Serna ‘saw writing on the wall’

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 AM ET

His career started under the glare of, and occasional tirade from, head coach Doug Berry.

It ended unceremoniously, six games into the Paul LaPolice regime.

In between, under Mike Kelly, he set a Winnipeg Blue Bomber record for field goal accuracy.

And we haven’t even mentioned his support role in the Troy Westwood soap opera.

So, yeah, you could say Alexis Serna had an eventful two-plus seasons in blue and gold, a stint that ended when he was called into LaPolice’s office and handed a pink slip Tuesday morning.

“He just said he didn’t have confidence in me,” Serna told the Sun, shortly after finding himself in football’s unemployment line. “It’s upsetting. I’m definitely frustrated. But nobody said life was easy.”

The 25-year-old sensed that he was on thin ice with LaPolice a long time ago, not just since missing two short field goals in Hamilton last weekend — even though he didn’t face any competition for his job in training camp.

“Since the beginning of the season I kind of saw the writing on the wall,” Serna said. “I kind of sensed that at the first sign of anything, I’d be gone.”

LaPolice appeared surprised at his former kicker’s comments.

“I would totally disagree with that statement,” he said. “Because we didn’t bring anyone else in. I watched every kick he did last year. And then he started to struggle on the field. We gave him opportunities. We talk about trust here. And it’s six games in. We didn’t make any knee-jerk reactions.”

Serna struggled from Week 1, missing longer field goals and seeing two returned for touchdowns.

Then he started missing from short range — 28 and 32 yards in Hamilton — dropping his success rate to a CFL-worst 57.1%.

He was hoping for time to work his way out of it, though, expecting to have another kicker in town this week, but ready to take him on.

Just as surprised was Serna’s close friend, punter Mike Renaud.

“I thought maybe it could be a week of competition,” Renaud said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, considering it’s early in the season... not even halfway through. We understand these things happen. It’s part of the business, and that’s what we signed up for. We have to expect them when we’re underachieving or not performing to the standards that are set for us.”

So the man who drew a mix of cheers and boos replacing Westwood, the team’s all-time leading scorer, leaves town with one memorable season, and a whole lot of turmoil, under his cleats, returning with his wife to Oregon, where he went to school, to contemplate his football future.

“I’ve been through a lot of things,” Serna said. “This is just another bump in the road.”

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


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