The Calgary Stampeders have one month to set their roster for opening night on June 16 when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visit McMahon Stadium. That process began Thursday morning with the start of rookie camp.
Forty rookies hit the turf on a wet and cold morning at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, but the bad weather couldn’t dampen the excitement of players wearing a Stampeders jersey and helmet for the first time.
Three of the rookies grew up in Calgary and were all selected in this year’s Canadian CFL Entry Draft.
Calgary Dinos offensive lineman Ryan Sceviour was selected 8th overall in the draft. The Bowness High School grad said he already had an eye-opening moment this week.
“Definitely exciting, just walking on the field. I probably had my ah-ha moment yesterday during our meetings,” Sceviour said. “Just seeing all the guys in the dressing room, Coach Dickenson talking to us, telling us it’s anyone’s game and we’re here to make the team — that’s when it hit me.”
Years ago, Boston Rowe was a quarterback at St. Francis High School in Calgary and was teammates with Dagogo Maxwell. Now, Rowe is a linebacker with the Calgary Dinos while Maxwell is a defensive back with the rival UBC Thunderbirds.
“I actually played with them for two years on the Dinos and Boston was my quarterback in high school, so we’re all pretty close already,” Maxwell said. “You grow up in Calgary watching this team and to get a chance to play for them is a dream come true for me for sure.”
And Rowe took the field on Thursday as a fullback for the Stampeders, a role he’s happy to embrace.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a new challenge,” Rowe said. “I’ve never really played fullback but I think it suits my skill-set, so I’m open to stay there and do whatever I have to do.”
Thursday was also a special day for Calgary Dinos quarterback Adam Sinagra, who’s attending rookie camp as part of the U Sports development program. He’ll be able to practice with the team until June 1.
Former Calgary Dinos receiver Michael Klukas is also in camp after signing as a free agent late last season. Main camp starts on Sunday.