Stamps sign Concordia kicker

The Stamps lost kicker Rob Maver (right) due to a torn quad muscle. (QMI Agency/Jim Wells)

The Stamps lost kicker Rob Maver (right) due to a torn quad muscle. (QMI Agency/Jim Wells)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:42 AM ET

CALGARY - Rene Paredes lined up some field-goals to finish off his first practice as a Calgary Stampeder when he started hearing voices.

Better put it through (No.) 30, or well tape you to the goal-post, an unidentified Stampeders player yelled at Paredes, who is wearing No. 30.

Gotta make this, rookie, another player screamed.

Im doing my job, so you better do yours, kid, one of the defenders belted out.

Welcome to the Stampeders, kid.

Paredes sort of expected it but not so much from the Stamps. On Friday against the B.C. Lions, the heat will be turned up, so he appreciates teammates trying to get him ready for his first CFL game.

It came one-by-one, Paredes said. By the end, everyone was there. They are trying to give me some pressure. They were trying to make it as close as possible to a game.

Im new here, so I was a bit nervous when they were screaming at me. Im pretty good at focusing in.

The Stamps can only hope the 26-year-old is ready for this job.

When Rob Maver missed his third field-goal last Friday in a loss to the Toronto Argonauts, he was booed off the McMahon Stadium field.

Tough crowd.

Turns out that Maver suffered a torn quad during that game, and the Stamps needed a replacement. An MRI Monday determined it was a second-degree tear. He estimates being out five weeks.

On Sunday, the team held a tryout as Paredes, CFL veteran Jamie Boreham and Calgary Dinos graduate Aaron Ifield took part. Retired kicker Matt Kellett was also there.

Paredes emerged as the winner, thanks in part to knocking 55- and 60-yard field-goals through the uprights.

It was competitive, said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel. Rene did a nice job and did a nice job in practice (Monday). He did a good job on kickoffs too. Placement is important as well as getting it deep, and he handled both responsibilities well.

Paredes was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but his family moved to Miami when he was about 15. During high school, a soccer coach suggested he give football kicking a try.

The family, which consists of five boys, moved to Montreal where he became a full-time football kicker.

Paredes connected on 54 of his 79 field-goal attempts during a four-year career at Concordia University. He was expecting to head back to the CIS for a final season after getting released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

When the call came from the Stamps, he jumped on it, even if it means he cant go back to the CIS and might only be with the Stamps a short period as Maver recovers.

I needed a shot, Paredes said. Maybe I would have got it next year, but maybe I wouldnt have either. Im trying to make the most of it. I dont know when its going to end. It could be the whole year or half the season.

Im taking advantage of it. Its a good opportunity for me.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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