Bernie Puchalski had a good news, pre-Christmas story in the St. Catharines Standard yesterday – Nieuwesteeg enjoys breakout football season at Guelph. The story/interview gives a little history of Ryan Nieuwesteeg‘s career to date, talks about the huge amount of work he put in last summer preparing for the 2014 season and, most interestingly, some insight into a possible new role on the offense. Some of the highlights:
“I didn’t play too much my first two years and I figured I was going to commit myself to something because I didn’t want to spend my time here sitting on the bench,” he said. “Last summer, I was really dedicated to getting better and improving.”
“I put in a lot of work in the summer and the coaches finally gave me an opportunity to return,” Nieuwesteeg said. “I think it was the second game I became the starting returner and the rest is history.
Nieuwesteeg credited his fast start and great season to becoming faster. He found that speed by staying in Guelph last summer and focusing on his training. That training regimen included sprint, squats, tempo runs, agility drills and working out in the gym.
“I was there full time and it paid off,” he said. “This was the most work I had ever put into a season and I could tell going on to the field that it was going to pay off. There was definitely a big change.”
Nieuwesteeg was recruited to Guelph as a running back, was switched to defensive back and now, after the great season he had returning kicks, he will be featured in the offence next season.
“It’s still up in the air and may be as running back or as a receiver,” he said. “I gave DB a shot and it didn’t pan our for me. To get back on the field on offence, I’m thrilled.”
If you read the story you’ll also see that Puchalski summarizes the 2014 accomplishments of six other “Niagara Gryphons”.