uOttawa coaching staff get high praise

Gee-Gees bring in two Ontario commits to their team.

When offensive lineman Caleb Palmateer from the Ottawa Sooners (CJFL) and linebacker Dylan Mattatall from Sir Wilfrid Laurier High School join the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, they are confident that they will be receiving some of the finest coaching in Canada.

Caleb Palmateer

Courtesy of Caleb Palmateer.

For Caleb Palmateer, the Gee-Gees present him the opportunity to elevate his game.

“The uOttawa coaching staff is unbelievable. Every position coach has had lots of experience in either playing in the CFL or U Sports,” he said. “Head Coach Barresi has many years of experience coaching in the NCAA and the CFL. Every coach is welcoming and is willing to help you in any way possible on the field or off it.”

Palmateer is no stranger to the Gee-Gees coaches. He said he chose uOttawa because of the relationship he has with Carl Tolmie, the offensive line coach. “And their reputation of developing their players into CFL players,” he added. “Also, the ability to hopefully come and make an impact on the team right away.”

Palmateer, who is interested in taking geography, has had an extensive career spanning over nine years and five teams. Originally from Belleville, Ontario, he played minor league football with the Bancroft T-Hawks (Belleville Minor Football League) and Peterborough Eagles (Kinsmen Minor Football League). In high school, he played with the North Hasting Huskies (Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board) in Bancroft, Ontario, and the Peterborough Wolverines (OFC). He then continued his career with the Ottawa Sooners (CJFL).

In 2010, he was the T-Hawks offensive lineman of the year. The following season, he won the same award with the Eagles. He also won it in 2012 with the junior Huskies team. Last season, he was a CJFL Ontario Conference all-star and the Sooners’ lineman of the year. The 6’2, 285lbs centre credits three off-seasons spent training with the Elite Performance Academy in Kanata, Ontario, for helping him make it to the U Sports league.

Dylan Mattatall

Courtesy of Dylan Mattatall.

Across the province, Dylan Mattatall has been building a name for himself in his hometown of London, Ontario. A French immersion student, Mattatall said he chose uOttawa for its bilingualism and very strong academics.

“I knew uOttawa would give me the best chance at life after football,” the potential criminology student said. “Of course, I committed here as well for the football. Every year they keep getting better. Their defense is strong, and they can win.”

During his recruitment, Mattatall has spoken extensively to Coach Nathan Taylor. He said he is a great person. “His work speaks for himself. Watching the special teams and defensive backs he coaches, I’m confident in his coaching,” Mattatall said. “I’ve talked to Head Coach Jamie Barresi as well. Since he has been the coach, all the Gee-Gees have done is improved, which is a great thing for a recruit to see.”

As for the rest of the coaches, Mattatall said that they are great. “They all know what they’re talking about, which shows in their record over the past years,” he said.

Mattatall, who is 6’1, 220lbs, has been playing football for four years with the London Jr. Mustangs (OPFL) and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Rams (Thames Valley Regional Athletics). Last season, he was an OPFL champion with the Jr. Mustangs.

“I have a lot of people I need to thank, starting off with my mom and dad, who do everything for me,” Mattatall said. He also thanks his high school coaches, Coach K, McClure and Abe, as well as his Jr. Mustangs coaches, Nick Vanin, Adrian Kaiser, Gary Haldenby and Joe and J.P Circelli.

Last, but not least, he would like to thank his training Steve Hendriksen from Powerhouse Training Systems. “He constantly improves my strength, speed and mobility,” Mattatall said.

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