CALGARY - When Rene Paredes announced to his parents a decade ago he wanted to play American football, his mother was a bit worried.
All she knew about the game was the hitting.
“Now, she just worries if I miss the field goal,” the Calgary Stampeders kicker said. “Every time I line up, she’s worried I would miss it. She lives and dies with my kicks.”
Paredes and his family emigrated to Miami, Fla., from Venezuela when he was a teenager, and he was a perfect fit for kicking because of his soccer background.
Once his family figured out he was mostly staying out of the violence, they became huge supporters, all through his time in high school in Miami, at John Abbott College (CEGEP) and then at Concordia University.
So when Paredes heads to his adopted hometown of Montreal to play Sunday for the first time against the Alouettes at Molson Stadium, it will be in front of a large contingent of friends and family.
The 26-year-old is excited, but this is a business trip above all else. He’s trying to take care of the ticket requests before the flight takes off Saturday morning.
“I have to stay focused,” Paredes said. “I’m going to be home for dinner and there for a few hours, but at the same time, I’m not going out to see all my friends that I wish I could do. The only thing I’m worried about it is seeing my parents for a bit.”
Paredes had his parents, brother and girlfriend at the Alouettes’ visit to Calgary Aug. 27, while also at the visit to Toronto two weeks ago.
While Paredes said his parents are getting up to speed on football, sometimes CFL rules require some explanation.
When Stampeders returner Larry Taylor returned a missed field-goal for a touchdown against the B.C. Lions, Paredes needed to answer the question as to why it happened.
“Every game, they ask a new question,” Paredes said. “They follow the league through me.”
Paredes feels good going home to play. He had a solid week of practice and missed only one field goal — a 57-yarder — to end Thursday’s session.
He also feels confident in Molson Stadium, as the wind doesn’t swirl like it does out West.
“The only Alouettes game I’ve been to was Olympic Stadium in the playoffs,” Paredes said. “(CIS games) were never packed like an Alouettes game. I’m anxious to see how it is.”
TEAMS HONOUR VICTIMS
For the rest of this season, the Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos will wear a decal on their helmets to honour the victims of a tragic accident in Grande Prairie.
Four teenage football players were killed and one is in critical condition after a car accident Saturday. To honour the victims, the Stamps and Eskimos will wear the ‘W’ logo of the Grande Prairie Warriors for the remainder of 2011.