Check out the list below of the Gryphons named 2014 OUA ALL-STARS. The full story from OUA.ca
Centre: Matthew Nesbitt – Guelph
Offensive Tackle: Matthew Toppan – Guelph
Kick Returner: Ryan Nieuwesteeg – Guelph
Defensive End: Cameron Walker – Guelph
Linebacker: Curtis Newton – Guelph
Free Safety: Tristan Doughlin – Guelph
Rush/Cover: Fraser Speakman – Guelph
Guard: Cam Wilhelm – Guelph
Inside Receiver: Alex Charette – Guelph
Wide Receiver: A’Dre Fraser – Guelph
Running Back: Rob Farquharson – Guelph
Place Kicker: Daniel Ferraro – Guelph
Cornerback: Colin Mandich – Guelph
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My thoughts: The sheer number of All Stars, thirteen, is amazing. To put that in perspective, Guelph had eight All Stars in 2010, just two in 2011, eight in 2012 and six in 2013. Thirteen is a reflection of the level of talent the Gryphons have recruited since 2011. Top prospects are staying in the program, developing physically and skill-wise, and producing on the field. That also says a lot about the work of this coaching staff.
Only one of the 11 all stars [Rob Farquharson] has used all five years of his eligibility. Walker, Charette and Ferraro may have some CFL opportunities this spring but, regardless of what may or may not happen for them, things look bright going forward with a minimum of 9 or 10 all stars returning. Not to mention there were some outstanding Gryphon players who didn’t get selected – John Rush, Iain Hutchison, Jazz Lindsey, Kyle Fraser to name a few.
One area that continues to be a bright spot is special teams. This the fourth year in a row a Gryphon has been selected at the Rush/Cover position – Bryan Dunjko, Cam Walker, Andrew Graham & Fraser Speakman. This is the third year in a row a Gryphon has been selected as a returner – A’dre Fraser [2x] & Ryan Nieuwesteeg. And it’s great to add an all star kicker to the group. In my opinion Daniel Ferraro had an All Canadian-type of season as a kicker but he lost out to 5th-year player who had a great career if not as strong a season.
It’s also great to see three offensive linemen selected. This is the third consecutive year that a Gryphon OL has been selected, but Matt Richardson, Cam Thorn & Jake Piotrowski were each in their final seasons. This year’s selections – Matt Nesbitt, Matt Toppan & Cam Wilhelm should all be back.
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CIS FOOTBALL ALL CANADIANS – related story
LB – Curtis Newton – Guelph – 3 – London, Ont. – Sociology
RET – Ryan Nieuwesteeg – Guelph – 3 – Niagara Falls, Ont. – Sociology
My Thoughts: What can I say? These young men had great seasons. Nieuwesteeg’s numbers made his selection a no-brainer. In fact, I’m a little surprised he wasn’t named to the first team. Newton had excellent numbers but I really think that it was opposing coaches looking at film who recognized his excellence and elevated him to 1st team OUA and 2nd team All Canadian honours, because he really hadn’t received the credit he was due prior to this.