Wacky incident recalled from the last time GCVI played a night game at Alumni Stadium
By Ned Bekavac
Needless to say, this wasn’t a designed play.
On the eve of their first night game at Alumni Stadium in more than two decades, Frank Tersigni, general manager of the Guelph CVI Green Gaels football team, recalls a wild incident the last time the team played an evening game at the local facility.
The lights at the stadium weren’t all that good back then, says Tersigni.
And that could quite possibly have had something to do with one of his players getting away with a move that, if caught on tape, surely would have been a hit on sports highlight shows across the continent.
It was some 25 years ago and the Gaels were facing a tough Bishop Macdonell team, a team that, Tersigni says, had a powerful running game.
“We couldn’t stop their sweep. They were sweeping left, sweeping right” and getting huge yards, recalls Tersigni, who was the Gaels’ defensive coordinator at the time.
Then came another snap, and another sweep. It was turning into another healthy gain for Bishop Mac, in front of the Gaels’ players and staff standing on the sidelines.
Tersigni paraphrases what GCVI coach Dave Walker yelled out next.
“He yells: ‘Can anyone stop this sweep?’” Tersigni says.
They then heard a voice from behind them, on the sidelines.
“I got it, coach!” the voice yelled.
Tersigni explains what happened next.
“The kid tears through the group of players, he nails the ball carrier and takes him down with a hard tackle.”
Yes, a GCVI player, who was on the sidelines, rumbled through his teammates and delivered a bone-jarring tackle on the Bishop Mac ball carrier.
The craziest part? There was no flag on the play.
“We looked at each other. We were stunned,” Tersigni says.
“I don’t know if it was because the lighting was so bad or what,” but the refs missed the call, he says with a laugh.
Gaels coaches would have a stern word with the responsible player, Tersigni says, but they sure as heck weren’t going to shout out what just happened.
“No one said anything. We just stood there with our mouths shut on the sidelines,” he says.
Lighting shouldn’t be a problem tonight (Thursday) when the Gaels take on the St. James Lions under the bright lights of Alumni Stadium in what Tersigni figures is the first District 10 high school night game there in a long, long time.
New lights have been put in as part of huge recent upgrades to the facility. This past Friday, the Guelph Gryphons played their first night game there since the ’80s. Tersigni was there.
“The place looks fantastic at night,” he says.
Tonight’s game could prove to be a dandy.
“It is an interesting match-up our passing offense against their powerful run offense. People will be entertained,” says Tersigni.
Guelph CVI enters the game with a 2-0 record while St. James is 1-1 and coming off a lengthy layoff. Their last District 10 game was on Sept. 27.
Kick-off tonight is at 7 p.m. at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium.
Also today, the Bishop Macdonell Celtics (0-2) visit the John F. Ross Royals (3-0) for a 3 p.m. game.
The regular season wraps up next week with three games.
Thursday Night Football
• St. James Lions (1-1) vs. Guelph CVI Green Gaels (2-0)
Thursday Oct. 10, 7 p.m. at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium