By Ned Bekavac
A heavy dose of shuteye is probably recommended the night before a Yates Cup semifinal game.
Especially when the game could be the last of your five-year OUA career.
But Guelph’s Jake Reinhart isn’t confident he’ll get lots of Zzzzs Friday night.
“I’ll have difficulty sleeping because I will have so much going through my head,” says the Guelph Gryphons linebacker.
“It’s such a big game and I have a lot of friends and family coming. I want to make sure I have all my assignments figured out, so I don’t make a mental mistake that could lead to a big play,” he says.
On Saturday afternoon, the Gryphons host the Queen’s Gaels with a berth in the Yates Cup championship game on the line.
A Guelph CVI graduate who is in his fifth and final year with the Gryphons, Reinhart says it’s been a magical ride so far this season.
The team has surprised OUA onlookers with its 7-1 record that earned them second place, and a first-round bye.
“Especially for the fifth-year guys, it’s a good one to go out on, that’s for sure,” says Reinhart.
Five years ago, he entered Gryphons camp looking to play the quarterback position. He was QB of the Guelph CVI Green Gaels and in 2006 the team went all the way to the Western Bowl finals at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Days into his first Gryph camp, he and then-coach Kyle Walters got talking.
“We decided, mutually, the best decision was to switch over to defence, and I don’t regret it,” Reinhart says.
This season, he is fourth overall in the OUA in total tackles with 50.
Queen’s and Guelph met a few weeks ago and the Gryphons erased a 25-point deficit and won by five.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 1 p.m. Alumni Stadium.
Heading into it, we threw a few Qs Reinhart’s way.
• • •
Q: What is something interesting you recall about the first time you played organized football?
A: I can remember suiting up for the first time, I had the various padding a football player wears for protection in all the wrong places.
I had the hip pads where the thigh pads should be, and the thigh pads where the knee pads should be.
As well, I had no idea what to make of wearing a mouth guard, and remember wearing it upside down for the first couple of practices, until some of the other kids noticed and helped me to correct this wardrobe problem.
• • •
Q: The Trib is paying the tab. What’s your tipple?
A: As long as the Trib is footing the bill, I’ll grab the priciest drink on the menu.
• • •
Q: The Gryphons are 7-1. Please explain. (Ha.)
A: Well the success is a result of many factors. I believe our success can be credited largely to the relentless character of our team as well as the strong bond that exists between teammates.
All teammates share strong friendships with one another and are proud to play and to fight for one another.
Throughout the season we have had some very close games, narrowly escaping defeat. During the season we have led in games, as well we have trailed in games, but our ability as a team to maintain composure and keep battling to the very last whistle, regardless of the position we find ourselves in a game, I believe has ultimately led to the success.
• • •
Q: It’s a Saturday night and you’re doing nothing football related. What might you be up to?
A: I may hang out with friends, watch a movie, go bowling, or weather permitting, go star gazing
• • •
Q: Alive or not, who are three people you’d like to have over for dinner and drinks?
A: Ronnie Coleman (former Mister Olympia), Mike Tyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger
• • •
Q: You used to be quarterback at Guelph CVI. Your brother, Job, is now the team’s pivot. Can you tell us something about that relationship?
A: My brothers (Job and Will) and I have enjoyed a lot of football together, both watching and playing together on
weekends and after school, playing catch, and having competitions to see who can throw a football farthest or who is a more accurate passer.
(There have been times when my brother has come close to overthrowing my champion status in such games, but close is all he has got.)
My brother and I watch each other’s games, and share our experiences and make recommendations as to what one another might do to better our performance.
In Job’s case, I often tell him to take off running when the pocket collapses around him as opposed to throwing an
inaccurate ball and risking an interception. We’ve really helped each other get better as football players, through
the time we spend together enjoying football related activities.
• • •
Q: What are the three most-played songs on your iPod?
A: Calm Like a Bomb, by Rage Against The Machine; Barrett’s Privateers, by Stan Rogers; Badlands, by Bruce Springsteen.
• • •
Q: What is one thing you really like about Guelph? And one you don’t?
A: There are many things I like, but in particular I like the many opportunities that exist for outdoor activities, the
many green spaces, parks, trails and rivers that connect through the city are awesome!
As a child, I spent many days enjoying and exploring these areas and realize now that these outdoor recreational
opportunities do not exist in every city.
One thing I don’t like about Guelph is Gordon Street hill approaching the university from downtown. When riding
your bike to school, this hill can prove to be a worthy adversary.
• • •
Q: The Gryphons play home games at 1 p.m. Can you tell us what your mornings are like on game day?
A: My mornings are pretty ordinary on game day, I have no special traditions that I follow prior to any game.
Upon waking up, I will enjoy a large breakfast and argue with my brother as to which big plays I may or may not make and what the final score of the game might be.
Then I travel to the stadium where I stretch and warm up before the game.
• • •
Q: Thanks Jake. Can you pass us your favourite:
• Band or musician: Bruce Springsteen (The Boss)
• Actor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
• Actress: Meryl Streep
• TV show: Duck Dynasty
• Movie: Gladiator
• Food: Chocolate chip Pancakes
• Drink: Cherry Doctor Pepper
• Day of the week: Saturday
• Sport aside from football: Rugby
• Pro sports franchise: Buffalo Bills