Panther inducted into OVFL Hall of Fame
By Fred Sherwin
Brendan Gillanders first strapped on a pair of shoulder
pads at the tender age of nine, playing in the CFL and
one day earning a spot in the Ontario Varsity Foot-ball
Hall of Fame were the farthest thing from his mind.
fun with his friends while playing a sport that he would
come to love was motivation enough.
years later, Gillanders passion for the sport is still
as strong as its ever been, even after suffering
a knee injury that will keep him out of the Ottawa Redblacks
lineup for a couple more weeks.
the best sport in the world and its been pretty good to
me so far, said Gillanders after receiving his OVFL
Hall of Fame ring prior to the start of the Cumber-land
Panthers bantam varsity game last Saturday.
began his football career as a tyke with the Cumberland
Panthers. He stayed with the ckub all the way to senior
varsity before going to the University of Ottawa where
he had a successful collegiate career with the Gee-Gees.
graduating from school, he was signed as a free agent
by the Toronto Argonauts in December 2013. During two
seasons in Toronto he appeared in 30 games and was named
special teams captain.
the Argos declined to resign him after last season, he
decided to come home and signed a free agent contract
with the Redblacks.
injuring his knee in practice, Gillanders was pegged to
see some work at fullback and on special teams. Hes
expected to be out of the lineup another three to four
weeks. The 25-year-old is taking it the situation day
football. Injuries happen unfortunately, but I didnt
come to Ottawa to watch from the sidelines. Ill
be back out there helping them soon and Im looking
forward to my first home game in front of the fans,
said Gillanders who has a reputation of being a stand-up
guy and never complaining about things he cant control.
coach once described Gillanders as the kind of kid hed
like to marry his daughter. And in an interview with the
Ottawa Suns Tim Baines this past spring, he discussed
the importance of being a character guy.
is football, said Gillanders. It has been
and always will be an important part of my life. But outside
of football, I want people to recognize me and remember
me for being a character guy and how I act. Im on
the football field for two hours a day so maybe Im
off the field for 22 hours a day, right? Its important
to me how people view me.
type of attitude is one of the reasons Gillanders was
selected for induction into the OVFL Hall of Fame.
he didnt now much about the Hall of Fame when he
first found out he was being inducted, hes now a
proud member having learned more about it prior to the
didnt realize how big of a deal it is. The OVFL
Hall of Fame is part of the CFl Hall of Fame, said
back on his minor football career, Gillanders says he
got a lot of help from some great coaches including Dix
Lawson, Wayne Blakely and Wayne Carle, all of whom coached
him during his tenure with the Panthers.
was pretty lucky to come up through such a top notch club
with some great coaches, said Gillanders. They
helped make me the player I am today.
6:30 a.m., June 25)
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