Congratulations to Rob Farquharson on being inducted into the Stamford Collegiate Wall of Fame!
This past week there was an informative story in the Niagara Falls Review – Stamford sports wall adds three new members. One athlete and two builders were inducted. Gryphon Football great Rob Farquharson was the athlete. We all knew Farquharson was a great athlete but I had no idea that he starred in five sports. Farquharson was an All Star, Team MVP or Championship winner in soccer, volleyball, basketball and rugby, in addition to football.
NIAGARA FALLS – It seems like just yesterday that Rob Farquharson was a dominating athlete at Stamford Collegiate.
It’s hard to fathom that the multi-sport star is now a 23-year-old university graduate who will be inducted into the Stamford Collegiate Sports Wall of Fame on Thursday night.
“This is my first year of eligibility and it’s really special,” Farquharson said. “I remember being there in my fourth and fifth years and teachers were already telling me I was going to be on the wall.”
He describes the induction as surreal.
“It feels like my life is at a crossroads,” he said. “I don’t know where I am headed, but the night will be a lot of fun.”
The 2008 Niagara Falls athlete of the year’s Stamford and Niagara Falls achievements include: being named Stamford’s male athlete of the year every year he attended the school; two Zone 3 rugby championships; two appearances in football championship games; two Ontario Cup soccer championships; several MVP awards in volleyball, basketball and football; and, all-star team nods at both the Tribune and Review basketball tournaments.
It is on the football field where Farquharson shone brightest, despite getting beat out of the playoffs three times by nemesis, Sir Winston Churchill.
“It’s something you hate to think about — they beat us twice in the finals — but all those football seasons were the best times I ever had in high school,” he said. “It’s something I will remember forever.”
The bonds he built with teammates in football were stronger than in any other sport.
“I think it’s truly the one team sport where you have to rely on everybody to do their job and it takes a certain trust to play with others.”
After his Stamford days were over, Farquharson became a star with the University of Guelph football team. There, his resume included: being named a Second Team Offensive Ontario University Athletics All-star and team MVP in 2012; winning the Don Cameron Award for most improved male athlete; being named player of the week multiple times; and, winning the W.F. Mitchell Sportsman of the Year Award and the Ted Wildman Trophy in his final year of football.
The human kinetics graduate ended his Guelph football career in the fall of 2014 as the second all-time leading rusher in Guelph history.
His high point at Guelph came in his third year when Guelph came back against Queen’s in a semifinal game before winning in overtime.
“It was a pretty ecstatic moment and from a team perspective that was the ultimate high.”
Taking on a leadership role in his final season was also high on his list of fond memories.
“I had a few games where I was injured but people still looked up to me,” he said. “Addressing the team at dinner was pretty special to me and it was a lot of fun. It was definitely an awakening.”
Farquharson’s hopes of a pro football were dashed this February when he tore his Achilles tendon playing intramural soccer.
“School was a drag to be at and it got pretty depressing,” he said. “You go from being a high-level athlete to not being able to open doors for yourself.”
Thankfully, a strong support network of friends helped him get through the tough times.
“I had a realization that there was a high possibility that I wasn’t going to make it to the next level of football and I’ve kind of gotten over the fact that it’s over,” he said. “I moved on to bigger and better things and I know football is a career that is short.”
He is working construction for his uncle this summer and will be attending Niagara College in the fall to study exercise science for human performance.