Guelph coaches ‘push yourself to be your best’

Guelph adds three southern Ontario commits to their 2018 class.

Never content with settling, kicker Eric Stranz from Southwood Secondary School and defensive lineman Joel Stenning and defensive back Cole Wilkinson from London South Collegiate are seeking to improve as both players and young men on the University of Guelph Gryphons.

Eric Stranz

Courtesy of Eric Stranz.

A member of the Guelph Jr. Gryphons (OFA), Eric Stranz has already had a taste for what life will be like in the Gryphons’ locker room. “I got very comfortable with the players and coaches who coached me in the summer…it felt like I was apart of a family every time I was there,” he said. “The coaching staff is top-notch. Their ability to make me feel like I’m already apart of the program was night and day compared to other programs I’ve visited.”

Stranz won’t be the first member of his family to become a Gryphon. His sister is currently in her second year of neuroscience at Guelph. “My family played a huge factor with my decision and they all believed Guelph was the best place for me,” he said. “I chose Guelph because it gave me the best opportunity to succeed on and off the field while being able to achieve my goals.”

In his nine-year career, Stranz, who is interested in business, has also played with the Southwood Sabres (WCSSAA) and the Cambridge Lions (OPFL). In 2014, he captured a WCSSAA B championship. He is a two-time Sabres’ athlete of the year in grade nine and ten. In 2016 and 2017, he was awarded the ‘Top Prospects Award USA’ by prokicker.com. He was also ranked as a five-star kicker and punter by Coach Kick Elite Specialists.

Standing at 6’0, 205lbs, Stranz has trained with such coaches as Darryl Wheeler, Lirim Hajrullahu and the Gryphons’ own kicking coach, Daniel Ferraro, who he has trained with for almost a year now. He has also trained with Coach Kick Elite Specialists for the past two years.

The product of Roseville, Ontario, said that, “They have elevated my game to where it is today, where I was getting interest from Division 1 programs and scholarships from OUA programs.”

Joel Stenning

Football is all about personal growth, both on and off the field. For Joel Stenning of London, Ontario, Guelph is focused on making well-rounded individuals. “I chose the University of Guelph because of their facilities, coaching staff and how they develop you as a human being and the community atmosphere,” he said.

“The coaching staff are all very kind. They want you to do your best and to push yourself to be your best,” he added. “The players are not selfish, and they put the needs of the team before themselves.”

A member of the dominate South Lions (Thames Valley Regional Athletics), Stenning has won two-straight city and WOSSAA championships. In 2016, he helped his team capture an OFSAA bowl. He is a TVRA all-star and was the Dr. Jim Allen Memorial Award recipient, which is given to the TVRA’s top lineman. He was recognized as the Lions’ top graduating athlete in 2017. He also spent four years on the Forest City Thunderbirds.

The 6’0, 225lbs lineman is interested in criminology. “I’m looking forward to being apart of a first-class program and university,” he said.

Cole Wilkinson

Cole Wilkinson has been a member of the South Lions since 2014. Standing at 6’2, 185lbs, he has played as a strong safety and wide receiver. He is from London, Ontario.

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