Random Sunday thoughts & links – Jan 19/13

  • Check out The Ontarion, the UofG’s student newspaper, if you want a little history lesson on the evolution of the names of the school’s sports teams. Also, how red, black and gold came to be the school’s colours. All that and more in this brief story –  From Aggies to Redmen to Gryphons.
  • Tim Randall with Bobsliegh CanadaCongratulations to former Gryphon fullback Tim Randall on being officially named to the Canadian Olympic Bobsleigh team. Randall joined the National Bobsleigh program right after his 5-year Gryphon football career ended in 2009. He has put in a lot of hard work to get to this point. Best of luck in Sochi!
  • From what I’ve seen via Facebook Chris Rossetti has been busy in his new role with the Toronto Argonauts. Imagine being paid to spend January down south watching football. Rossetti has spent time in recent weeks in Tampa, FL watching the East-West Shrine Bowl practices and game, visiting the University of Florida and Florida State University, before making his way over to Mobile, Alabama for this week’s Senior Bowl activities. The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game which showcases the best professional prospects of those collegiate players who have completed their eligibility. The week-long practice that precedes the game is attended by key NFL & CFL personnel (including coaches, general managers, and scouts), who oversee the players as possible prospects for pro football. [with info from Wikipedia]
  • #11 Dillon Dimitroff
    #11 Dillon Dimitroff

    It’s no surprise that Rossetti won’t be the only former Gryphon in attendance. Kyle Walters, Mike O’Shea and Thomas Dimitroff Jr. will all be there as well. I was pleasantly surprised when I read Dillon Dimitroff‘s Facebook post – Early morning journey to Mobile, AL. Grateful for the opportunity to help out with the @seniorbowl. Dimitroff who in recent years has had internships with three NFL teams, is working for Phil Savage [former Cleveland Brown’s GM] and his organization which runs the week’s activities. Hopefully, he will make the contacts necessary to land a full-time position with an NFL or CFL team when he graduates this spring.

  • Speaking of Florida, the current Gryphon football players will be heading to Orlando less than four weeks from now for their spring training camp. This is a first-time event for Guelph. To my knowledge in the CIS only the super-successful program of the Laval Rouge et Or has conducted spring camps “down south”. Coach Lang has relied to a large extent on advice from Laval’s Glenn Constantin when organizing the event. The Gryphons will be staying at the same location as the Rouge et Or but had to find an alternative field as the Citrus Bowl’s practice fields were being renovated. Guelph doesn’t have the level of corporate sponsorship that Laval does and Gryphon players are looking for some assistance in covering the costs. Donations from $25 to $250 can be made through the Dept of Athletics Adopt-a-Gryphon program. Tax receipts will be issued for your donation. Support the individual player of your choice or the team as a whole.
  • The week before last I had a chance to watch the Gryphon men’s basketball team take on Western. While Guelph was trailing in the game from the time I arrived the Gryphons made the final minutes very interesting as they cut the lead to 3 or 4 points several times. I sat beside a local b-ball fan who has been watching the Gryphons for 30 years. He lamented that it’s been a long time since the team has been able to compete at an elite level. He even commented that he wished the basketball program could turn things around the way the football program had. Improved recruiting would have to be a part of that. Clearly the W.F. Mitchell Centre is out of date and the new facility that AD Kendall envisions would go a long way to helping with that. The $20 million capital campaign is still on-going.
  • Bill Laidlaw
    Bill Laidlaw

    Former Gryphon football player Bill Laidlaw, a member of the team back in 1970 when Alumni Stadium opened, is a significant donor and major supporter of the campaign that will … upgrade and expand the athletics building into a dynamic, multi-use centre for healthy living and sport, community and celebration. – See more at: http://www.thebetterplanetproject.ca/impact/gryphon-pride-building.html#sthash.j117A9bq.dpuf

  • BTW it was interesting to see second year TE Martin Popiel dressed as a member of the basketball squad. The 6’7″ 235 pound Popiel was an accomplished high school basketball player before he joined the gridiron Gryphons. Last time I looked at the stats he hadn’t seen a ton of action on the hardwood yet, but his presence adds some depth and size to the team.

    Martin Popiel in OUA action

    #10 Martin Popiel in OUA action

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