Safety one happy camper

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

No CFL player will tell you training camp is their favourite time of the year.

Two-a-day workouts. Less than ideal weather. Endless hours of film and playbooks to study.

For most veteran players, training camp is a necessary evil they hope to survive without getting banged up.

But Calgary Stampeders defensive back Wes Lysack couldn’t wait to strap on the pads this spring.

The Winnipeg product, who now makes his off-season home in Calgary, took the winter off.

And he couldn’t be happier to be back on the field.

“I turned into Mr. Mom,” Lysack said. “I hung out with my little guy. Drove him to school, picked him up, and that was about it.

“It was the first time I did that, and it’ll be the last.

“I’m not a fan of not doing anything. It drove me stir crazy.”

The eighth-year safety will once again be a key figure in the Stamps defensive backfield.

But this spring, he’s taken on the added responsibility of helping his young backups get accustomed to the position.

Lysack said the club’s first-round draft pick in 2009, Eric Fraser, and 2010 second-rounder Taurean Allen have helped motivate him.

“It’s been years since we’ve went with (two Canadians) at that spot,” Lysack said. “In the past, when I had a backup, it was an American.

“So that’s different. There’s guys there who I can work with.

“And they’re young guys, so they’re pushing me. My coach, Corey Chamblin, and I were joking around, saying we should have brought in some 21-year-olds a couple of years ago, because I’ve been running around so much and playing faster.

“They’re two good, young kids and I think they’ll have long careers, to tell you the truth.

“Hopefully, they can follow in my footsteps, or at least learn from my mistakes.”

Being a coach of sorts is something that comes naturally to the hard-hitting DB.

“It’s something I’ve always done,” he said. “Whether or not I’ve been asked to, I’ve fallen into that role where I’ve helped guys out.

“It’s something that comes naturally and something that is expected of me from my coaching staff.”

The Stamps will play their final pre-season tune-up Sunday (1 p.m. at McMahon Stadium) against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The tilt might not count in the standings, but Lysack said he’ll take the game seriously.

“Any time you play your second pre-season game, it’s more than just a pre-season game,” said the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder. “The first one, naturally, guys don’t want to get hurt and want to get in shape a bit.

“To me, the second pre-season game is the start of your season. You get momentum moving forward and you get to see what you can really do.

“And with it being Saskatchewan, there’s a little bit added.”


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