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 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.



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, 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 Ackie has sponsors on board for the event but is still looking for more. He can be contacted at

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.

Twitter: @BrysonRecord

Twitter: @BrysonRecord

High School Camp (3)Are you a High School Football player that wants to improve upon and showcase your skills? Don’t miss out on your chance to train with Laurier Football players and coaches on May 4th, 2019!

The Golden Hawks Football Camp will provide developing football players (aged 13-19) with an opportunity to improve their skills and increase their understanding for the game in a fun and challenging environment!

In addition to individual skills work with Laurier Football players and coaches, this camp is a great opportunity for you to showcase your game and be scouted by Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks coaches!

Open to student athletes of all skill levels, ages 13-19 who want to maximize their potential! All positions are welcome!

To Register: CLICK HERE


img_5483Golden 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 currently in week three of our off-season training and what a start it has been. Our players have been kept extremely busy with four early morning wake-ups a week, three spent lifting weights and one used for speed work, conditioning and agility.

On top of that, we meet once a week for film study and system review along with our weekly practices at the indoor field at RIM Park. We then hand out the Hard Hat Award at the end of every week to the offensive and defensive players that worked the hardest in all areas.


image1Don’t miss out on your chance to train with the pros this March Break!

Introducing the 1st Annual “Practice What You Preach” March Break Football Camp powered by Motivated Society and Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment.

Improve your skills on the field with 3rd Year Pro Nakas Onyeka from the Toronto Argonauts and over 12 other CFL pro players during this 6-day training camp.

Open to student athletes of all skill levels, ages 10-18 who want maximize their potential!

To Register CLICK HERE


art9838_pic1This newsletter is brought to you by our great friends (and the best movers) AMJ Campbell.

Golden Hawk alumni & friends of the football program,

We are saddened by the news of the passing of Laurier football alum and former Waterloo Warriors Head Coach Chris Triantafilou. Chris was such a big part of football in the Kitchener-Waterloo community for so many years, both as a player and a coach.

Chris’s story and visitation details can be found here.


Photo: Jeff Hutter

Golden Hawks fail to make playoffs for first time since 2013 following 46-13 loss to Mustangs

Jamie Howieson
Laurier Athletics

LONDON, ON – For the first time since 2013, and just the second time in the last 21 years, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team failed to advance to the OUA playoffs as they lost 46-13 to the No. 1 Western Mustangs on Saturday afternoon at TD Stadium.