Laurier like a ‘bigger high school’ for 2 commits

Laurier brings in two commits from southern Ontario to their Class of 2017.

Mario Pineda, a linebacker from Jacob Hespeler Secondary School and Tommy Bringi, a defensive back from Saint Andre Bissette High School, have found familiarity among their newest team, the Sir Wilfird Laurier Golden Hawks.

Mario Pineda

Courtesy of Mario Pineda.

Mario Pineda didn’t need much of an introduction when he met the Golden Hawks’ coaches. He has known most of them from his days with the Cambridge Lions (OVFL). “Having them help out made me build a good relationship with them,” he said. “Also, once you hear Head Coach Faulds give a pre-game speech, you’d want to play for him too.”

There was something more familiar to Pineda, however. “I loved how it’s a ‘bigger high school’ and I loved how close-knit everyone is with each other. Just felt like (it was) the perfect fit,” he said.

“Loved how everyone on the team had a chip on their shoulders and worked hard everyday because no one ever picked Laurier to win, but they came out and proved everyone wrong and I love that,” he added.

The future political science student knows what it’s like to win. In his eight-year career, he is a three-time OVFL champion in 2011, 2013 and 2016. In high school, while with the Jacob Hespeler Hawks (Waterloo Cambridge Secondary School Athletic Association), he has won four WCSSAA championships from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, he won a Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association championship.

With all his success, the 5’10, 220lbs product of Cambridge, Ontario, also knows what it’s like to lose. This past season, he lost an OFSAA championship to AN Myers. “That still stings,” Pineda said.

But, that doesn’t deter him from his fond memories of his time with the Hawks. “Lot of love to Jacob Hespeler and the coaching staff for the past 5 years,” he said. “It’s been amazing and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Tommy Bringi

Tommy Bringi celebrates his signing with Laurier. Courtesy of Tommy Bringi.

For Tommy Bringi, Laurier had it all. He committed to the school because it best suited him both athletically and academically. “Laurier plays a high-speed and aggressive style of defense. I feel it fits my skillset as I am a downhill, in-your-face type player,” he said. “The defensive (coaching) staff have guided an astounding number of players into becoming All-Canadian and CFL players.”

On the academic side of things, Bringi said he wants to take Kinesiology and specialize in rehabilitation. His goal is to enter physical therapy. On his visit, he met with a professor in the kinesiology department who gave him a complete breakdown of the program. He said, “It perfectly fit my wants and desires in a university degree.”

The 5’11, 188lbs dual defensive back and linebacker has already had an introduction to the Laurier coaching staff. “Coach Faulds is a great offensive mind,” he said. “I remember watching him play at Western when I was young. It’s amazing that he’ll be coaching me throughout my university career.”

Prior to his commitment, the product of London, Ontario, played four years with the Banting Bulldogs (London Minor Football Association), two with the Forest City Thunderbirds and four with the London Jr. Mustangs (OVFL). He spent five high school seasons with the St. Andre Bessette Bulldogs (Thames Valley Regional Athletics). Among his many awards, he is the latest recipient of the Bob Gooder Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding player in the Catholic league.

Team MVP (LMFA) 2009, 2011
Special Teams MVP (Jr. Mustangs) 2014
OVFL JV Championship 2014
OVFL All-Star 2015
Defensive MVP (Jr. Mustangs) 2015
Defensive MVP (St. Andre Bessette) x3 (grades 9-11)
City Defensive All-Star Senior Division (St. Andre Bessette) x2 (grades 10-12)

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