After the Friday Night Lights victory over Carleton I had a few minutes to chat with Coach Alex Derma. Derma has been the Show Team Coordinator since Stu Lang became head coach in 2010. He also helps out with the coaching of receivers in Winter-Spring camp and August training camp.
My main reason for talking to Coach Derma was to ask him about the Show Team players of the week. Unlike previous seasons I didn’t start sharing the names of the Scout Team player of the week until mid-season. The following are the Scout Team Players of the Week for 2014:
Week 1 Alec Reid – TE – Adam Scott CVI, Peterborough
Week 2 Jelani Pascoe – DL – Pickering HS, Ajax
Week 3 John Birnie – LB – St Michael’s College, Toronto
Week 4 Alan Florez – FB – St Francis, St Catharines
Week 5 Jacob Ippolito – LB – Bishop McDonnell, Guelph
Week 6 Dan Urbshas – OL – Lourdes, Guelph
Week 7 Quincy Reid – SB – Waterdown, Waterdown
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The following is further feedback largely as I received it from Coach Derma:
It has been a successful year for the Gryphons thus far and part of that comes down to our prep with the Show Team. Every week the non-dressers need to reload and find the inner will to strap up and produce another OUA team’s systems against our starting defense, offense and special teams units. As Gryphons, we ask a lot out of our Show Team players and every week they answer the bell.
This year we have had a number of players stand out in their show team role. RB Daniel Palmer-Salmon has been completely explosive in the backfield to the point where he has even been asked to slow down a little at times to get a more true look. LB John Birnie and DB David Rossetti have been incredibly reliable on both defense and special teams taking almost every rep this season. Receiver Quincy Reid has been asked to play multiple different positions on the offensive side. He has been spotlighted as a wide receiver, a quarterback (during Austin Kennedy prep week) as well as a running back at times. Alan Florez has been spectacular playing FB and even showcased some decent mitts in the receiving game, doing it so well that it earned him Show Team Player of the Week. The biggest surprise thus far has easily been Alec Reid who was converted from QB to TE in the late stages of training camp. He has displayed good hands, made some fantastic catches and has developed into a great leader for these young players.
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This past weekend I also asked some questions of OL Coach Mike MacDonald. He indicated he thought the young offensive linemen were able to show a strong front in their Scout Team role. In particular, 3rd year OLs Daniel Urbshas and Tyler Case give a lot of leadership to the younger players and make them better. Among the freshmen Eric Starczala continues to look like a player who will soon be able to excel at the OUA level. Colin Jerome and Duncan Curren are showing a lot of promise as well.
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The Scout Team, or Show Team to use the name used by the coaching staff, is the route to the dress roster for most players. More than 50% of the players dressing and starting for the Gryphons this season spent at least one season on the Show Team. Many spent two years there. And one that I can think of – Jacob Harpell – spent three years doing scout team duty. Harpell is now completing two seasons where he has played in every one of the Gryphons regular season and playoff games. There are lots of good stories of Gryphon players who used their scout team time to improve, prove themselves and earn playing time. Look for a story on some of those players by Grâce Lokole in the coming weeks.