Wilfrid Laurier University 5th Quarter Club From the Home of Golden Hawk Football
Volume 5, Issue 1 News and Notes Regular Season Record: 3-5 Playoffs Record: 0-1 TSN Russ Jackson Award Winner Josh Alexander - DT OUA Award Winner Rookie of the Year Ryan Pyear - QB OUA All-Stars First Team Jeff Melis - C Josh Alexander - DT Kevin Taylor - FS Second Team Alex Torrie - RB Matt Babel - WR Kevin MacNeill - LB Lee Cond - Cover Ed Becker - P Dates to Remember Spring Football Camp Wed., May 1 - Sat., May 4 Purple-Gold Scrimmage Sat., May 4 All-Canadian Camp Thurs., June 27 Sun., June 30 Friends of Golden Hawk Football Dinner and Reception Thurs., May 2 Fall Training Camp Thurs., August 22 Sat., August 31 Home Opener Mon., September 2
The Future is Bright By Paul Caporicci Sports Information Director The Golden Hawk football squad began their 2001 season with optimism and excitement. They hoped to build on last season’s successes, where they were Yates Cup finalists and had a final ranking of sixth in the CIS. With only two starters returning on offense and seven on defense, there were sure to be some “growing pains”. To offset this inexperience, 1991 Vanier Cup championship head coach Rich Newbrough returned to the fold to coach the defensive backs. Along with another former head coach Tuffy Knight, current head coach Rick Zmich has assembled the most experienced and prominent coaching staff in the league. The season opened almost a week earlier with a Labour Day night game against the Waterloo Warriors where the Hawks fell 17-6. The following Saturday Laurier bounced back with an 11-3 victory over the Windsor Lancers. The next week the Hawks traveled to London where they were handed a 35-10 loss from the Western Mustangs. Laurier reached the midpoint of their season with a 0.500 record after their 19-10 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues. Homecoming weekend against the number one team
Rookie quarterback Ryan Pyear brought a new dimension to the Hawks offense with his scrambling abilities.
in the OUA had the Hawks casted as significant underdogs. It was almost a déjà vu of last season’s homecoming, but the Hawks could not find the endzone on the eight-yard line and fell to the visiting McMaster Marauders by a score of 9-15. The team continued their slide with a 30-8 loss to the Queen’s Golden Gaels. The Hawks traveled to Ottawa to take on the defending National Champions and held a lead until late in the fourth, but the experienced Gee-Gee’s came back to win 16-14. The Hawks rounded off the regular season with an uplifting 26-13 win over the Guelph Gryphons to finish sixth place in the OUA. The Hawks played with unseen determination and effort and held a 27-22 lead with just over a minute left in
the final quarter against the Queen’s Golden Gaels in the OUA Semi-Finals. However, All-Canadian receiver James MacLean made many key receptions as the Gaels scored a touchdown with just nine seconds left on the scoreboard to win the game 29-27. The 2001 campaign was one of many lessons, but the experiences gained by these young players will greatly assist them down the road. Regardless of a 3-5 record, the Hawks still had eight members make the OUA All-Star team. The most promising aspect of the season was quarterback Ryan Pyear who was named conference Rookie of the Year. Pyear will surely be called upon to lead future Hawk teams to championships in the upcoming years.
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2002 All-Canadian Football Camp Laurier Football is once again proud to present the 5th Annual All-Canadian Football Camp. The camp will run Thursday June 27 Sunday June 30 at University Stadium, Wilfrid Laurier University. The camp is a great opportunity for High School players (13-19 yrs) to learn and develop under the watchful eyes of the finest camp coaching staff in the country and will include the following coaches:
● Rick Zmich and the
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Wilfrid Laurier coaching staff Chris Triantafilou, Waterloo Tom Gretes, York Mario Sturino, U of T Pat Tracey, Queen’s Barry Pyear, Centennial HS Michael Cameron, St. Andrew’s
The camp will also provide each player a chance to be identified as a University prospect and will give them access to the top recruiters in the province. In addition, each camper will have access to film as a teaching tool and will receive a Progress Report at the end of camp. The cost is $225.00 for commuter campers and $275.00 for overnight campers. For more information or to register, please contact Wally Gabler at 519-884-0710 ext. 3428.
Adopt-a-Golden Hawk Student Athlete Success Golden Hawk Football players have a proud tradition of excellence and achievement in athletics, academics and within the community. Whether it be Academic All Canadian recognition, winning championships, conference and national awards, or providing leadership for local children, Golden Hawk Football players lead by example. Join the Tradition The 5th Quarter Club and Golden Hawk Football invite you to play a role in the student athlete experience and become directly involved with maintaining one of the premiere football programs in the country. The “Adopt a Golden Hawk” program is more than a fundraiser; it is an opportunity for our alumni and friends to become involved with a specific athlete. By adopting a Golden Hawk Football player, you will be assisting in the overall development of our student athletes and contributing to their efforts in achieving athletic and academic success. Who can Adopt-a-Golden Hawk? Alumni, friends of Golden Hawk Football, members of the corporate community and family members can participate in the program. Each donor is invited to the pre-game breakfast on September 14, 2002 when the Golden Hawks host the Western Mustangs. Donors will be able to meet their adopted player and other Golden Hawk players and coaches. What's our Goal? In 1999, the “Friends of Football” at McMaster University started a similar program and last season had 106 players adopted, 100% of their active roster. To date, 25 athletes have already been adopted in other WLU sports and the 5th Quarter Club has set a goal to have 45 football players adopted by the opening of the 2002 season. For more Information More information will be provided from the 5th Quarter Club President, Tom Allen in an upcoming letter.
Coach’s Corner Dear Friends of Golden Hawk Football: After an emotionally filled 2001 season the Golden Hawks are working diligently in our efforts to return to the top of the “food chain” in the OUA.The current structure and climate of intercollegiate football is extremely competitive. Attracting and developing the top student-athletes remains our primary focus. Our off-season has been one of total team commitment in both the weight-room and lecture hall. With 73 players in our winter workouts, the team is being put through it’s paces with 7:00 a.m. agility workouts, a comprehensive weight training program and friday afternoon practises at he newly constructed RIM Park field House. Academically, study hall sessions run 4 times weekly with mentors and tutors assisting many of our players with educational requirements. Look for more of our athletes to be recognized nationally for their academic and athletic prowess. All of these initiatives are not possible without your continued support and assistance. Once again, allow me to thank you on behalf the Golden Hawk Football program for your generosity in allowing these players to have the opportunity to enjoy their University years as much as you did. Sincerely Yours,
Ruiz's Rookie Season By Paul Caporicci Sports Information Director Donnie Ruiz knew that after the 2001 Yates Cup loss would be his final game in the Hawk uniform, but promised that he still had football left in him. One would agree that one of Laurier’s greatest defensive backs who was named First-Team AllCanadian three years in a row would have an opportunity to play professional football. But most people didn’t anticipate how seamless he made the transition. Ruiz reveals, “My first year in the CFL was quite successful. I was fortunate to continue the winning ways from Laurier to Winnipeg.” Donnie finished third on the Grey Cup finalist squad for
special team tackles and had one interception. With so few CIS players actually making a CFL roster, there must be a reason. “There definitely was a huge step between CIS football and CFL”, Ruiz explains.
“Competition, speed of the game, knowledge of the game, and expectations are much higher. However, I felt very prepared this season after graduating from Laurier.” Prepared enough to earn a spot as the sixth defensive back. Ruiz was matching up against the CFL’s best receivers in second and long situations. Donnie’s play attracted the notice of the new Ottawa CFL franchise as they selected him in the first round of the expansion draft. Ruiz is excited at the new opportunity and wanted to express, “My thanks to the coaches, players and administration at Laurier who have continued to support me even though my career is finished at Wilfrid Laurier University."
Alexander Award Winner By Wally Gabler Assistant Coach The 2001 recipient of the TSN/ Russ Jackson Award, which recognizes the CIS football player who best exemplifies excellence in academic achievement, community service and outstanding play, is Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk Josh Alexander. Alexander, from Kitchener, On, is a third year Business Administration major who holds a grade point average of 10.1/12, and was named CIS Academic All-Canadian in 2000-2001. In addition to Josh’s success in the classroom, he was selected as an OUA First Team All-Star in 2001. Josh is involved in numerous volunteer commitments including the Wilfrid Laurier University Athletic Advisory Council, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and coaching minor football. Josh manages to balance his many
commitments in addition to working part-time at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. During Josh’s career at Wilfrid Laurier he has been a two-time conference all-star, WLU Lineman of the Year (2000) and WLU Rookie of the Year (1999). Josh was presented with his Award by Russ Jackson at the Canadian Football League Coach of the Year luncheon during Vanier Cup week, where he represented himself, the Golden Hawks and Wilfrid Laurier University tremendously with a heart felt speech in front of over 500 people. Josh received a $3000 educational bursary for his outstanding achievements. Josh has also been presented with the Tom Allen/ Newcourt Credit Group Scholarship. His colleagues at the time of his retirement established the scholarship in recogni-
Tentative 2002 Golden Hawk Schedule September 2 Laurier at Waterloo - 8 pm September 7 Laurier at Windsor - 2 pm September 14 Western at Laurier - 2 pm September 21 Toronto at Laurier - 2 pm September 28 Laurier at McMaster - 2 pm October 5 Laurier at Queen's - 2 pm October 10 York at Laurier - 7 pm October 19 Laurier at Guelph - 2 pm October 26 Quarter-Finals - 1 pm November 2 Semi-Finals - 1 pm November 9 Yates Cup - 1 pm November 16 CIS Semi-Finals - TBA
Josh Alexander Recipient of 2001 TSN/Russ Jackson Award And Tom Allen Scholarship
tion of Tom Allen, class of ‘67 (current President of the 5th Quarter Club). The award is open to all WLU students who have played on, or is a current member of a varsity team and has demonstrated skill in the area of business. Mr. Allen presented Josh with the scholarship in the amount of $1250 in January during a ceremony at Wilfrid Laurier.
November 30 Vanier Cup - TBA
Why Not Hire A Golden Hawk? Anyone who has opportunity for long term or summer employment and would be interested in hiring a current member of the Hawks is asked to contact Rick Zmich at (519) 884-0710 ext. 2185.
Third Annual Friends of Golden Hawk Football Dinner Welcome to the 3rd Annual Friends of Golden Hawk Football Reception and Dinner. It is an honour to be the chairman of this very important event. It is equally an honour to have worked with a committee of outstanding individuals who have demonstrated untiring dedication and commitment to Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk Football. The committee members for this year's event include: Wally Gabler, Roly Webster, Kevin Webster, Fred Nichols, Greg Newbrough, Tim Fox, Rick Pajor, Shawky Fahel, Rosemary Pitfield, Mike McKenna, Rick Zmich and Peter Baxter. The Friends of Golden Hawk Football through the 5th Quarter Club, Raise funds to enhance the football program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Fundraising efforts such as this evening’s event are necessary to offset education-funding constraints. All revenues generated from this event go directly to the football program and provide our student-athletes with the necessities to compete on a national level. Funds will be allocated to: academic tutoring, athletic therapy, equipment and uniforms, video technology, training facilities, and a coaching upgrade program. These objectives will provide our student athletes with an outstanding athletic experience and make our football program attractive in recruitment. The Golden Hawks of today and those of tomorrow graciously thank all those contributors, individuals and corporate sponsors who have not only made this evening an outstanding success, but who have provided these student-athletes the opportunity to develop life-long skills from the ‘Laurier football experience’. Dr. Rich Agro, WLU - ‘67 Friends of Golden Hawk Football Dinner Chairman