Argos QB hopeful on mission

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

A few years ago Charlie Peterson learned about life in Fiji doing missionary work. Now he's about to experience Canada as a football player.

Peterson is trying out with the Argos as a quarterback. Damon Allen is the incumbent starter, but the backup spots could be wide open. Michael Bishop is leaning toward not returning because he doesn't want to be a backup again after starting in the Arena League with the Grand Rapids Rampage, which is dangling a four-year contract extension in front of him. Bishop still is under contract to the Argos, who will have to make a decision on his future if he doesn't report for the start of training camp on Sunday.

Besides Allen and Peterson, the only other quarterback certain to be on the field on Sunday is former University of Miami product Scott Covington, who has bounced around the National Football League. The Argos released last year's third-stringer, Scott Krause, yesterday.

Peterson is a 28-year-old Mormon who, after his first year of school at Brigham Young University, spent two years doing missionary work in Fiji. He did it in conjunction with his work with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

"For eight months I was on an island trying to establish the LDS Church," he said yesterday. "I spent a lot of time in the islands and got to learn the Fijian language. You just learn a lot about life when you're that age and you go through two years away from your family; away from everyone. You discover what you can and can't lean on. It was a good experience."

Following his missionary work, Peterson returned to school and began his football career. His four years were impacted by a broken collarbone in his junior season, in which he began as a starter. He did not reclaim his starting job.

Following his graduation in April, 2002, he spent two seasons in the Arena League's subsidiary league, first with the Pensacola Barracudas, then with Peoria Pirates. He played as a backup last year in the Arena League with the Carolina franchise coached by former CFL head coach John Gregory.

"I prefer to be out on the big field," he said. "The Arena League is so tight. I'm just looking forward to getting out on the field and showcasing what I can do. It's going to be an interesting experience."

ARGOS NOTES

Peterson's younger brother Paul, who graduated from Boston College, is trying out for the Ottawa Renegades ... Hamilton Ticats player-personnel co-ordinator Craig Smith said the team is excited to see quarterback Marcus Brady in a full training camp after he joined the team last year in a trade from the Argos following the two pre-season games. "It's his turn to get it going," Smith said ... Edmonton reduced its surplus of quarterbacks by releasing Bart Hendricks, who'd been with the team for two years, but really didn't play much. Neither the Tiger-Cats nor the Argos have any current interest in Hendricks.


Videos

Photos