Golden Hawk alumni & friends of the football program,

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

The 20th Laurier Football Dinner held at the beautiful Lazaridis School of Business & Economics on April 27th was a great success. Thank you to Master of Ceremonies Mike Hogan who did a fantastic job! Also, thank you to Sportsnet Hosts Sid Seixeiro & Donnovan Bennett who had the room engaged and laughing during their segment. The evening was capped off by us honouring the first inductee into Legends of Laurier Football (Laurier Football Hall of Fame) Legendary Coach Gary Jeffries. Please take the time to check out the videos and photos from the terrific night: 

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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 thrilled with our 2019 recruiting class and last week we unveiled it through our #TakeFlight2019 recruiting show. Please take a look to see the full class announced, which includes: player interviews, film sessions and recruiting class analysis. The video can be found here: https://laurierfootball.com/2019/04/18/video-takeflight2019-recruiting-class-introduced/

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Left: WR Kurleigh Gittens Jr., Right: Stength & Conditioning Coach Jesse Collins (Photo by Rossy Pasternak/Laurier Football).

Ten Golden Hawks Participating in CFL Regional and National Combines This Week

Ten Laurier Golden Hawk Football players will be participating in the Regional and National CFL Combines this week.

The Regional Combine is taking place in Toronto on Thursday, March 21st, including some of the best players from the OUA. Participants will have their official measurements taken, and participate in speed, strength, and conditioning tests. The players will then take part in competitive positional one-on-one drills. Eight Golden Hawks will be participating Thursday, including:

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— This article was taken from bpssportsniagara.com, written by Bernie Puchalski. The original article can be found HERE —

Holy Cross graduate Mario Villamizar has been invited to attend a regional CFL draft combine in Toronto. Photos by PETER METHNER.

It’s a moment Mario Villamizar had been working towards for a long, long time.

In early January, the 24-year-old St. Catharines native received an e-mail inviting him to attend the Canadian Football League’s Ontario Regional Combine March 21 in Toronto.

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Photo taken original article on laurierathletics.com

Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that returns for it’s third installment during the 2018-19 season. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.

— This article first appeared on laurierathletics.com. The original posting of the article can be found HERE

Jahmeeks Beckford: Support Worker, Carizon Family and Community Services

When Jahmeeks Beckford was a young football player, some of his biggest tackles and challenges were certainly not on the gridiron.

Beckford struggled with reading and writing, figured he had some kind of learning disability, and it bothered him. He grew up in a low-income area and found ways to mix with good people but some, he remembers, had made bad choices.

When many of his school and athletic buddies graduated from high school and moved on to Wilfrid Laurier University, Beckford, despite some heavy effort academically, just didn’t have the grades to follow them.

There was antipathy and a deep feeling of resentment, but rather than throw in the towel, deep down, he had a flash of hope. Beckford chose to do something about it.

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art10010_pic1Laurier Grads Soar is a multi-part series that returns for it’s third installment during the 2018-19 season. The segment features former Wilfrid Laurier University athletes and student-leaders in the Athletics and Recreation Department, and the success they have enjoyed since leaving Laurier. Written by award-winning journalist David Grossman, different features will be released throughout the year that will emphasize the role Athletics and Recreation played in helping them achieve success.

— This article first appeared on laurierathletics.com. The original posting of the article can be found HERE —

Donnie Ruiz: CFL alum, artist, personal trainer, and award-winning body builder

From an early age, Donnie Ruiz decided to make football his primary focus.

Ruiz would prove his talent meant more than just muttering a bunch of words, and went on to fulfill a dream by becoming a seven-year pro in the Canadian Football League.

But, that wasn’t all that made him a success.

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CFL players Ronnie Pfeffer, left, and Chris Ackie are hosting a football camp during March break. – Mathew McCarthy , Waterloo Region Record

— This article was taken from TheRecord.com, written by Mark Bryson. The original article can be found HERE

KITCHENER — Chris Ackie is in no rush to make a decision.

The Cambridge native, a veteran of four Canadian Football League seasons, said he was contacted by all nine teams Tuesday (the opening day of free agency) and will weigh his options carefully before making his next move. The six-foot-two, 220-pound linebacker from Wilfrid Laurier University finished the 2018 season with the Ottawa Redblacks after spending three-plus years with the Montreal Alouettes.

“I know I’m going to be playing on a team, I just have to weigh my options and figure out what offer is best for me to go in and make an impact, not only on the football field, but in the community as well,” said the 27-year-old Ackie.

“It could be days, it could be weeks, I’m in no rush. I’m staying busy and will be ready to go in May (when training camps open).”

Ackie’s immediate concern is promoting the Motivated Society football camp he will host March 15 at the CORE Lifestyle & Recreational Complex on New Dundee Road. Thirteen coaches, most of them current CFL players, will be in attendance at the camp for youngsters between the ages of 10 and 18 years of age. All proceeds from the camp, which Ackie hopes will attract 120 players, will be donated to 519 Pursuit, a London, Ont.-based organization that assists the homeless.

Ackie was one of the founding members of the Motivated Society, a group that is dedicated to training and inspiring youth players to pursue their football dreams. This will be his third year hosting the camp that will feature 13 coaches from various football backgrounds. The group includes former Laurier players Kelvin Muamba (CFL free agent) and Esa Mrabure (Calgary), who have been with Motivated Society since the beginning, as well as first-time coach Ronnie Pfeffer (Toronto), a kicker from Kitchener (Cameron Heights) and former Laurier standout.

“When I was like them, an aspiring athlete playing Preds (Waterloo Regional football), I didn’t really have anything like this,” said the 26-year-old Pfeffer. “So it’s nice to show them that kids from this community can make it.”

Pfeffer has struggled with injuries since signing with Toronto as an undrafted free agent in 2015 but has won two Grey Cup rings with Ottawa and Toronto. Last season, he played seven games for the Argonauts.

Kay Okafor (Hamilton), Greg Morris (Ottawa), Juwan Brescacin (Calgary), Kwaku Boateng (Edmonton), Jesse Joseph (Montreal), Daniel Tshiamala (free agent), and Brandon Bridge (free agent) will also be featured coaches, along with former Laurier quarterback Eric Morelli and current Laurier linebacker Mario Pineda.

“I tell them what I’m doing and they’ve always been down to come out and help,” said Ackie of the player-coaches who have helped his cause.

The camp costs $65 to attend, with ages 10-13 up first (4-6 p.m.), followed by the 14-18 age group (6-8 p.m.). Additional information is available at motivatedsociety.wixsite.com/footballcamp. Ackie has sponsors on board for the event but is still looking for more. He can be contacted at chrisackie35@gmail.com.

Ackie enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Alouettes last season, earning a starting role at a new position, weakside linebacker, before being dealt to the Redblacks at the CFL trade deadline for a second-round pick in this year’s draft. He played a lesser role in Ottawa but did make his first Grey Cup appearance in a 27-16 loss to Calgary.

Ackie began his football journey with the Cambridge Lions and was an outstanding two-way player with the Preston Panthers in high school.

mbryson@therecord.com

Twitter: @BrysonRecord

mbryson@therecord.com

Twitter: @BrysonRecord