­­­­Golden Hawk alumni & friends of the football prog­­­ram,

This newsletter is brought to you by our great friends and the best movers, AMJ Campbell.

We are 1-0 after a 37-6 victory over the York Lions this past Saturday Afternoon. There is lots to be impressed with and happy about, but also many areas that we can improve upon and will this week before our big game vs Waterloo this Saturday.

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Luc Gerritsen played running back at WLU from 1984 to 1988. His former Offensive Coordinator, Tom Arnott described him as “Big, strong, and fast with the ability to block like an offensive lineman. If there was no hole to run through, he made one. I think he liked it better that way”. In 1987, he scored two touchdowns and was the MVP in Laurier’s 28 to 15 Yates Cup victory over Guelph. In that same year, he was also a 2nd team OUA All-star and he was voted the Team MVP. He was a 2nd round draft pick of the British Columbia Lions in 1987. Luc is currently a science teacher and football coach at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School.  Recently, I was interested in a conversation Luc was having with Gary Jefferies on Facebook about the recent attention given to the horrible revelations about residential schools so I reached out to Luc about learning more about this awful chapter in Canadian history that many of us sadly know almost nothing about.  Luc was kind enough to point me in the right direction and to participate in this interview.

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     Roan Kane played WR for the Golden Hawks from 1970 to 1973 under the legendary Dave ‘Tuffy’ Knight. Kane and Stacey Coray (Talks with Hawks Episode 7) became the first black players to wear the purple and gold, making them the ‘Jackie Robinsons’ of Laurier football history. Kane was a member of the 1972 provincial championship team, Eastern Championship team and the National Runner-up team. Kane graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Now residing just outside of New York City, Kane was recently kind enough talk to me in a recent phone interview.

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I have gone over the previous 30 episodes that I have completed so far and it seems like I have interviewed a disproportionate number of defensive backs. That trend continues with this latest feature. Courtney Stephen played for the Hawks in 2008 and 2009. During those two seasons, he had 7 interceptions and 5 fumble recoveries. In his rookie year, he was a 2nd team OUA All Star and the following year he was a 1st team OUA All Star and a 2nd team All Canadian.  He was destined for greater things, transferring to Northern Illinois to play NCAA football. After sitting a year, Stephen contributed significantly during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. During his final season, Northern Illinois was 12-0 becoming the first MAC school to play in the Orange Bowl. Although they lost 31-17 to Florida State, his team finished 15th in the national rankings. In 2012, he was the 8th overall selection in the CFL draft and played 6 years with Hamilton before moving on to Calgary for the 2019 season. He has now returned to Hamilton to continue his CFL career and it will be awesome to see a great Laurier football alum play locally in the GTA. Current Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Ron VanMoerkerke had this to say about him: Courtney separated himself from his peers in two ways. The first was his physical approach to the game. He would not be intimidated by anyone and he set the tone for the defense from his first day on campus. The second way was his relentless drive. Everything he did on the field and for his teammates was on another level. Although he was only with us for two years, his performance and passion for the game of football make him a Laurier legend.

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     Austin Reusch played defensive back for Laurier from 2012 to 2015 (Earliest Editor’s Note ever: For some reason, by far, I have interviewed more defensive backs than any other position).  After graduating from Corpus Christi in Burlington, Austin was admitted to the Business program at Laurier and joined the team as an invited walk on. Austin may in fact be one of the nicest, happiest, kindest, most pleasant people anyone could ever meet. For the past couple of seasons, he helped coach DBs at WLU and he has also served as the defensive coordinator for the Cambridge Lions. He is also an amazing golfer and I have selfishly hitched my wagon to his in Gary Jefferies’ annual tournament so as to have a ringer in my foursome. It was a pleasure to have Austin as my subject for Episode 30.

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