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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tearrius George Announces Retirement


International defensive lineman Tearrius George is retiring from the Canadian Football League, the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today.

"I am stepping away from the game to focus on a personal issue," stated Tearrius George. "I would ask for people to respect my family's privacy during this time."

Chris Jones, Vice-President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach, said: “Through speaking with Tearrius, we were made aware that he was involved in an incident that has become a police matter. He subsequently informed us he has decided to retire.”  

As the police matter involving Tearrius is before the courts, the Riders will have no further comment on it. 

(Saskatchewan Roughriders) 








Monday, May 2, 2016

Canada West Has Many Prospects for CFL Draft



 David Onyemata is the cream of the Canada West crop according to coaches from the conference’s six football programs, as the defensive lineman tops the inaugural Canada West CFL prospect rankings released Monday.

The Nigerian born lineman, who was selected 120th overall by the New Orleans Saints in this past weekend’s NFL Draft, has been deemed the top Canada West prospect ahead of next Tuesday’s CFL Draft.

Voted on by coaches from the conference’s six football programs, the Canada West CFL prospect rankings provide a glimpse into how Canada West coaches view the top draft eligible players, with 15 players named to the list.

After topping the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final draft rankings last month and enjoying a dominant 2015 season, which saw him earn the J.P. Metras Award as the top CIS down lineman, it comes as no surprise that Onyemata is ranked No. 1.

Onyemata earned all five first place votes available to him (coaches didn’t vote for their own players), but where he will go in the CFL Draft remains a mystery, as his selection in the NFL Draft means a CFL team will have to play an extended wait and see game with respect to his availability.

Tight Race For Second

There was virtually no separation between the pair of players behind Onyemata in the race for second, as UBC Thunderbird defensive back Taylor Loffler edged fellow DB Elie Bouka of the Calgary Dinos for the spot.

Both Loffler and Bouka finished with 98 points in the rankings, with Loffler earning the tiebreaker thanks to more first place votes (one) compared to Bouka, who was signed this past weekend by the Arizona Cardinals following the NFL Draft.

Slotting in behind Loffler and Bouka is Calgary running back Mercer Timmis, who is the lone running back in the rankings – just as he was in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s April rankings.

Timmis’ rank behind his teammate Bouka is the lone difference between the Canada West rankings and CFL Scouting Bureau rankings in terms of ordering the top four Canada West prospects, as the CFL list featured Onyemata (No. 1), Loffler (No. 11), Timmis (No. 13) and Bouka (No. 18).

Hardy Cup Finalists Dominate Rankings

Along with Loffler, Bouka and Timmis, plenty of other T-Birds and Dinos are on the 15-player list, as last year’s Hardy Cup finalists landed a total of 10 players in the rankings.

UBC’s Terrell Davis (No. 4 – LB), Quinn van Gylswyk (No. 5 – K/P), Dominique Termansen (No. 9 – DB), and Boyd Richardson (No. 10 – DL) all made the list, while Calgary’s Brett Blaszko (No. 7 – WR), Michael Schmidt (No. 12 – DB), and Hunter Turnbull (No. 15 – DB) were also recognized.

Canada West players in the CFL Draft

In total 13 Canada West players were selected in last year’s CFL Draft, including three players in the first round (2nd / OL / Sukh Chungh / Calgary Dinos / Winnipeg Blue Bombers; 3rd / OL / Sean McEwen / Calgary Dinos / Toronto Argonauts; 6th / REC / Nic Demski / Manitoba Bisons / Saskatchewan Roughriders).

Canada West’s 13 CFL draftees in 2015 was tied with Ontario University Athletics for the most in the nation. Over the last three years a total of 38 Canada West players have been selected in the CFL Draft.

Complete Rankings

Rank (Points) – Name / Position / School / Hometown
1. (105) – David Onyemata / DL / Manitoba / Lagos, Nigeria
2. (98*) – Taylor Loffler / DB / UBC / Kelowna, BC
3. (98) – Elie Bouka / DB / Calgary / Laval, QC
4. (93) – Mercer Timmis / RB / Calgary / Burlington, ON
5. (87) – Terrell Davis / LB / UBC / Victoria, BC
6. (83) – Quinn van Gylswyk / KP / UBC / Victoria, BC
7. (81) – Brett Blaszko / REC / Calgary / Burlington, ON
8. (78) – DJ Lalama / LB / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
9. (64) – Dominique Termansen / DB / UBC / North Vancouver, BC
10. (63) – Boyd Richardson / DL / UBC / Regina, SK
11. (58) – Alex Vitt / REC / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
12. (57) – Michael Schmidt / DB / Calgary / Calgary, AB
13. (54) – Mason Rossler / DB / Regina / Regina, SK
14. (50) – Alex McKay / OL / Manitoba / Winnipeg, MB
15. (48) – Hunter Turnbull / DB / Calgary / Calgary, AB

A total of 21 players were submitted by coaches for the rankings, with a first place vote being worth 21 points, a second place vote worth 20 points etc.

*Higher number of first place votes used as tiebreaker

Riders Get OL From Eskimos




The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired the CFL playing rights to international offensive lineman Thaddeus Coleman from the Edmonton Eskimos.
In exchange, the Riders have sent two players from the team’s negotiation list to the Eskimos. 

Coleman (6’8 – 320 lbs) with be entering his fourth CFL season after originally signing with Edmonton in June, 2013. Through his first three seasons the 30-year-old product of Mississippi Valley State has started all 21 games played spending time at right and left tackle.

He won his first career Grey Cup last season as a member of the Eskimos.     

Something to "Mitch" About

--Auston Matthews is presumably Toronto bound. The Leafs were successful in "tanking" down the stretch as they were awarded the number one pick overall in the NHL draft lottery Saturday night. As I said last year when Connor McDavid was up for grabs, I pity the kid if he ends up in Toronto because every move he makes will be scrutinized.  I hope he knows what he is in for.  Some have said he should pull off a "Lindros" and say he doesn't want to go to Toronto. That isn't the way to do things so I hope he doesn't. I can't help but wonder though if the Coyotes won't package up a deal for number 1 that could include Max Domi, pick 7 and many other things. Having Matthews in Arizona playing for the club he grew up watching and the club that got him interested in the game would be huge for that franchise.

--Will Rogers hire Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Borje Salming or some other great from the past to do a lame ad campaign like Messier meets McDavid.  Will they have a reality show called "Auston City Limits"? The possibilities are endless!

--All in all, it was a good weekend for the Toronto sports fans as the Raptors came through Sunday night with a Game 7 win over Indiana, but they certainly allowed the Pacers to make it closer than they should have. Demar DeRozan came to play in Game 7, but Kyle Lowry is still off.  Win or lose, the sights and sounds around Air Canada Centre for Game 7 was incredible. It makes me wonder what it will be like when the Leafs finally make the playoffs and gather in the square outside Air Canada Centre. It is crazy enough for the Raptors, so one can only imagine how many they will shoehorn into there once the Leafs finally get back in the playoff dance.

--This Oilers fan would have loved to see the hockey Twitterverse explode by seeing Edmonton win the lottery, but I was quite happy to see them come in at 4.  I think GM Peter Chiarelli can use that pick to get the puck-moving defenceman Edmonton so desperately needs.  Number 4 isn't as attractive as Matthews and the two Finns, but someone will want to jump up there.

--Winnipeg picks number 2 and one has to think they will take a Finnish Flash 2.0, but both Patrick Laine and Jesse Pulijarvi have a long ways to go before they can even consider being like the original.

--Is it safe to say the TJ Oshie-Troy Brouwer is a deal that worked out for both the Capitals and Blues. Both are having outstanding playoffs for their new teams

--Should I just find it strange that Miami Marlins 2nd baseman Dee Gordon gets an 80 game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs when his hitting coach is Barry Bonds. Perhaps Gordon is taking one too many tips from Bonds.

--Congratulations to the Leader-Post's Murray McCormick. The growly big lug has been inducted into the CurlSask Legends of Curling Honour Roll as a media member, He has been to many curling rinks and events around this fine province of ours and he does just as good a job at covering the curling beat as he does the Riders. The only difference is that the curlers like him!

--Brett Cecil is out-Louping Aaron Loup. What the hell has happened to him? He has turned into Ricky Romero for gods-sake.

--Now that golf season has arrived, what's your favourite club in the bag?

--Canadian Pro Wrestling is alive and well if the attendance at High Impact Wrestling's Spring Meltdown is any indication. Almost 700 people packed their way inside to the Highland Club to watch Friday's event and while it went a little long, I think everyone went away from Gronkville entertained. There is more and more interest it would seem in the Regina wrestling scene and hopefully the momentum caused by Friday's show will spill over into the summer and beyond.

--I was pleasantly surprised Saturday afternoon to see Access Communications (at least in Regina) finally has the WWE Network. It didn't take long for the call to be made.

--The teams that made out the best in the NFL draft in my humble opinion were the Jaguars and Vikings. The Dallas pick of RB Ezekiel Elliott 4th overall will also propel the Cowboys back to being a playoff team. If the Jags and Vikes were the winners, the losers were Tampa and New Orleans.

--One month into the baseball season, the biggest surprise is the play of the Chicago White Sox who are an American League best 18-8. The biggest disappointment has to be Houston, who had a terrible month and the entire National League West as the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks---all teams said to be National League contenders are under 500. There are still more than 100 games to be played though and a lot will change by as early as June 1.

--That's all I got. Have a great week!









Sunday, May 1, 2016

Carson Wentz Describes What Football In North Dakota Is Like


 

Carson Wentz of North Dakota State University went number 2 in the NFL draft to the Philadelphia Eagles. The North Dakota (Bismarck) native was asked to pen an essay by "The Players Tribune" website about what it was like growing up and playing football in North Dakota.  As you will see by clicking here, its very similar to what we are used to I would say. 


Friday, April 29, 2016

Rams/Thunder Spring Camps This Weekend

Under the tutelage of first-year head coach Steve Bryce, the University of Regina Rams will kick off the 2016 season this weekend with the Laurentian Bank Securities Spring Camp from Friday to Sunday on campus at the U of R Field.

Bryce will address the players and staff at a team meeting on Friday at 4 p.m. That will be immediately followed by position meetings, and the first on-field activity will stretch from 6 to 8:15 p.m. on Friday night.

“The first couple of months I’ve been trying to get familiar with the program and with the University, but really this weekend marks the first moment of what I’m hoping will be an exciting new era for the Rams,” Bryce said. “Our goals this weekend are to establish the depth chart and trim the roster, and set the tone and expectations for our level of performance moving forward.”

Saturday and Sunday will both see the players on field from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Rams have 97 players on the camp roster, including 64 returnees from last year’s team. Among the returning players are nine offensive starters and eight starters on the defensive side of the ball.

A complete position-by-position breakdown for the Rams as they enter the Laurentian Bank Securities Spring Camp will be released on Friday afternoon.

Laurentian Bank Securities Spring Camp – On-Field Schedule
Friday – 6:00 to 8:15 p.m.
Saturday – 10:15 to 1:30 p.m.
Sunday – 10:15 to 1:30 p.m.

(Braden Konschuh-University of Regina)

---

The Regina Thunder Football Club will continue their 2016 roster selection by hosting their annual Spring Camp April 29th to May 1st presented by Leak Technologies.

Spring Camp is an invite only camp and one of the final stages of the selection process for our 2016 roster. The Regina Thunder have hosted three off season indoor workouts in Moose Jaw since January to identify participants as well as one out door session at Mosaic Stadium. Spring Camp will host approximately 130 players from throughout the province.

Schedule for the Spring Camp is as follows.  All events take place at Mosaic Stadium:

Friday, April 29th
7:30pm – 9:30pm (General Practice)

Saturday, April 30th
10:30am – 12:30pm (General Practice)
3:30pm – 5:30pm (General Practice)

Sunday, May 1st
9:30am – 11:00 am (General Practice)
2:00pm – 4:00pm (Warm Up and Scrimmage)

The Regina Thunder go into the 2016 season looking to get back on top of the PFC (Prairie
Football Conference) and Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) where they were the Canadian
Champions in 2013. The 2016 Regular Season starts at home Saturday August 14th vs the
Edmonton Huskies.

This And That






-Welcome to Friday!  Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!


--If what I am hearing is right, there are some who make the decisions when it comes to the Riders Plaza of Honor who are against Kerry Joseph being enshrined. ????? How can he not be?


 


 Ron Lancaster, Kent Austin, Kerry Joseph and Darian Durant are the only four QB's to take this team to a Grey Cup. Joseph did it in a year when he was named the Most Outstanding Player. This shouldn't even be a debate. Word is Joseph doesn't meet the "stipulations" needed to get in. Stipulations,  shmipulations. Put KJ in and stop the nonsense. By the way, in this farewell season of Mosaic Stadium, the Riders should commission a print featuring the stadium and its 4 GC winning quarterbacks. I think a few Rider fans from near and far would plunk some money down to get one of those.

--Are the Regina Pats contemplating a bid for the Memorial Cup in 2019?  When Pats president Todd Lumbard was asked that question during the Access/SHAW broadcast of Game 7 between his team and the Red Deer Rebels, he didn't say no. Regina hosted the Memorial Cup back in 2001 and it was a very successful event even though the home team had to basically re-shape their roster as the season went on because of poor play which resulted in the cupboard being left bare for years to come. I would think after 18 years, it would be time to bring back Canada's major junior hockey championship to the Brandt Centre, but could that come at Moose Jaw's expense.  Mosaic Place is one of the best "small" venues in Western Canada. It has hosted many events like the Telus Cup and the Scotties and many concerts like Carrie Underwood and Toby Keith.  I think the city could go a tremendous job of hosting the event, but a solid business plan would be needed much like it would be here.  2019 is a long ways away, but I don't see the event going back to Alberta---although I am sure the Edmonton Oil Kings would love to have the event at Rogers Place.  It was just in Saskatchewan in 2013 when the Blades hosted so perhaps there is a desire by WHL and CHL brass to take the event to BC or perhaps the U-S.  Only one bid can be successful, and perhaps neither city will make a bid, but if Regina or Moose Jaw could host the 2019 Mem Cup, you would have one backer right here. It would be fantastic.

--As the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, we are now without the Canadian teams, Los Angeles, Anaheim, the Rangers and Chicago. I am thinking many in the hockey world are hoping the Washington-Pittsburgh series will keep the hockey universe interested.

--The Canadian hockey universe will obviously be interested in the NHL draft lottery on Saturday.  Just for you know whats and giggles, I ran the NHL draft simulator one last time and here is how it came out. 



--On a personal level, I would love to see Auston Matthews end up with the Calgary Flames. Having Matthews on the Flames and Connor McDavid on the Oilers would spruce up "The Battle of Alberta". It will never be the same as it used to be, but it would be good for the rivalry. I just don't want him going to Toronto. Much like McDavid, the kid doesn't deserve that.  There is also a rumour going around about PK Subban being an Oiler with players like Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Taylor Hall and perhaps Matthews if the Oilers get the pick going the other way. I just have one word to say that and I will say it several times. NO, NO and NOOOOOOOO! My thoughts on Subban over the years on this blog haven't changed. I'm not a fan of his game at all.  A guy who I have become a fan of with his play in the playoffs has been St. Louis' Colton Parayko. That kid can play and will be a top 10 blueliner within the next three years.

--I have blocked some rubber in my younger years, but for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want to stand 15 feet in front of Shea Weber when he blasts one. It shocks me that more guys aren't injured blocking his devastating howitzers from the point.

--The Game 5 win for the Raptors was improbable the way they had played for three quarters, but firing the confetti cannon was a little much. You didn't do anything!! Do that if you win the series, but doing it after a win that puts you up 3-2 is a little over the top. By the way, I just one want to see someone rifle a ball off of Drake's face before the playoffs are over.  This just in----YOU"RE NOT ON THE TEAM!

-- A study came out this week saying dogs don't like to be hugged. ????? Are the people responsible for this study going to come out and say young men between the ages of 15-24 have no idea what online porn is. The sad thing is someone paid money to whoever did this study.

--High Impact Wrestling's version of Wrestlemania goes tonight at the Highland Club as "Spring Meltdown" takes place.  Those who know me know I love my wrestling---it has been that way since I was going to the old Exhibition Auditorium for Stampede Wrestling in the 80's. It is always an interesting night when I journey into "Gronkville" (my name for some of the "creatures" that come out of the woodwork to attend the event) to witness what is about to take place. These guys don't do it for the fame or the money, they do it because they love it and they love to entertain.  BTW, two thumbs up to the Leader-Post's Mark Melnychuk for his great profile piece on HIW wrestler Alexander Prime this week. If there is anyone from the current roster who will make it in the business, it is this kid. What he does in the ring is outstanding, and I think the surface has just barely been scratched on his potential.

--I've got some more thoughts bouncing around the brain, but I will save it for Monday's column or perhaps throw it into next Friday's "This and That"

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend everyone!