yesterday another Team O veteran and Gryphon recruit, SB/RB Khaliel James, suited up for the Red Team in the Essex Ravens All Star Classic. This all star game features the best players from the Windsor-Essex region. James was to line up at the W receiver position [inside slot] for the game. James has even bigger things ahead as he will be playing for the Team Canada squad that takes on U18 Team USA as part of the 2014 International Bowl series in Arlington TX in February.
In Niagara, newly announced recruit Pat Stairs of Lakeshore Catholic was selected to the AAAA Football All Star team as both a running back and a linebacker. The two-way standout leader of the Gators is expected to compete for a linebacker position at Guelph. Among Stairs coaches at Lakeshore was Mike Millar, recently a Gryphon team captain and OUA All Star at DE. The Lakeshore Gators were ranked among the Top 50 teams in Canada all season and finished ranked #39.
Finally, I don’t know whether or not they announce an all star team in North Bay but OL recruit Colin Jerome would certainly be on it. I had a chance to watch him last weekend at the Team Ontario Selects tryouts and he was impressive working at centre. As strong, powerful and physically dominating as he was, it was his quickness and agility that set him apart from most of the others.