Anyone who knows our head coach will likely have heard him talk about the triple victory. In the big picture it is an important part of Stu Lang’s vision for the Gryphon Football program. First, he makes it very clear he wants players who will help this program win on the field. Second, Lang wants all of his players to succeed in the classroom. Finally, Coach Lang wants players who will give back to their communities.
These three “victories” aren’t just talking points. And giving back to the community is not all football related, though Guelph does do a lot to help minor football locally, high school programs in southern Ontario, All Star teams and the Team Ontario programs.
Under Lang’s leadership Guelph has built up the resources that contribute to winning – coaching staff, support staff, equipment, training facilities, recruiting, etc.. And we know from the statements of recruits that they are choosing Guelph because of the support systems and resources in place to help them succeed in the classroom.
As for giving back, it is another requirement that recruits know about before they commit to the Gryphon program. Every player has to contribute a minimum number of hours each year. It happens in a lot of ways and is a requirement that players seem to embrace. Contributing to the community is an essential requirement for Guelph’s most important award, the Ted Wildman Memorial Trophy. Some recent examples:
♦ RB Rob Carnegie and OL Steve Mburanumwe, served up soup at a recent fundraiser for Guelph’s Hope House. These two Gryphon sophomores, and “other prominent community members” gave a couple hours of their time and helped them raise $3,700 for the local charity. Check out a brief news item in the Mercury. [Note to Mike MacDonald: Steve is smiling in a photo.]
♦ Believe to Achieve, a long-running program of the Department of Athletics at Guelph that involves varsity athletes speaking with local schoolchildren about the importance of excelling in the classroom, being confident in their abilities and setting goals. Dozens, perhaps in excess of a hundred, Gryphon football players have participated in the program over the years.
Recently, eight Gryphon athletes visited Aberfoyle Public School. Football players Fraser Speakman, Jacob Harpell, Rob Farquharson and Iain Hutchison among them. The emphasis was on encouraging reading.
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Some more noteworthy examples of Gryphons giving back caught the attention of Cable TV host Trish Stevenson of Inside Guelph. On separate programs in October and December Stevenson interviews Coach Lang and John Rush [here > http://rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=54&gid=125162] and Coach Lang and Taylor Palmer [here > http://rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=54&gid=125159].
These interviews are worth watching. Lots of info about Gryphons giving back as well as some solid football info.