Argos give rookies a chance

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

OTTAWA -- It may be a meaningless game in the standings for the Argos, but it's a game that means everything to Ian Forde, Christian Heffernan and Khalil Carter.

The three rookies make their Canadian Football League debuts today for the Argos against the Ottawa Renegades at Frank Clair Stadium.

The Argos, 11-6 on the season, clinched first in the East Division in their most recent game and will be sitting out and/or resting many starters who are injured, while also using the opportunity to give some backups playing time.

Forde and Heffernan, both receivers, and Carter, a defensive back, will have a chance to show what they can do after biding their time on the practice roster.

TWO CIS PLAYERS

The Argos drafted Forde out of the Waterloo this year. The 5-foot-9, 178-pounder has been working out at wideout. Heffernan, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound speedball out of the University of Western Ontario, joined the Argos as a free agent and is a slotback prospect. Carter, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound product of the Arena League, joined the team in October.

"I'm so excited to play," Forde said. "I want to do well. I want to show them I can play at this level. I want to show I was a worthy pick. I am nervous, but I've always been nervous through every single game I've played in. But after that first play, you get into the game and it's football again. I think my nerves are going to help me, get me energetic and ready to go."

Heffernan, a track star at Western, joined the team in September and has impressed with his speed and size.

'HONOURED'

"The fact they've given me a chance to play, I'm kind of honoured," he said. "I'm just going to go out and try to do my best. It would be nice if I could secure a spot for next year if I get a chance to play well."

Carter is slated to start at the short-side halfback spot while regular starter Kenny Wheaton nurses a sore ankle.

"I'm totally excited," he said. "The guys made me feel really comfortable learning the plays and playing this game for the first time. I feel like it's going to be really exciting. I'm going to go out and do my best and hopefully they accept my effort."


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