March Break news & thoughts – Mar 11/14

I spent a lot of time last week watching basketball. I really forgot how much I enjoy the sport. The main impetus for last week’s B-Ball binge was nostalgia. My high school alma mater was back at OFSAA for the first time since I played on the team an amazing 35 years ago. They made out better than we did back in 1979. We lost in the semi-final. This year Saltfleet District High School won the OFSAA ‘AAA’ gold medal.

Over the course of the three day tournament I got to re-connect with an old friend and teammate, I introduced my 8-year-old son to basketball, I got to share stories and to relive some memories. But as always there are Gryphon football connections. I wore a Gryphon football jacket a couple of days. That brought lots of positive responses. One of the tournament coaches was a 1989 Guelph alumnus. He approached me and wanted to talk Gryphon football. He was obviously happy with the program’s recent success and had lots of questions. Did I think we would beat Queen’s this year? Would we make it back to the Yates Cup?

Liam McCormack receives plaque for his team

Liam McCormack receives plaque for his team

I also had several opportunities to talk to 2014 linebacker recruit Liam McCormack. The 6’4″ 230 pound McCormack played center for the Guelph-St James Lions. He was really the only big body on the Lions squad that captured the tournament’s consolation title. Their only tournament loss was in OT. Read the Guelph Mercury story: St. James Lions win AAA boys’ hoops consolation title. Liam is an intelligent and well-spoken young man. He is definitely smart enough to know his role. He used his size to his advantage. He leaned on taller players and out-positioned them for rebounds. He got the ball to the team’s playmakers. He wasn’t afraid to take the ball to the hoop when given the opportunity. I think he’ll find a role for himself on the Gryphon football squad.

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Olympic bobsledder Tim Randall

Olympic bobsledder Tim Randall

The man with the beard, Olympian Tim Randall,  is the subject of another article, this one on the blog Mountain Man Strength. It’s a 12-question Q&A which reveals lots of connections to his Guelph days. Randall also makes it clear he plans to push-on to the 2018 Olympics.

By the way, were you aware that two other former Gryphon football players have previously competed as bobsledders?

In 1988 Tony Reis, a member of the ’84 Vanier Cup team, competed in the Calgary Olympics in both the 4-man and 2-man events. Reis was the driver in both those crews and the Opening Ceremonies flag-bearer for Team Portugal.  Dan Mayhew,  a 1997 BSc Human Kinetics grad, won a Yates cup while a Gryphon in 1996. Mayhew was also on the Guelph track team, and went on to be a member of the Canadian Bobsleigh Team for 5 years competing in World Cup and World Championship events. Something re-tweeted on Mayhew’s twitter account [@23mayhew]:

Grow a beard and train real hard
Wear a fancy leotard
Find three friends.  Pursue a dream
Now You are a bobsleigh team.

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The Gryphon Cheerleading teams were in Kitchener back on February 28 competing in the Cheer Evolution Nationals. Both cheer teams, All-Girl and Co-ed, left the Kitchener Auditorium with championship banners. It was the third national championship in a row for the All-Girl squad and second for the Co-ed team. The Co-ed team are also back-to-back Grand Champions of the CE Nationals. Next up for the Gryphon Cheer teams are the Cheer Ltd Can-Am Collegiate Nationals in Myrtle Beach, SC. From March 13-17 the Gryphons, along with York U, will be competing with 30-some American college teams.

2014 CE Nationals champs

2014 CE Nationals champs

But that’s not the only big news Gryphon cheerleaders had to share recently!!  This March 10 announcement is from the Facebook page of Guelph Gryphons Cheerleading:

This past weekend current Gryphon Cheerleader Jesi Sellon and former Gryphon Cheerleader Brittany Clarke made it onto 2 great CFL Cheerleading teams. This upcoming season Jesi will be on the sidelines with the Ti-cats and Brittany with the Redblacks! Congratulations Ladies!!

New CFL cheerleaders - Jesi Sellon (left) & Brittany Clark

New CFL cheerleaders – Jesi Sellon (left) & Brittany Clarke

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