♦ The 2015 Gryphon recruiting class continues it’s momentum with three more commitments. In the past few days the Gryphons have received commitments from Markham’s Austin Gonsalves, a 5’10” 185-pound defensive back out of Bill Crothers SS, Brampton native Elijah Walker, a 5’10” 175-pound defensive back also from Bill Crothers SS and Stoney Creek’s Daniel Fasciano, a 6’2″ 225-pound defensive end from Cardinal Newman CSS.
Gonsalves and Walker, in addition to being high school teammates, played together with Team Ontario where they won gold medals in last summer’s Football Canada Cup. Walker was also a member of the Team Canada U18 squad that played in the 2015 International Bowl Series. He is the #57 ranked prospect in Canada according to CFC. Fasciano who won back-to-back Hamilton Catholic championships with the CN Cardinals will join already committed high school teammate Pascal D’Ambrosio in Guelph.
♦ When Gryphon recruit Job Reinhart returned to GCVI last fall he wasn’t eligible to play football because he had participated in a CIS training camp. He didn’t let that get him down. He took up a new sport – wrestling. In his first season as a wrestler all he did was make it to OFSSA and win a Bronze medal. He sounds to me like the kind of athlete who will be able to make the shift from QB to LB without too much trouble.
♦ Receiver recruit Kade Belyk also stars on the LeBoldus Golden Suns basketball team. Basketball seems to be a family thing as his sister Haley is a sophmore on the Gryphon Women’s team. Three weeks ago Belyk’s LeBoldus team won the prestigous 63rd Annual Luther Invitational Tournament. It was the first-ever LIT win for LeBoldus and Belyk earned a place on the tournament all star team.
♦ While this recruiting class is nearing completion there were still some big-time recruiting prospects visiting Guelph last weekend. They included a couple more CFC Top 100 rated players. Coaches like to have recruits come in on Friday afternoon so they can watch the Gryphons in their weekly off-season practice at the Gryphon Fieldhouse adjacent to the stadium. You’ll find several “Vines” [i.e. short video clips] from offseason workouts and practices at the end of this post.
Others in attendance this past Friday were several Gryphon alumni who went on to play in the CFL – Heron Tait, Jake Piotrowski and Cam Thorn. [Thorn pictured demonstrating skills to O-Linemen.]
Also, on campus for the Winter semester has been the Montreal Alouettes’ Jeff Finley (pictured on the bench) as he works to finish up his University of Guelph degree after a successful rookie season in the CFL. I have to think that having Finley back, and working out in the High Performance Centre, would be positive and inspiring for younger Gryphons. Finley was a vocal veteran leader on the defense who was missed when he didn’t return for his 5th year in 2014.
♦ There was more good news from the CFL last week as Gryphon defensive end Jordan Thompson was added to the list of invitees for the Toronto Regional Combine. That brings the number of Gryphons attending to seven.
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♦ I am looking forward to attending my first-ever OUA hockey game on Saturday. An improbable late season run by the Gryphon Mens Hockey team saw them defeat the OUA West defending champion Windsor Lancers this past Friday. That culminated a magical month that saw them named the OUA Team of the Month for February. The Gryphons will host the OUA East champion UQTR Patriotes in the OUA final at the Gryphon Centre on Saturday night. The game will be streamed on-line at OUA.tv.
♦ Gryphon parent and sports writer Tim Baines gets a shout out on a recent OUAToday podcast for his Twitter photo … “frolicking in the water with a drink, surrounded by students on spring break. I think he just loves the OUA so much, he was doing an undercover human interest story down in Punta Cana while he was on vacation”.
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