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Would You Sign with us again Joe?
Now that Columbia is in for a new coaching staff, the question is whether any of the potential impact players who have left the team over the last year or so might return.
There is a long history of this scenario working out well for the Lions.
Perhaps the best example occurred in 2003, when RB Ayo Oluwole returned to the team when Bob Shoop took over as head coach from Ray Tellier.
All Oluwole did that year was lead the team in rushing with 903 yards and five TD's. Incidentally, no Columbia rusher has come close to matching that 903 yard mark since.
Two players in particular should be on every Lion fan's wish list as we hope for even more talent to come in for 2012.
First is DL/OL Joe Raimondi, who left the team just before this season. Raimondi impressed as a freshman on the offensive line as a frosh in 2010, and then he was switched to the O-line in the spring. Perhaps he will jump at the chance to return, especially if he can get back to the defensive side exclusively.
TE Chris Mooney impressed a lot of coaches and teammates with his abilities as a freshman, but was off the roster before the spring of this year. With sophomore Hamilton Garner excelling at the position this year, Mooney's loss didn't sting as badly as we thought it might. But getting him back on the squad would be a plus if he is so inclined.
Greg Toal yesterday
Possible Columbia head coaching candidate Greg Toal and his Don Bosco Ironmen crushed St. Joseph 41-0 yesterday to clinch a spot in the state championship game.
Toal's high standards became evident in the early stages of the 2nd half, according to this account of the game by MaxPreps:
With a No. 1 ranking comes an expectation for four quarters of dominance, though, and the Ironmen looked uninspired coming out of the locker room after intermission. Shumate admitted "we felt like we already had the win," although head coach Toal, ever the perfectionist, saw his players loafing while running pass patterns and missing blocks – mistakes uncharacteristic for one of his teams.
Hearing the wrath of Toal and his coaching staff helped inspire the Ironmen again. After their second three-and-out of the third quarter, Peppers plunged in for his third 1-yard touchdown to cap a powerful, albeit methodical, 7-play, 22-yard drive.
Bosco's championship game against Bergen Catholic is at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands a week from tonight.
Former Columbia assistant coach and current Johns Hopkins Head Coach Jim Margraff is also considered to be one of the candidates for the top Lions job.
Margraff may have an ace in the hole as he is still close to his former boss, Ray Tellier, who is making the final hiring decision along with athletic director Dianne Murphy.
Until Tellier was named in the official press release as being such a crucial player in the process, I wasn't sure Margraff could be called a leading contender. And I am still not sure he is even interested in leaving Maryland to return to New York.
But if he does want this job he certainly has the best ally he can get on the very highest of levels.