It’s not too often that a professional sports team makes its way to Kingston. But for a few days this week… the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions are calling the Limestone City home. Mike Postovit has more.
Richardson Stadium — home of the B.C. Lions? Well — at least for a handful of days.
Wally Buono/G.M & Head Coach
“Being able to come to Queen’s — Patty Sheahan’s a good friend of mine — the head coach here — he’s made it very easy for us — he’s done a great job of providing not only his stadium but all the equipment — his staff.”
The Lions played and won in Toronto last Friday — they’ll face the Alouettes in Montreal on Thursday — so heading back to the west coast didn’t make much sense.
“The fact that we were able to stay back east helps us with our rest, helps us with our time change — it also helps us with our preparation — we don’t waste a lot of time travelling, even though we did bus from Toronto to here and busing to Montreal — that’s really just a short period of time compared to flying back and forth — back and forth.”
The Leos have a Kingston connection too – and there it is — big number 67.
Hunter Steward/Lions Offensive Lineman
“It’s a little bit of a homecoming — I only spent two years here but memorable years.
It was an interesting feeling driving from Toronto — you go through the Kingston outskirts and you see the city signs and the big water tower in the outskirts — it started to come back a little bit — it’s neat to be back in the city. I played two years at Bayridge — football, rugby, basketball — yeah I played a lot of sports there.
Then it was the Grenadiers?
“Yeah — yeah I did — I started off playing football at Bayridge — but I really got into it with the Kingston Grenadiers.
Steward signed with B.C. in 2014. He played all 18 games last season and is now a mainstay on the offensive line.
“Grenadiers helped a lot — the Eastern Ontario Football Canada Cup helped a lot — but the Grenadiers that was when I really took a step-up — that’s when I started to look forward in my football career and maybe I could play this in college and potentially a living.”
As for this years club? He likes it.
“I think we stack-up with anybody — when we’re playing our best — I think it’s going to be really tough to beat us. I honestly think that the only way we lose is when we beat ourselves — if we play to our max potential it’s going to be tough.”