CIS Football came to Setters Place Field for one night in a preseason matchup between the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Edmonton Golden Bears and many home grown talent was showcased in the 50-38 Dinos victory.
The game, which was kept in control by the Dinos throughout, featured Reiss Flunder, Joe McQuay, Bekko Wande, Jacob Plamondon, Scott Pearson, Travis Derksen, Edward Kim, Carter O’Donnell, Ben Pasiuk, Myles Ruether and Jonathon Ericson.
Ericson, who was one of the best high school quarterbacks in the country for the Lacombe Rams last season, showed a lot in his two possessions on the field — moving the ball down field for 135 yards and notching his first university touchdown pass of his career late in the fourth quarter.
“It felt really good to get out there and compete again,” Ericson said. “It is exciting. I have been learning so much and getting with the speed of the game. It is so good to get playing with new teammates and compete again.”
Ericson said he didn’t feel nervous coming into his first CIS game, near his hometown of Lacombe.
“I was confident in my ability and I was confident in my teammates. There is some tremendous players out there I am playing with,” he said.
Being able to play on the new Setters Place field was big for both Plamondon and Wande, who haven’t played in Red Deer since their Grade 10 years at Notre Dame.
“It all felt great. It felt great to come back home. I have a lot of friends and family watching. It feels good,” Plamondon said.
Wande was surprised to see a sold out crowd for a preseason football game.
“It was all love from the fans and they keep supporting us. I didn’t expect it at all but it was huge to see all the family and all the love Red Deer has for us,” he said.
Calgary is looking to have another successful season after coming up just short last season.
“We have a young team but I expect a lot from us. We have a standard to live up to and I expect us to live up to that,” Plamondon said, adding that it was great to see all the central Alberta talent on both sides of the ball.
“It is showing that Red Deer is advancing in the sport. Over the the last 10 years, most of the CIS and u-sport athletes have come from Calgary or Edmonton, so it is good to see more athletes going to the next level from Red Deer,” he said.