CALGARY -- The longshots are getting a full shot.
When Calgary Stampeders training camp began, two former University of Ottawa teammates faced some long odds at making the CFL club.
Ron Kelly was playing senior football a year ago with the Sault Steelers of the Canadian Major Football League.
Mike Cornell had a full university career as a linebacker, but the Stamps moved him to fullback.
So when both showed up to practice last Wednesday to find out cuts had been made and they weren’t leaving, the pair sought each other out for some enthusiastic high-fiving in the locker-room.
“This is the best thing that could have happened for Ron,” Cornell said. “I’ve known him a few years, and he’s always wanted this.
He would probably say the same thing about me.”
Kelly, who played one season at Ottawa after transferring from St. Mary’s University, was put on the 46-man roster for the Stamps, but he could be a scratch for the season-opener July 1 against the Toronto Argonauts. Cornell is part of the seven-man practice roster, meaning he won’t dress right away.
Regardless, both players are thrilled to make the team, even if they don’t suit up for every game.
“It was a surprise,” the 26-year-old Kelly, a receiver, said about making the team. “Deep down inside, I knew I had some talent in this sport and that I could go run around with these guys. I had to come out and show it.
“I had a pretty good training camp, and I felt
I did pretty well in the pre-season games.”