June 21, 2012
Snapping decision for Stamps
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - There’s no such thing as just a pre-season game in Saskatchewan.
Not for the Calgary Stampeders, anyway.
The Stamps have been practising with pumped in crowd noise over the speaker system at McMahon Stadium this week in preparation for Friday’s pre-season finale in Regina.
Crowd noise in an exhibition tilt? Really?
Stamps centre Mark Dewit expects nothing less than the usual madhouse.
“It’s Saskatchewan,” Dewit said with a chuckle. “It could be a minor football league game and they’d be screaming.
“It’ll be my first trip to Saskatchewan as a Stampeder, and I know we’re not well-liked there. It’ll be fun.
“And there’s a lot of big decisions to be made by the coaching staff, so you have to go out and perform.”
Dewit, acquired along with Kevin Glenn in the Henry Burris deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, is among those players on the hot seat.
He and Jon Gott, who just returned after missing two weeks with a concussion, are competing for the starter’s job.
Stamps head coach/GM John Hufnagel said Friday’s game will be helpful in determining who gets the nod, but it’s not the only time the players will be evaluated.
“It’s an important game for (Gott) to get comfortable,” Hufnagel said.
“But a game is no different than practice and he’s practiced very well the last few days.”
After missing the 2011 training camp with a concussion, Gott dressed for 17 games and made seven starts, including three at centre.
But he suffered another concussion early in training camp this year and is still catching up.
“Mentally, I’m not that far behind because I’ve been going to meetings,” the fourth-year Stampeder said. “But physically, I’m behind.
“They’ve had two weeks of practice so I’m just trying to catch up to them now.
“It’s great to get back out here and practice. It’s been a tough two weeks sitting there and watching everybody practice.”
Gott said he needs to perform well Friday night to show the coaching staff he’s ready to go.
“It’s real important,” he said. “I missed the first pre-season game so I have to go out there and show them I can play.”
Gott said his most recent concussion wasn’t as bad as his first one. But he’s aware of the dangers of repeat head injuries.
“I’ve read a bunch of articles about former players, but I try not to think about it,” he said.
Gott’s absence has meant increased reps for Dewit.
“I’ve had a lot of reps and I’ve done the best I can,” he said. “We’ll let the coaches make the decisions they’re paid to make and see where the chips unfold.”
Dewit, who starred on the offensive line and as a wrestler with the U of C Dinos, said he’s happy to be back in the Stampede City.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I love being at home.”