Awe-inspiring Esks all-stars

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Hugh Campbell's biggest challenge as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos' All-Century team might be to figure out a way to stop Saskatchewan Roughriders' All-Century receiver Gluey Hughie Campbell.

"Actually, I can't run or catch quite as well as I used to anymore," said Campbell.

Campbell, if these two teams were ever to to be put together in their prime in the hereafter, wouldn't have much trouble coaching the club.

Fourteen of the 27 players picked were members of his five-in-a-row Grey Cup title team. Eleven more were Eskimos in his time as G.M. and CEO.

"Let's go," said Campbell of coaching the club fans voted to choose on the Eskimos website as part of the celebrations of the Alberta Centennial.

Saskatchewan, also celebrating its 100th provincial birthday, conducted the same survey on the Roughriders website, choosing Campbell as a player.

He's the only member of both teams.

Tomorrow's game, as was the case with the Eskimos visit to Taylor Field earlier this year, has been tied into the celebrations of the two centennials of the neighboring provinces.

Campbell, Moon and Henry (Gizmo) Williams were overwhelming winners in their respective categories for the Eskimos.

Also selected as an all purpose player was Jackie Parker, arguably the greatest all-time, all around player in the history of the CFL.

Parker, who played quarterback, halfback, defensive back and occasionally kicked field goals was named as the best greatest player in league history at the Schenley Awards 25th anniversary.

A number of voters felt there was no way to properly vote Parker onto the team under the position by position balloting.

"It would have invalidated making the team if Jackie Parker wasn't on the team", said Eskimo President and CEO Hugh Campbell.

Norm Kwong, now the lieutenant-governor of the Province of Alberta, and Bright were chosen as the two running backs. They were the only players chosen from the pre-Hugh Campbell era.

In other words, none of the other Eskimos Wall of Honour inductees - Frank Morris, Frank Anderson, George McGowan, Roger Nelson, Tommy Joe Coffey, John LaGrone, Don Getty or Oscar Kruger - were selected to the team.

It was Moon, who has a chance to end up in both the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the NFL's version, out-polling arguably the greatest list of quarterbacking talent ever assembled by a CFL team. Parker. Getty. Tom Wilkinson. Bruce Lemmerman. Damon Allen. Matt Dunigan. Tracy Ham. Ricky Ray.

Moon, after six seasons with the Eskimos, went on to play a normal-length career in the NFL, retiring as the most prolific passer in the history of pro football.

Williams, the other overwhelming choice, is regarded by many to be the greatest kick returner in pro football history.

Williams played 200 games with the Green and Gold and registered 23,927 combined yards. His numbers were highlighted by 26 punt return touchdowns, two kickoff returns for majors and three missed field goal returns for touchdowns, not including the longest missed field goal return in Grey Cup history, 115-yards in 1987. Williams had an equally mind-boggling number of touchdowns nullified by penalties.

Five-in-a-row men Brian Kelly and Tom Scott were selected as receivers along with 1,000-yard-a-year man Terry Vaughn and current CFL-leading receiver Jason Tucker.

On the offensive line, Hector Pothier was selected from the five-in-a-row squad. So was teammate Rod Connop, who was recently inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and will go on the Eskimos Wall of Honour Oct. 28 at the final regular-season home game against the B.C. Lions. Blake Dermott, Leo Groenewegen and current Eskimo Bruce Beaton were also named offensive linemen.

Dave Fennell, Ron Estay and David Boone from the five-in-a-row gang are joined by Leroy Blugh on the defensive line.

At linebacker, the Edmonton fans chose Willie Pless, Dan Kepley and Danny Bass.

Campbell glory gang guys Larry Highbaugh, Joe Hollimon and Ed Jones made the team and are joined in the defensive secondary by Malcolm Frank and Shannon Garrett from today's team.

Dave Cutler was voted place kicker and Hank Ilesic punter.

"I've always said it's a real honour to be voted to these kinds of things but, because of the varied ages of the voters and who they watched play, it's not a slam-dunk to be picked to the teams," said Campbell.

Saskatchewan's team was led by Ron Lancaster at quarterback, George Reed at running back and Campbell at receiver from their 1966 Grey Cup team. Defensive back Ted Dushinski and coach Eagle Keys also were chosen from that group.

Chris Szarka joins Reed in the backfield with Don Narcisse, Jeff Fairholm and Ray Elgaard joining Campbell as receivers.

Offensive linemen include Vic Stevenson, Roger Aldag, Bob Poley, Andrew Greene and Gene Makowsky.

Dave Ridgway was selected kicker/punter.

On defence Omarr Morgan, Richie Hall, Glen Suitor and Ladouphyous McCalla joined Dushinski in the defensive backfield.

Reggie Hunt, Cleveland Vann and Eddie Lowe were selected linebackers.

Bobby Jurasin, Scott Shultz, Nate Davis and Bill Baker were selected as down linemen.


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