Commit believes support at Guelph ‘like no other’

Guelph adds an Ontario commit to their 2018 class.

Before defensive lineman Afram Jolak from Champlain College Lennoxville signed with the University of Guelph Gryphons, he had to ensure that his future program corresponded with what he has grown accustomed to.

“Coming from Champlain Lennoxville and finally getting a taste of what winning feels like, I wanted to find a school that is closest to Champlain both in the school’s mentality and aspirations,” Jolak said.

I was fortunate to be able to get recruited by some of the top programs in Canada, but Guelph stood out because although they were missing the winning tradition that Champlain has, they had the support (financially and physically) to achieve those consistent winning seasons.”

When it comes to support in terms of academics, athletics and financials, Jolak said that he believes Guelph is like no other in Canada. “Having an inside guy like my good friend AJ Chase and seeing how they support him unconditionally made me really feel the sense of family from the school itself,” Jolak said.

Coming from Champlain College Lennoxville, Jolak was surrounded by a winning attitude. He said that both the coaches and players want to win and that if the team didn’t finish first and win the Bol d’Or, it was considered a failing season. “Seeing the same thing at Guelph really made me want to be apart of the family,” he said. “The team as a whole wants to win on and off the field and anything short of a Vanier Cup in the next five years is a disappointment.”

Coaches are an integral part of not only setting the culture of a team, but also welcoming new recruits into the fold. When it came to Jolak, he said that the coaches, notably Coach Galloway and Coach Joncas, put in a lot of effort into making him feel wanted, “not just for my talent on the field, but also what I can bring to the team off the field.”

It was Joncas who helped recruit Jolak to Champlain and Jolak believes it is because of him that Guelph was interested in him. “He gave me an opportunity to prove what I can do at Champlain and his support stemmed to Guelph as well since he has been a coach at Guelph,” Jolak said.

“Coach Galloway has kept it very honest with me and that is huge for me because honesty is very key in a winning team,” Jolak added. “He was always there when I needed to speak with him even if he was with his family on vacation. It didn’t matter, he was always there even if it was just a quick chat.”

Jolak is grateful for the long six to eight-hour road trips Joncas, Galloway and McNeil took to reach him in Lennoxville, Quebec, to support him at his games. He said that proved to him that they really wanted him to be apart of the family.

On the academic front, Jolak, who is 6’2, 270lbs, is interested in taking Guelph’s human kinetics program. “I really liked the program and everything it had to offer, especially the chance of working with real human cadavers in my third year of studies,” he said.

Jolak himself is not from Lennoxville. No, he is from the nation’s capital. He has been playing football for eight years. In that time, he spent three seasons with the South Ottawa Mustangs (NCAFA) and two with the OVFL Cumberland Panthers. After three years with the Immaculata Saints (NCSSAA), he moved to Quebec and spent two seasons with the Champlain College Lennoxville Cougars (RSEQ Division 1). In his list of accolades, Jolak has been a two-time lineman of the year for the Mustangs and was lineman of the year all three years with the Saints. He also has the highest GPA on the Cougars and is an academic all-star.

In 2015 and 2016, Jolak participated in the Fox 40 Prospect Challenge as a member of Team East. In 2015, he helped his team win at TD Place in Ottawa before winning again at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, Ontario. “Coach Blaine Scatcherd helped me tremendously financially and by picking me up to go to practices, which allowed me to participate. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to be apart of the FPC,” Jolak said.

Scatcherd isn’t the only person who has shown Jolak unwavering support. Jolak said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for all the great people he has put in my path that have allowed me to reach some of the goals I’ve set for myself.”

Such people include Jolak’s his parents and his sister, Neil Purves and his family, Dawn Patterson and her family, Julian Sieradzan and his family, Anthony Ngu and his family and Brendan Murphy and his family. Jolak is also grateful for Coach Albert, AJ Chase, Dave Bloom, Jethro Constant, Joey Kwasniewski, Shawn Naylor, the people working at Human 2.0, and “many more that I’m sure I wouldn’t have much space to mention.”

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