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‘Ready to rock’: Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp kicks off

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‘Ready to rock’: Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp kicks off
On Sunday the Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the field for the first time as a crew, getting a taste of what new head Corey Mace has in store – May 12, 2024

It’s one of the most exciting times of the year for CFL fans as training camps get underway across the league.

On Sunday the Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the field for the first time as a crew, getting a taste of what new head Corey Mace has in store.

“I thought it was an excellent day one,” Mace said. “We practice smart and I didn’t see too many penalties out there which is outstanding for day one.”

And while it was a day full of hard work and sweat, it ended with a little dance party with the rookies.

“One thing I don’t want these guys to lose sight of is we’re still playing football at this age, which is mind-boggling, so we got to have some fun too,” Mace said with a laugh.

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Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris was also back out on the field after suffering a devastating knee injury early last season. In just game four, Harris was hit on a scramble downfield, where he suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his right knee.

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“When you go through an injury like that at 37 years old… I looked it up and saw it’s really a coin flip if you make it back,” Harris said. “You wonder if you’re ever going to get to play again. It’s like, ‘Oh my goodness man, maybe that’s the last snap I’ll ever take.'”

But over the course of the year and countless hours training physically and mentally, Harris said he is back to feeling 100 per cent.

“One of my hashtags this offseason was FFT…we’re full-fricking throttle,” Harris told reporters after day one. “I feel great. Beginning of February, I felt like I was ready to rock. I was kind of curious to see how I would feel stepping into the huddle, taking my first actual team reps today. But it felt like I never left.”

Coming off of back-to-back seasons where the team failed to make the playoffs, both fans and players were looking for a fresh start and something to be excited about.

“The energy was different,” Harris said. “I feel like the optimism is genuine. The flow of the offence is just incredible. I love this offence.”

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“We’re coming off two 6-and-12 seasons and we’re pretty ticked off heading into this season. So we’re ready to rock.”

Among the new faces at this years camp was star running back A. J. Oulette.

“When you get a group of guys together playing football, you just feel like a kid having fun again,” Oulette said.

The running back comes off an outstanding season with the Toronto Argonauts, where Mace was a defensive coordinator with the team. Making the move over to Saskatchewan, Oulette said the new coach hasn’t changed a bit.

“This is exactly what I was expecting,” he said. “It’s exactly who I wanted as my head coach and he’s going to come out here and lead with positive energy and a lot of fire when you need it.

And with the first day of camp lining up with Mother’s Day, Harris had a special message for the women in his life.

“What women do, what my wife does inside the home is truly remarkable. And I’m really thankful. So happy Mother’s Day.”

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