Kicker carries extra burden

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:45 AM ET

Sandro Sciortino barely even reacted when he booted the longest field goal (53 yards) of the CFL season to snap the Renegades' five-game losing streak and, quite possibly, save his job. And part of it might have had to do with the fact he has more important things on his mind these days.

The Renegades rookie kicker heroically sealed last week's victory over the Calgary Stampeders while dealing with concerns over a health issue that yesterday he admitted could be "life-changing."

Sciortino, who missed practice Wednesday while undergoing tests and is scheduled for more of the same early next week, does not want to get into specifics until he hears the results.

"I'm getting stuff checked out, health-wise. I'm getting diagnosed and if it is what it is, it's treatable," said the 25-year-old Markham native, who added that the problem would only end his career "if I let it.

"I haven't even told my teammates. I don't want to be a distraction. I don't want the attention on me, particularly at this point in the season."

Sciortino has already had lots of attention this season, and not the kind he'd like.

Last week's game-winning field goal was just his 17th three-pointer of the campaign in 29 tries -- a 58.6% success rate that's the worst in the CFL.

EVEN KEEL

But Sciortino, who has tried to remain on an even keel through the ups and downs, is learning how to deal with adversity.

"I've probably learned more in 13 games here than I did in four years down south (at Boston College)," he said. "I'm maturing ... learning more about myself.

''I also know that kick last week won't determine what I do this week."

And that if he ever lost his job with the Renegades, he'd be as determined as ever to prove he can kick in this league.

"If I was ever going to be released, or whatever they'd do with me, I wouldn't want to leave the game of football the way I would be leaving it then," he said.

WRONG TURN: Two days after being named the CFL's lineman of the week, rookie DT John Turntine was carted off the field at yesterday's practice after going over on an ankle he had sprained in Calgary. Coach Joe Paopao said he should be okay for Sunday's game at Saskatchewan, although Turntine later left Frank Clair Stadium on crutches.

OLD BRAWL GAME: Practice was interrupted by a fight, as OT Alexandre Gauthier and DE Kai Ellis briefly went at each other. "Bring on Saskatchewan!" teammates whooped after breaking up the skirmish. Paopao wasn't about to complain about the display of emotion. "It's that time of year," he said. "Guys are a little edgy .. . it's part of football. Nobody got hurt. They're just boys playing out there, rolling in the grass. It happens at every level."

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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