DeAngelis shares honour

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

It's the three-man team within the special teams, and yesterday they were rewarded.

Although it officially goes down as Sandro DeAngelis as the CFL's all-star placekicker, the man getting all the glory gives the credit to his snapper and holder.

"I don't just say it to be a nice guy," DeAngelis said about snapper Randy Chevrier and holder Brett Ralph.

"This isn't lip service. I've worked with the same guys for three years and we work so smoothly together.

"Those guys face the same pressure situations. It may be pressure for me, but they don't want to mess up either. To have Chevy, who played in the NFL, and to have Brett, who was a shortstop in baseball, I have a true love for what they do."

There is no all-star recognition for holder or snapper, but if there was, Chevrier and Ralph would be frontrunners.

The trio hasn't messed up one field-goal attempt this season and helped DeAngelis to a 86.2% efficiency for the most points in the CFL (217).

"A little bit of what we did helped him get there, but Sandro has to kick it," Chevrier said. "We're the ones who support him, and I have to deliver a good snap.

"But kicking a field goal is a whole other beast. He deserves it. We take pride in seeing Sandro get the awards he does because he deserves it."

The amazing thing about this team is how long they've been together.

None of the players has missed time due to injury since they all joined the Stampeders in 2005.

Ralph was the backup holder the first season, as veteran receiver Mike Juhasz did the job, and took over in 2006 spring training.

The trio hits the field long before practice to work on their form.

DeAngelis and Ralph are tied for the team's current iron-man streak, while Chevrier only sat out the season finale last year as backup Pat MacDonald took over.

Being that Ralph is now a starting receiver, his ability to stay in every game is that much more impressive.

Most teams use a backup quarterback to ensure the holder doesn't get hurt, but it isn't a problem for the durable Ralph.

"You don't have this situation often when you have the same kicker, snapper and holder for so many years," said Ralph. "We've been able to work together every morning for three years. We've been able to learn each other's tendencies.

Although DeAngelis says his 'team' has thankless jobs, both Chevrier and Ralph love doing it.

"It's a job I've enjoyed," Ralph said. "Chevy makes it a lot easier than a lot of guys do. He's an extremely consistent snapper.

"Sandro makes it easy. Sometimes, when you spin the ball the wrong way or don't get the laces out, he is one guy who deals with that and puts it through the pipes.

"There are times when you put the ball down and don't see the laces. If you don't see them, you assume they are out of the way.

"Sandro just prefers the ball not to be spinning when he's kicking it. He would rather kick laces than having it turning when he's ready to make contact."

Chevrier has spent four seasons with the Stamps and another two with the Eskimos, plus three in the NFL.

But he still has anxiety heading onto the field.

"Every time," Chevrier said about those butterflies. "I take a deep breath. As nervous as I get, I remind myself that I've never messed one up since I've been here and before. There's no reason to believe this one will be messed up."


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