Gryphons add strong Hamilton, Niagara flavor to lineup

Guelph – Several graduates of minor football programs in Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe areas intend to suit up for the Guelph Gryphons this fall when Ontario University Athletics football starts.

Tyler Case, Jamie Lalonde, Darren Ivey, and Steve Mburanumwe are all graduates of minor football programs in Hamilton.

Case, 6-foot-7 and 255-punds, is two-time Golden Horseshoe Region All-Star and the product of the Hamilton Ironmen football program.

Lalonde, a 2010 Team Ontario West and a two-time GHR All-Star, comes to the Gryphons from the Hamilton Ironmen and Steel City Steelers organizations. Lalonde is a whopping 280-pounds standing 6-foot-3, making him a force to be reckoned with at centre on the offensive line.

At 5-foot-9, 155-pounds, Ivey is looking to crack the Gryphon roster as a receiver this fall. He comes to the Gryphons from the Steel City Steelers and is a Hamilton native. He is an exciting player to watch and his versatility should get him recognition early.

All 6-foot-4, 275-pounds of Mburanumwe will be playing football for the Gryphons in the fall. As a member of the Hamilton Ironmen, Mburanumwe was integral on the offensive line, and was a back-to-back GHR All-Star.

Also joining the Gryphons is Jordan Young, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive linemen from Waterdown District high school and the Wentworth Panthers. This under-the-radar commit will be sure to turn heads when coming into fall camp.

The Niagara region is also strongly represented on the list of Gryphons recruits. Golden Horseshoe Bowl Finalists Donnie Egerter, Kory Kemp, Ryan Nieuwesteeg, Evan Murzda and Josh Janssen leave St. Paul High School in Niagara to join the Gryphons.

Egerter’s 6-foot-3, 260-pound frame will be a great addition to the Gryphons defensive roster. His accomplishments include Niagara AAAA All-Star, Ontario Varsity Football League All-Star, and GHR All-Star.

Kemp was Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and was a Niagara AAAA All-Star. He is 5-foot-9 and 170-pounds and will look to contribute to the Gryphon’s defence.

Nieuwesteeg is arguably one of the best running backs in the Niagara region. At 5-foot-9 and 160-pounds he is very quick and elusive. The Gryphons are eager to integrate Ryan’s impressive running and catching style into the offence.

Also joining the Gryphons from the Niagara Region is Niagara AAAA All-Star Murzda from St.Davids. Murzda, 6-foot-2 and 160-pounds, will continue to develop his quarter backing skills within the Gryphon camp. He led the Patriots to the Golden Horseshoe Bowl this past season.

Janssen is a very strong and talented lineman who overpowers his opponents. At 6’2 and 285 pounds, the two-way lineman for St. Paul will look to bring his aggressive style to Guelph in August.

Jesse Benson and Kyle Fraser are sure to step in and make a big impact on the offensive line. A native of Port Colborne, Benson is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound receiver and was a Niagara AAAA All-Star.

Fraser is a product of the Niagara Spears and comes to the Gryphons with a host of accolades. He was named a Niagara AAAA All-Star, played for Team Ontario in 2010 and was a back-to-back GHR All-Star. Fraser is literally a huge asset to the Gryphon offensive line, boasting a solid 6-foot-4, 260-pound frame.

Mackenzie Morrison is a receiver who is sure to make an impact on the Gryphon offence. The 6-foot, 165-pound Acton native is a product of the Halton Hills Crimson Tide, where he earned impressive accolades during his tenure including Defensive MVP, Team MVP, and Offensive MVP.

Shaquille Johnson and Elias Mensah both come to the Gryphons from the Brampton Bulldogs. Johnson, a 6-foot, 185-pound receiver, will surely be an asset to the Gryphon offence and look to make an early impact. The speedy Brampton, ON native played for the Team Ontario West all-star squad in 2010.

Also from Brampton ON, is Elias Mensah who is a 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive lineman. Elias brings a combination of both size and speed and looks to be a dominant force on the Gryphon defensive line.

6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver, Andrew Wilhelm from Brantford will be joining the Gryphon football squad this fall. Wilhelm played in the OVFL Prospect game and will play on the Golden Horseshoe Region All-Star team in 2012. He was named High School MVP for his contributions to the BCI Mustangs.

Raymond Bahr comes to the Gryphons from Evanston, IL, where he played for the Evanston Township High School team. His versatility allowed him to contribute to both the offensive and defensive side of the ball as a running back and a linebacker. He stands 5-foot-9 and weighs in at 165-pounds.

Drew Tunney and Dan Urbshas will surely be dominant forces on the Gryphons offensive line. Tunney, a Guelph native, was bred out of the Guelph Bears football program where he earned All-Star status in 2008. Tunney weighs in at an impressive 295-pounds and stands 6-foot-3.

Also from Guelph, 6-foot-2, 250-pound Urbshas has enjoyed much success as a Guelph Bear. Urbshas was named an OVFL All-Star, two-time D10 All-Star, Defensive Lineman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

Zack Mallough was a Team Ontario West Captain in 2011 and will anchor the GHR All-Star team in 2012. The London native was awarded the Defensive MVP in the bronze medal game in the 2011 Canada Cup. Mallough boasts an impressive 6-foot-2, 275-pound frame and is sure to be an asset to the Gryphons defensive line.

Lester Ross a product of the Mississauga Warriors, played for Team Ontario West in 2010 and was a force in the OVFL Prospect game in 2010. Ross’s 5-foot-11, 175-pound frame will add to the Gryphons defence as an exciting defensive back.

Connor Anderson joins the Gryphons as a transfer from West Virginia Wesleyan. The 6-foot, 210-pound running back is an Newmarket native and was named the York Region MVP back-to-back in 2008-2009.

Travis Jennings and Ryan Searle are a pair of accomplished players from Toronto. Jennings, originally from Jamaica, is a 5-foot-9, 190 OVFL and GTA All-Star running back. In high school, Jennings earned two high school MVP awards and was a two-time MTW Offensive Player of the Year.

Searle played for the Toronto Jr. Argos and was selected to play on the Team Ontario East in 2011 and was on the GTA Rising Stars team. Searle will use his 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame to compliment the Gryphons defensive line.

Patrick Gerrie from Waterloo is a versatile player looking to make an impact on the Gryphon defensive line and special teams unit. His 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame and his ability to make plays, make him an asset to the Gryphon squad. Gerrie’s versatility allows him to play tight end, kicker and punter.

Andrew Graham is a Forest City football product who is no stranger to the all-star scene. At 5’10 and 205 pounds, Andrew played linebacker for the 2010 Team Ontario West squad in the Canada Cup, and was a member of the 2011 GHR All Star team that defeated the GTA team. He is a two-time defensive MVP for both the Thunderbirds and Parkside High School in St. Thomas.

Name – Position – Hometown

Connor Anderson – RB – Newmarket, ON
Raymond Bahr – RB/LB – Evanston, IL
Jesse Benson – WR – Port Colborne, ON
Tyler Case – OL – Hamilton, ON
Donnie Egerter – DL – Niagara Falls, ON
Kyle Fraser – OL – Port Colborne, ON
Patrick Gerrie – DL – Waterloo, ON
Andrew Graham – LB – St. Thomas, ON
Darren Ivey – WR – Hamilton, ON
Josh Janssen – OL – St. Davids, ON
Travis Jennings – RB – Toronto, ON
Shaquille Johnson – WR – Brampton, ON
Kory Kemp – DB – Niagara Falls, ON
Jamie Lalonde – OL – Hamilton, ON
Zach Mallough – DL – London, ON
Elias Mensah – DL – Brampton, ON
Steve Mburanumwe – OL – Hamilton, ON
Mackenzie Morrison – WR – Acton, ON
Evan Murzda – QB – St. Davids, ON
Ryan Nieuwesteeg – RB – Niagara, ON
Lester Ross – DB – Mississauga, ON
Ryan Searle – DL – Toronto, ON
Drew Tunney – OL – Guelph, ON
Dan Urbschas – OL – Guelph, ON
Andrew Wilhelm – WR – Brantford, ON
Jordan Young – OL – Waterdown, ON