Jock Talk with Joel Charron: Shooting with an All-Star

What better way to get to know one of General Amherst’s male athletes by doing what he does so well.

I recently had the chance to shoot around with Amherst Bulldogs basketball all-star Mitch Girard at his McBride Drive home.

We covered many topics during our little work out session. We shared stories, spoke of future plans, trade views on LeBron James and the Miami Heat, you know, guy stuff.

Here are a few things I learned about 18 year-old 6’3” 210 pound, all-star.

He’s motivated.

Losing to Cardinal Carter in last years WECSSAA semi-finals at home awoke something nasty in the 18-year-old. I remember the look in his eye, the look of utter shock and disappointment, but not at his teammates, but of himself. I remember the look on his face, the ‘I wish I can turn back time 10 minutes so I can change that’ look. I also remember the sound of his voice, the sound of ‘sorry I let everyone down’ sound.

So, what has he done about it?

Oh nothing, he and fellow Bulldog Jeff Masson just been playing in the St. Clair College league that features former OUA Championship Windsor Lancers Ryan Steer and Corey Boswell and former Amherst Bulldog Alex Temsey.

“The game moves so much quicker in this league,” said Girard.

“When we start playing high school ball the game will come slower for us.”

I’m not the only one who remembers how Girard looked after the semi-finals; he does to and trust me, he doesn’t intend to feel like that again.

As awkward as his jump shot looks, it’s deadly accurate.

It’s not the nicest shot I’ve ever seen and not the smoothest, but boy does it ever find the bottom of the net often.

It reminds me of Shawn Marion’s shot, but instead of his release point being in front his face, Girard releases it just above his head.

While discussing his desires of becoming a sports agent, Girard drained at least 10 shots from 20 feet out. Every time he put up a ball, he expected it to go in and they kept on doing so.

SWISSH!!!

“I love that sound,” he said as he just hit his 12th shot in a row.

He’s excited.

And he should be…for a number of reasons.

First, the entire starting lineup for last season is returning…plus key role players.

Last years squad went 9-1 and now you’re telling me everyone is back…and you have a big junior by the name of Todd Girard up coming up, you just happens to be the brother of the Bulldog captain. Yeah, I would be excited do.

The Sr. Boys basketball team is going to boast a lot of talent, depth and experience, which had Girard chomping at the bit to get on hardwood.

Second, he gets to play on the same court with his brother Todd in his final year. According to Girard that’s never happened.

“We are really close, I’m really looking forward to playing with him,” Girard said. “We’re always out here playing one-on-one, pushing each other to be better.”

Two teenage Girard’s, both over six feet, both over 200 pounds, both talented athletes on the same court at the same time…I’m having nightmares already.

He focused.

Girard has one goal this basketball season…to win a championship.

He didn’t beat around the bush, he didn’t sugar coat his word, he looked me dead in the eyes and said:

“I want to bring home Amherst’s first boys basketball championship since 2003.”

Then he drained his 14th shot in a row.

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