Former Gaels shoot for the stars

Mike Giffin drafted by CFL’s Hamilton tiger-Cats, Brady olsen signs with Central hockey league’s Rapid City Rush

Mike Giffin, seen here in an Oct. 27 game against Western, was drafted 17th overall.
Mike Giffin, seen here in an Oct. 27 game against Western, was drafted 17th overall.
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Former Gaels Brady Olsen and Mike Giffin will try to repeat their university successes at the professional level. Olsen, a forward who recorded 19 goals and 32 points last season for the Queen’s hockey team and notched 97 points in the 102 games he played in the Tricolour, signed a one-year contract with the Rapid City Rush, a South Dakota-based expansion team in the Central Hockey League. All-Canadian running back Mike Giffin was selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as the 17th overall pick in this year’s CFL college draft.

Giffin had a record-breaking season for the Queen’s football team this year, setting Gaels’ markers in scoring, touchdowns and carries. He became the first Gael to record more than 1000 rushing yards in one season, finishing with the third-most rushing yards and second-most rushing touchdowns in the country.

Giffin said he was relieved to find out he’d been drafted. “Knowing where you’re going to be next season is always nice to know,” he said.

Giffin credits his coaches for his success on the field and said he feels prepared to play professionally, but, having also received a degree in geography, he isn’t sure what he wants to do after football.

“As football goes, I’m prepared; my coaches did a good job,” he said. “I plan on playing in the CFL as long as I can, but for the future, well, I’ve got to figure it out.”

He said the excitement surrounding his draft was nice, but potentially premature.

“First, I’ve got to make the team.”

Olsen said he was thrilled when he was offered his pro contract.

“It was exciting,” he said, “I couldn’t believe I was signing my first contract. I always thought I’d do it one day but never expected it to happen.”

Olsen also gave credit to his coaches and teammates for his success and said he wouldn’t have made it this far without head coach Brett Gibson.

“All my coaches gave me a chance to put points up and I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “Without [Gibson], though, I never would have had this opportunity. I owe all those guys [my teammates] a lot of credit too.”

Gibson said he was pleased to see Olsen take his hockey career in a positive direction.

“I could not be happier for Brady and for the opportunity that Rapid City is going to provide him.” Gibson said in an e-mail to the Journal. “In my opinion he will leave Queen’s as one of the best players ever to wear the Tricolour. Brady was a kid who was a coach’s dream to have. He just came to the rink with a smile on his face and wanted to win at all costs.”

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