Tasty treat for Stamps

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:55 PM ET

CALGARY - Daren Stone didn’t think there was much of a difference until he headed inland.

Since arriving in Alberta with the Calgary Stampeders, he found out there is nothing like fresh-out-of-the-sea Atlantic lobster.

“I actually know good seafood now,” said the linebacker.

“Going to Maine, we would have lobster every other Friday. Each player would get a whole lobster. I’m getting some lobster as soon as I get there.”

The Stampeders spent Wednesday travelling from Calgary to Moncton, N.B., where they will spend three days practising and preparing for Sunday’s Touchdown Atlantic against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Stone is with them, and he’s thankful for that. A few weeks ago, it looked like Stone might not make the trip, which is as close to his alma mater as he can get in the CFL.

Although he grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., the Stamps rookie spent four years at the University of Maine, about three hours away from Moncton in Orono, Me.

During his first season in the CFL, Stone has battled the injury bug. He overcame early hamstring injuries — understandable after coming back from more than a year off football — but he also suffered a biceps injury Aug. 6.

When returning last Saturday to the Stamps lineup against the B.C. Lions, Stone felt a sense of relief. Not only does he expect to see college friends in Moncton, his father Eric is also making a 15-hour drive from Buffalo to see his Stone play.

“I’m glad I had a game before this game,” Stone said. “The first one back you are almost a little rusty. I’m excited to get back on the East Coast.

“My dad’s one of my biggest fans, my biggest motivators and my biggest critics. I get hyped when he comes out.”

Stone is not the only Stampeders player who’s had Touchdown Atlantic marked on his calendar.

When Justin Conn got a call to sign Aug. 30 with the Stampeders, he was sitting at home in Fredericton, N.B., about 90 minutes down the road from Moncton.

Now that he’s played three games on special teams, Conn is pumped for this outing because his entire nuclear family will be in attendance.

“At the time, I was just happy to sign with a team that wanted me,” said Conn, who played one game with the Montreal Alouettes this season before being released and joining the Stampeders.

“Going back east was in the back of my mind. This an opportunity for my family and friends to come out and watch me.”

Stamps fullback Tim St. Pierre, who spent his college career at St. Mary’s in Halifax, played in the inaugural Touchdown Atlantic, also in Moncton, last season with the Edmonton Eskimos.

But St. Pierre isn’t the only current player who participated in the Eskimos victory over the Toronto Argonauts.

Rookie linebacker Akwasi Antwi, who last year played at Mount Allison University in nearby Sackville, N.B., attended the game as a fan and cheered on the Eskimos.

At that time, he couldn’t have imagined he would play in the second version of the CFL’s pilgrimage to the Maritimes.

“It’s a surprise to be in the CFL this year, period,” said Antwi, a fourth-round draft pick. “Playing in this game wasn’t even on my radar.

“I’m trying to get as many people as possible to wear red.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @ianbusby57


Videos

Photos