Football players commonly refer to their teammates “brothers.” The guys alongside them are a second family, a group that shares common goals and beliefs. For some fortunate Gryphon players, it’s a special feeling when they can hit the field with their actual brother.
“The opportunity of playing with my brother has been rewarding,” says fourth-year offensive lineman Coulter Woodmansey, who welcomed his younger sibling Curtis to the Guelph football family this season. “It’s given me the chance to pass along some of the lessons I have learned on and off the field.”
Curtis, a 6’3” 290-pound rookie plays the other side of the ball on the defensive line. It’s not the first time that the Toronto natives have shared the same jersey. They also played a season together for the Toronto Jr. Argos.
“That experience was very different do to the nature of high school football compared to the structure and competition of university football,” says Coulter. “But it’s great to be able to celebrate with my brother after a great play like when we played together in high school.”
The Woodmanseys are just one pair in a long tradition of brothers sharing the Gryphon Football experience. There have been several duos in the past, like Jazz and Saxon Lindsey, Adam and Justin Dunk, Shane and Matt Bryans, Jarryd and Riley Baines, Drew and Blair Davenport, and of course Thomas and Randy Dimitroff, the sons of legendary former coach Tom Dimitroff.
One of the most recognizable and prolific Gryphon brother combos was Gabe and Daniel Ferraro. The two kicking sensations from Mississauga, ON shared one season playing together back in 2014 when the elder Daniel established the U SPORTS single-season record of 26 field goals. His rookie brother took it all in from the sidelines before embarking on his own record-setting career at Guelph.
In 2017, with Daniel as his coach, Gabe would establish a new U SPORTS record with 33 field goals in a single season.
“In my first year, I watched my brother break the U SPORTS record and from that moment on, I did whatever I could to be even comparable to him,” Gabe said back in 2017 after setting the new national mark. “I took every bit of help he gave me and applied it to my own game. I never thought I’d come close to him. It’s pretty surreal.
“Without him, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in right now. Daniel made this all possible, paving the way before me.”
Big brother relinquished his well earned record but found incredible joy in being there as Gabe kicked his way into the record books.
“Being able to play alongside Gabriel in my last year kicking was an amazing opportunity and being able to coach him and watch him have so much success is truly special,” Daniel said at the time. “My role has always been to set a good example and to provide guidance and advice in the hopes that Gabriel would push it farther.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him for his accomplishments and there is no one’s name I would rather see above mine than his.”
The Ferraros will never be forgotten in Gryphon Football. And neither will the Reinharts. Fifth-year star linebacker/varsity wrestler Job Reinhart never had the opportunity to suit up at Guelph with his big brother CFLer Jake – but his impact was felt.
Jake’s experience definitely influenced Job’s decision to attend the University of Guelph and like all of these brother combos, he passed on what he knew about both football and life.
“He only had positive things to say about his time here,” says Job. “I took his word for it and I’m very happy with my decision to stay in town for university, as my time at the U of G has been awesome.
“I asked my brother for lots of advice along the way. He’s a great resource to have and I took advantage of the lessons he learned. Jake told me that time management is key to balancing school and sports.”
The shared experiences among brothers is truly unique. Woodmansey, whose younger brother Jaden also plays high school football, was thrilled that Curtis ended up choosing Guelph, in part because of the thriving program but also because the younger sibling wants to get into animal studies.
They’re not only teammates but also roommates and friends, who spend a lot of time together.
“It’s also allowed me to watch my brother grow and learn in the short time he has been a Gryphon,” says Coulter.