Alumni touchdown with Redblacks

Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018

Four football players stand side by side at center field.

Left to right Brad Sinopoli, Brendan Gillanders, Ettore Lattanzio and Lewis Ward pose centre field as uOttawa alumni. Photo credit : Robert Greeley

By Robert Greeley

The University of Ottawa has a constantly growing alumni population. You can find yourself in almost any position and run into a fellow Gee-Gee. For recent graduates, starting a new job can be gut wrenching. However, running into a familiar face, someone who understands where you came from, can make things a bit easier.

Currently the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Ottawa Redblacks have four former Gee-Gees on their roster. Their 9-5 job is football. Whether it’s training, practice, nutrition, film study or game time, the day is spent making sure their bodies and minds are ready for the game of football.

Lewis Ward, an Ottawa Redblacks rookie, spoke about how beneficial it is to have local talent in your organization, and the comfort of having former teammates back together. “Being around the guys who went to the same university is a great feeling. It’s good for the school’s program, but also for the Ottawa community, to have hometown talent in town.”

Lewis Ward sits at a table smiling signing autographs for fans.

Lewis Ward’s love for soccer turned into a professional football career. Photo credit : Robert Greeley

Meet the former Gee-Gees

Lewis Ward, BSocSc ’17 (Sociology)

Ward, a kicker, graduated with a bachelor of social sciences with minors in sociology and history.

The newest Gee-Gee to be joining the Redblacks, Ward had arguably one of the best careers for any kicker in the OUA.

Last season, Ward broke the record for most career field goals in the OUA.

Lewis is also the Gee-Gees football all-time leading scorer. After his last season, he signed with the Redblacks.

 

 

 

 

Ettore Lattanzio stands on the sideline during practice.

Ettore Lattanzio was the second former Gee-Gee to join the Ottawa Redblacks, after Sinopoli. Photo credit : Robert Greeley

Ettore Lattanzio, BA ’15 (Classical Studies)

Lattanzio graduated cum laude in classical studies and is a defensive lineman.

Come game time he was an offensive lineman’s worst nightmare.

The two-time first-team All-Canadian shares the Gee-Gees team record of 10 sacks in a season.

Signed to the Redblacks in 2015, Lattanzio has recorded 42 defensive tackles in 43 regular season games.

 

 

 

 

Brad Sinopoli, BSc ’15 (Human Kinetics)

Brad Sinopoli sits at a table smiling and signing autographs for fans.

Brad Sinopoli is a two-time Grey Cup champion (2014, 2016). Photo credit : Robert Greeley

Sinopoli, a former human kinetics graduate, quarterbacked the Gee-Gees.

A first-team, All-Canadian Sinopoli was one of the youngest people ever to be inducted into the Gee-Gees Football Hall of Fame.

Drafted in 2011 by the Calgary Stampeders, Sinopoli signed as a free agent with the Redblacks in 2015.

Making the switch to wide receiver, he has finished the last three seasons with over 1,000 yards.

 

 

 

 

Brendan Gillanders, BSc ’14 (Human Kinetics) 

Brendan Gillanders in his football gear smiles during warmup on the field.

Brendan Gillanders, a hometown player, attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School. Photo credit : Robert Greeley

Gillanders, a human kinetics graduate, played for the Gee-Gees from 2009 to 2013.

A dynamic player, he led every running back in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) (now known as U SPORTS) with 1,061 all-purpose yards in 2013.

The second-team All-Canadian is now a fullback in the CFL, having started his career with the Toronto Argonauts before signing with the Redblacks.

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