Medals aren’t awarded in OUA football, but Gryphon linebacker and long snapper Job Reinhart has an OUA medal in his possession.
Reinhart’s one of the team’s two-sport athletes and he captured a bronze medal representing the University of Guelph in the men’s 100-kilogram class at the OUA wrestling championships held at McMaster earlier this month.
“It was a good weekend,” Reinhart said of the provincial tournament. “I wrestled pretty well, but there’s always things I can correct so that’s what I’m going to be working on.’
After dropping his first match of the competition to the eventual gold medalist, Reinhart rebounded with a pair of one-sided victories to claim bronze. He lost 5-2 to Ignatius Pitt of Brock, then defeated Theodore Dracopolous of Algoma 10-0 and Scott Maclellan of McMaster 13-2 in the bronze-medal match.
By finishing third, Reinhart qualified for the U Sports national tournament at Calgary Feb. 24 and 25.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity and I want to make the most of it.”
Reinhart is a relative newcomer to wrestling as this season was his third in the sport. He took it up in his Grade 12-plus year at Guelph CVI when he returned to high school after attending the Gryphon football training camp. Because he was at the university camp, he was ruled ineligible to play high school football. Looking for another sport to compete in, he chose wrestling.
“My friend Alex Chaves, he’s on the team and he convinced me to come out and I really liked it as soon as I came out,” Reinhart said. “I didn’t have football to play anyway so I thought I might as well try out wrestling and right away I thought it was a great sport and I wanted to continue in it.”
Chaves is a member of the Gryphon wrestling team and he also won a bronze medal in the men’s 68 kg. class at the OUA championships and is to compete in the U Sports tournament. He’s the older brother of Gryphon football recruit Simon Chaves who was the winner of District 10 high school football’s Nick FitzGibbon Trophy as the most outstanding player in the local league.
While Reinhart was a winner right away in local high school wrestling, that was due more to his strength than any prowess on the mat. At the university level, strength alone doesn’t bring victories.
“No definitely, not,” Reinhart said. “They really know what they’re doing on the wrestling mats.”
For Reinhart, that means wrestling is always a learning experience.
“I still have so much to learn,” he said. “It probably takes decades to learn everything, there’s just so many positions and different positions you need to be aware of. There’s so much stuff you need to know.
“As every practice goes on, I learn more and I start to become more comfortable with the sport.”
Reinhart also figures he has plenty of things to focus on before the national university meet.
“Pretty much everything,” he said. “I’ve got to get my shots better and get my defence better and just overall polish everything up.”
Being a two-sport athlete means being great at managing your time as it’s football, rugby and school and not in that order. There’s really not much time for anything else.
“It’s really busy and it’s hard to balance them out,” Reinhart said. “It gets pretty tiring, but overall I love playing both sports and I just want to continue to do that.”
That means keeping on top of his Landscape Architecture studies is a top priority for Reinhart.
“It’s going well,” he said. “I’m keeping on track and I’ve got to keep that going because that’s why I’m here. I’ve got to keep on top of that, for sure.”
And the university’s athletes are always reminded that they’re student-athletes and that the student part comes first. If you’re not looking after your studies, you won’t be playing any sport.
“If you’re failing school, you’re not going to be playing any sports so that’s the No. 1 priority,” Reinhart said.
This year’s success on the wrestling mat for Reinhart comes after a successful individual season with the football Gryphons.
“I thought I had a pretty good season,” he said. “I got my snaps well and played well on Specials. Hopefully I can just keep improving and play even better next season.”
Reinhart was Guelph’s Special Forces player of the year and a first-team OUA all-star as rush/cover on special teams.
Reinhart saw more playing time on defence with the Gryphons as he was called upon to play a little on the defensive line.
“It’s quite different than linebacker, but there are quite a few skill sets that will make me a better linebacker or if I end up playing D line, it’ll help me there, too,” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of transferable skills, which is nice.”
During the off-season, Reinhart can often be found in the weight room. Lifting weight to help bulk up is a bit of a family trait as his older brother Jake, a former Gryphon linebacker who’s a long snapper with the Toronto Argos, also has a penchant for working out with the weights.
“I like to be in the weight room,” Job said. “After I get done, I feel like I got something accomplished in my day and it just helps me get through the rest of the day. I feel good.”
It also helps relieve the stress of being a two-sport student-athlete.
“There is a lot of stress and you can just come in here and forget about everything and just go to work.”
The Gryphons are about six months away from reporting to training camp for the 2017 OUA football season. Reinhart figures he has plenty to work on before then.
“I’ve really got to focus on getting my snaps perfect and I’ve really got to focus on my speed and get in the playbook so I can earn a starting spot,” he said.
The Gryphons are looking to atone for last season’s 3-5 record and the 2017 season just can’t come soon enough for most of them.
“We’re very anxious,” Reinhart said. “We can’t wait. We’ve all just got to buy in and think team first, just work as hard as we possibly can and have a winning attitude.”
While there were plenty of reasons for it, last year’s record just did not look right after four consecutive 7-1 seasons. Another 3-5 campaign won’t do.
“That’s not acceptable,” Reinhart said.