It’s been a couple of years since Louie Sakoda last kicked a field goal with meaning.
So he knows he’s going to be anxious when he trots out onto the field on Friday night to attempt his first one for the Bombers.
“As soon as you go out there it’s so easy to let your heart start racing,” Sakoda said. “Your breath gets a lot faster, and you just have to recognize that before you come on the field.
“Do some mental exercises or whatever you gotta do, breathe deep, and go out there so that every kick is just like a practice kick.”
The Bombers cut the struggling Alexis Serna on Tuesday and replaced him with Sakoda, who punted for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last fall and for the first part of this season.
Head coach Paul LaPolice will chat with Sakoda during the warmup to see how he’s feeling and to determine when to have him attempt a field goal.
“There’ll be a lot of factors going into that: his comfort level after I talk to him before the game, the wind conditions and the play of the game,” LaPolice said. “We’ll have confidence in him. He’s proven to kick the ball at a deep range. He kicked it very well the last couple days.
“The thing I’m excited about is he’s really booming the ball deep on kickoffs. We’re excited to have him on the roster.”
CHANGES: The Bombers are making four roster moves on Friday night.
In addition to Buck Pierce returning to the fold in place of Joey Elliott and Sakoda taking over for Serna, kick returner Jamayel Smith and Canadian offensive lineman Chris Greaves will make their Bomber debuts.
Greaves was a defensive lineman at the University of Western Ontario when the Bombers drafted him in the sixth round three months ago, but he has made huge strides since moving to the other side of the line.
“He’s had a tremendous camp, and he gets better each week,” LaPolice said. “He’s very athletic and very explosive. He’ll be our sixth (O-lineman), and he’s a talented player.”
Luke Fritz will take over for the injured Andre Douglas at left tackle, and Clint Kent will replace Brandon Stewart at halfback. Stewart struggled last week against the Ticats and will be the sixth defensive back on Friday.
“He made a couple mental errors,” LaPolice said.
HAMILTON HOLE? The Ticats will be without half of their starting defensive line, as Demonte Bolden and Justin Hickman are out with injuries.
They will be replaced by Canadian Matt Kirk and Albert Smith, who has been on the practice roster all season. The Ticats will also be without safety Dylan Barker. Linebacker Shannon James, who was cut by the team and then brought back, should get the start.
Receiver Chris Bauman is also expected to be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch last week.
LATE HITS: For all you Bomber fans who have paraskavedekatriaphobia, or a fear of Friday the 13th, don’t worry. The Bombers are 4-2 on Friday the 13th … The Bombers had sold 25,568 tickets as of 4 p.m. Thursday.