It seems everywhere I go these days I run into the Yates Cup – lol. All the photos above are from a Saturday night gathering in Guelph and come from the camera of Lou Toppan. I had lots of fun at the post-season party hosted by the Parents of Players. And so did the parents, players, coaches and supporters who attended.
This was a first time event, hosted by the Parents of Players [POP] group, and in the works long before the Gryphons’ Yates Cup victory. BUT … having the Yates Cup there was NICE. I hope we will also see it at the Friends of Gryphon Football regional receptions which are being planned for later this winter. Think February/March and watch for the dates to be announced in the next month or so.
♦ The uniforms in the photos are the ones the Gryphons would have worn had they made it to the Vanier Cup. It does seem strange to see player names on the backs of the jerseys. That is a CIS requirement in both the national semi-finals and the Vanier Cup. As a rule Guelph never puts player names on their jerseys. I believe the requirement to have names on the back comes from the TV broadcasters.
♦ Speaking of the POP group … I think I had a tear in my eye when I saw Sharanne MacDonald [mother of Grant] at the Yates Cup tailgate party prior in London. I still remember meeting her back in 2008. She walked the aisles of Alumni Stadium with a clipboard in hand, shouting … “Are there any parents of players here?”. Her intent was to collect the phone numbers and email addresses of parents for the purpose of being able to communicate effectively. I know Nick FitzGibbon’s mom helped with that effort but Sharanne was “the face” and driving force of the POP group in it’s early years.
The POP group continues to be a major success and key part of the Gryphon Football family. The size and vitality of the group makes Guelph unique among OUA programs. Having talked to some of the POP leaders about their future plans I’m really looking forward to the continued growth of the group in 2016. Plus, some of the ways the group will continue to impact Gryphon Football from tailgate parties, to recruiting, to their behind-the-scenes support and organizing.
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Word has it, when the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame next inducts new members, former Gryphon Thomas Dimitroff Jr. will be among the honourees. The Guelph Sports Hall of Fame is jointly sponsored by the City of Guelph and the Kiwanis Club of Guelph. There is a permanent, public display at the Sleeman Centre in downtown Guelph. The honourees for 2016 will be introduced in the Spring at the Kiwanis Sports Celebrity Dinner.
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Just as his life had, the unexpected passing in October 2014 of former Gryphon player, and Wildman Memorial Trophy winner, Calvin Nigh impacted many people. The students and players he taught and coached at Ridgeway-Crystal Beach High School were among the most impacted. There is an excellent video from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats website that shows a little more of how Nigh touched lives. RCBHS was chosen to one of 28 high schools that benefitted from Nissan Canada’s Kickoff Project in 2016. [The youtube version of it is below.] A second video with a few more details can be found here.