The Edmonton Eskimos are celebrating the 2011 regular season with a six-pack of West Division all-stars.
It is the most players the Eskimos have sent since listing eight in the 2003 season.
“We’ve got some good players in this locker-room and that’s definitely helped get to where we’re at so far this season,” said Ricky Ray, who is one of just three Eskimos left from that championship year. “You’ve got to have some good players to be able to go out there and make plays for you.
“And we’ve got it spread around throughout the team, offensively and defensively, and that helps out as well.”
With three players on offence: slotback Fred Stamps, running back Jerome Messam and right guard Greg Wojt; and three on defence: linebacker Rod Davis, defensive end Marcus Howard and cornerback Rod Williams; only one has previously received the mention.
“Fred’s been on there before (twice). We’ve got a lot of new guys who have kind of come in and really played well this year and helped this football team out,” Ray said. “That’s been the best part about this year, is with all the new faces, guys have come in and just took advantage of their opportunities.”
It’s a vast difference from the experience-laden 2003 squad.
“In 2003, it seemed like we were a veteran team,” Ray recalled. “We’d been knocking on the door a few previous years and we had some good players that had been around the league for a while and proven themselves.
“We’re still, experience-wise, very young and learning our ways this year, getting used to playing in big games together and hopefully we’ll just continue to improve.”