Walls bucks trend, staying in 'Peg during bye week

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:32 AM ET

Gavin Walls could go anywhere in the world.

His services aren't required on Maroons Road during the bye week, giving him the perfect opportunity to get away from the grind of pro football and heal his aching body.

Instead, the fifth-year Bomber defensive end is planning to remain in Winnipeg and start focusing on the team's next opponent. He's jacked up and ready to go after Winnipeg's convincing 37-10 drilling of the B.C. Lions on Friday night.

"I'm ready to get on this Green and White, man," Walls said yesterday. "I'm ready to keep playing."

Walls is referring to Winnipeg's next game, the 43rd Labour Day Classic on Sept. 6 in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

While Walls might be frothing at the mouth to strap on the pads, the same can't be said for most of his teammates. More than half of the players left for their bye weeks straight from Vancouver, and most of the group that returned to Winnipeg yesterday wasn't planning to stick around for long.

Here's a sampling of what Bomber players are planning to do during their brief summer vacation:

- Head coach Mike Kelly is getting away from it all for a couple of days, and he will soak up as much time with his two daughters as he can.

"I'm going to spend lots of money on school clothes and school supplies," Kelly said. "I'm going to head to Philadelphia and get with Lindsey and Morgan and get them ready for school."

- Right tackle Glenn January, a Texas native, is going to remain in Manitoba with his girlfriend Glenna.

"I'm going to go up north," he said. "I'm going to go camping."

- Placekicker Alexis Serna's break will feature some travel as well. His fiancee was slated to meet up with him in Vancouver for the journey back to California.

"We're driving back down with one of my best friends," Serna said last week. "I'll go visit Oregon State, go see coach (Mike) Riley and all my former teammates there and enjoy my time there and get to play with my dog again, take him out on the fields with me."

- Injured slotback Arjei Franklin is going home to the Toronto area, and his bye week will be a family-filled affair.

"I can't wait to see my wife again, and my sister's getting married," he said. "The whole family's getting back together from all different parts of the continent to celebrate that, and we're all just very excited for her."

- Right guard Brendon LaBatte planned to attend last night's AC/DC concert at Canad Inns Stadium before heading for his home in Weyburn, Sask., today.

- Like his coach, wide receiver Brock Ralph has also been away from his two daughters, who are living in Wyoming this season while he plies his trade in River City.

"I'm going back to Alberta to see my girls that I haven't seen for 21/2 months," he said.

- Punter Mike Renaud, who was traded from Calgary to Winnipeg in June, is venturing back to Cowtown, where his girlfriend lives.

"I'm going to hang out there and go out to Banff for a bit," he said. "I'll hang out with (Stamps punter) Burke Dales, my buddy. Nothing too exciting."

- Linebacker Barrin Simpson will make his way back to his Texas home, where he will be present for a milestone family moment.

"This is the perfect week off, because my little girl Atira goes to school this week," he said. "It's the first day of kindergarten for her, and I get to take her to school every day of the week. I'm going to be looking forward to that."


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