Friday, April 17, 2009

Come one, come all

Had a meeting with Barry Rooke and Aaron Levy (aka Ken Cheesy) yesterday about the future of Guelph Gryphons sports action on the radio for next year. Barry, as interim station manager at 93.3FM CFRU, the campus radio station, was the brains behind this year's sports broadcasting project that Aaron and I did play-by-play and colour commentary for, along with a host of fantastic guests. Aaron, who also hosts a weekly radio show from 1-3pm on Mondays (Anarcha-Feminist Kool Aid Acid Test), did some work as a football broadcaster in the fall and I came alongside to do basketball and the women's hockey playoffs shortly after.

Both Barry and Aaron are great guys and have been, along with myself, tirelessly committed to trying to bring listeners some Gryphons sports coverage on the radio.

The success of this year's sports radio broadcasting has gotten some people talking about ways to take it further and our meeting yesterday discussed ideas about how we can take sports broadcasting to the next level. We've built partnerships with Gryphons athletics and several varsity staffs and are now looking to move into the business aspects of production to further develop the project.

Without getting into a lot of specific details, I want to start with the main thing we determined: THE NEED FOR MORE VOLUNTEER HELP!!!!

The sports broadcasting is a project put on by volunteers working in conjunction with CFRU's staff and has the potential to not only create great programming but also serve as a great educational opportunity for anyone looking to get involved in any aspect of broadcast journalism.

For the fall, we're looking to exclusively cover Gryphons football, followed by men's and women's basketball and some hockey in the spring. If you're at all interested in participating in this project, as a commentator, producer, interviewer, tech support or anything related to radio production of athletics events, take the time to become a CFRU volunteer and we'll get you hooked up! The success of the project explicitly depends on our ability to attract volunteers.

Give it a shot, you might end up like me and find it to be something worth pursuing!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gryphons bolster backcourt

The Gryphons men's basketball team has received notification of commitment from Burlington native, Brady Heslip, a 6-foot-2, 180lb guard, one of the top outside shooting recruits in the province.

With Nick Pankerichan graduating, the Gryphons were in need of some backcourt help and it will be interesting to see what kind of role Heslip takes on in his first year. I watched a couple of highlight videos on him (Youtube is always clutch!) and this kid looks like a very solid outside shooter. He's got a quick release and seems to have good court sense too. While most of his highlights showed Heslip spotting up from 3-point land, it also looks like he can distribute the basketball and drive to the net. Being a little on the small side, I think Heslip translates well into a good combo-guard, a la Dan McCarthy.

Rookie guards seem to step in and contribute faster than big men in the OUA, as indicated by last year's OUA All-Rookie team (of the 6 players on the team, 4 were guards and that didn't include McCarthy who was also very solid and just missed the nomination). Heslip could come in and provide some instant offence for the Gryphons off the bench.

With McCarthy, Mike Petrella, Jon Moscatelli and potentially Charles Agyemang returning next year, I don't see Heslip cracking the starting lineup in his inaugural year. Petrella showed some great signs late in the year and McCarthy has a ton of upside that should translate into results in his second year. Moscatelli will likely be counted on to be the main scoring option for the Gryphons, but needs to improve his defence.

Stay tuned for more Gryphons updates - I still think they need to address the frontcourt with Duncan Milne graduating and Adam Bering and Duncan Reid yet to show that they replace Milne's 30 minutes a game. Bering's 2008-09 season was inconsistent and derailed by a concussion and Reid played limited minutes and looked raw when he did play. Both guys have potential to contribute and their summer workouts will be critical.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Gryphons add top recruit to cross-country squad

Gryphons cross-country/track and field coach Dave Scott-Thomas just keeps convincing top athletes to run for him.

The Gryphons have announced that they have recruited Genevieve Lalonde to join the cross country and track teams for next year. Lalonde, a native of Moncton, New Brunswick is widely acknowledged to be one of the top distance runners in North America and will give the Gryphons one of the best one-two punches with CIS Female Track Events Athlete of the Year and Guelph's top newsmaker and female athlete of the year, Lindsay Carson.

Lalonde was the Central American and North American Cross Country champion for 2009 and is expected to thrive under Scott-Thomas's tutelage.

The Gryphons track and cross country teams will undoubtedly continue to dominate the national stage and truly be the brightest spot in Gryphons athletics.

Stay tuned for more information on the Lalonde recruitment, hopefully including comments from both herself and Scott-Thomas in next week's edition of The Ontarion.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More recruits sign on

The Gryphons football team made a big splash a little over a month ago with their version of "National Signing Day", introducing the incoming rookies who had signed a letter of intent to play for Coach Kyle Walters and his staff.

Last week, I talked to Dillon Dimitroff, a wide receiver from Burlington, whose father, uncle and grandfather are all former Gryphons (Dillon's uncle, Tom Dimitroff, is the current General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL and the reigning Executive of the Year). Dillon said that the signing event was very impressive and he really liked how the school was making the incoming rookies feel comfortable and important - this kid has a great head on his shoulders and should contribute sooner rather than later. He'll be looking to intern with the Falcons this summer to get some professional football advice - can't hurt!

Anyways, back to the point of this post - I've just learned from the great people in athletics that Coach Walters now has a second group of recruits who are poised to become Gryphons and once again, there is a significant Niagara Region flavour in the group. Walters has now recruited 4 players from Niagara Falls to come to Guelph and 3 others from nearby Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Welland. We'll look to run a story on these guys in the fall as I'm sure they've all played with/against each other at some point.

With the two groups of recruits that have committed to Guelph, the rookie class is tentatively set at 27 new players so there's going to be lots of new talents this year. Granted, we won't likely see them all on the field during the games - some will red-shirt during their first year - but one player I'm really looking at to make a big contribution is running back Corey Davidson out of Port Colborne. He'll likely be the Gryphons' #2 back this year behind Nick Fitzgibbon and also see time returning kicks.

Also, anyone who follows Gryphons athletics knows that Port Colborne has been a great supplier of athletes to the program as it is the hometown of the basketballing Yallin sisters. Steph Yallin was a former all-star and team captain and Kris Yallin is now graduating after four years of outstanding play - she was a co-captain and OUA West Second-Team All-Star this year and one of the best three-point shooters in Gryphons history. Alex Yallin is going into her third year and has shown potential to be a big contributor in the backcourt. ALSO, when I talked to Kris earlier this year, she told me that there are TWO MORE Yallin sisters in high school with basketball talent and Gryphon aspirations. Despite being a very small town, Port Colborne continues to produce top-shelf athletes - hopefully Corey Davidson will be no different.

Stay tuned for more updates...