♦ The Wildman Dinner, Gryphon Football’s team banquet and awards dinner, is coming up very quickly – Saturday, Feb 1. [See Upcoming Events page for more details] It falls earlier in the off-season calendar than past seasons. I like that timing and it was probably necessary with this year’s spring practice being held in Orlando, FL in February.
One of the oldest individual awards in CIS football, the Ted Wildman Memorial Trophy, will be given out for the 76th time. Other awards to be presented include the Donald Forster Trophy for team MVP, Lineman of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Kyle Walters Trophy, Rookie of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year.
♦ Nice to see that the Atlanta Falcons have rewarded GM Thomas Dimitroff Jr with a contract extension in spite of a tough 4-12 season. Falcons’ owner Arthur Blanks had expressed his support for Dimitroff and Coach Mike Smith during the season and followed up on that with contract extensions. Here are links to stories on Yahoo Sports and in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. By the way, Dimitroff was the 1989 Wildman Trophy winner in his senior season at Guelph.
♦ Even before the Gryphon football team heads south for “Spring Camp” several Gryphon coaches, players and recruits will be heading to Texas to play in the International Bowl series of games on Feb 7 & 8. The games are to include:
- U19 Team USA vs. Junior National Team
- U18 Team USA vs. Football Canada Cup National Team
- U15, U16 and U17 American teams vs. Canadian teams (Team Ontario Selects)
Playing for the Junior National Team will be freshman DB Jadon Johnson, DB recruit Nick Parisotto and K/P recruit Gabriel Ferraro. DC Kevin MacNeill will be the team’s linebackers coach. The International Bowl essentially serves as an exhibition game with Team USA to help prepare our Junior National Team for the IFAF 2014 World Championships this July in Kuwait.
Playing for the Football Canada Cup National Team, made up of the top players from the 2013 Football Canada Cup tournament, will be SB recruit Khaliel James. James was the offensive star as of last summer’s tourney.
Guelph’s Bill Brown is back for a second year as Head Coach of the Team Ontario Selects U17 squad and one of six Gryphon coaches serving with Team O. Adam Grandy is the defensive coordinator for Brown’s U17 team. Todd Galloway is the quarterback coach for the U19 squad. Alex Derma is the offensive coordinator of the U15 squad. Guelph Bears coaches Jeremy MacLeod and Ron Milne serve as offensive coordinator and running backs coach respectively with the U17s.
♦ A couple of Gryphon football players are being counted on to help out with an on-campus fundraising initiative. The College of Biological Sciences Student Council presents The Butler, a fundraiser for February, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Rob Farquharson and Jazz Lindsey will be among a group of “butlers” auctioned off to raise money.