Elite Performance Academy athletes John Delahunt, Kevin Scott and Connor Williams hit the field tonight with their Ottawa REDBLACKS teammates for the first game in the history of the new franchise.
Good Luck Boys!
Local REDBLACKS Players Can Feel Their Community’s Excitement
Monday 30 June 2014
OTTAWA- The return of CFL football to Ottawa is certainly exciting. But this homecoming is particularly special for three players who are living out their childhood dreams of playing in front of their home crowd.
REDBLACKS’ Justin Phillips (DL), Kevin Scott (LB), and John Delahunt (RB) are local Ottawa athletes who grew up with the Rough Riders and Renegades. They have experienced how crazy Ottawa can get around their CFL teams and that is something they are looking forward to.
Delahunt can already feel the excitement among the fans and knows they are pumped that the long wait for CFL Football in Ottawa is finally over.
“It’s just great that CFL is back in Ottawa,” said the former Ottawa Sooner. “You can tell by the excitement from the fans, that they have been waiting for a while to have it back here and just how pumped up they are to have it.”
The return of CFL football in Ottawa will certainly work as a means to bring the community together. Scott believes that the return of professional football will have a major impact on minor league football in particular.
“You really notice since Ottawa hasn’t had a CFL team that the football players don’t necessarily have someone to look up to in terms of the city, since Ottawa is in its own separate little area,” said the former Kanata Knight.
“When you have a professional team it seems so much more real for minor league players. When they see the professional athletes on the field, just like I did when I was young at Lansdowne, it makes it more real. People are much more excited to take part in the sport. I truly believe you’re going to see that attendance levels, signups, etcetera, are going to go through the roof. It’s kind of like fresh blood in the city.”
Though Delahunt was too young to really enjoy the Rough Riders dynasty, he did however have the opportunity to catch the 92nd Grey Cup at Frank Claire Stadium as a teen.
“I remember coming to watch the Grey Cup here,” said the 27-year-old. I was working selling hot chocolate and I remember sneaking out to watch the game instead of selling the hot chocolate. That was one of my memories of old Lansdowne.
The much anticipated home opener on July 18th at TD Place, it will not only be a homecoming for CFL football in Ottawa but also a homecoming for the three athletes. It will be something that Phillips will share with his family and friends that will be in attendance.
“I have about 35 family and friends that are going to be right behind our bench in Phillips jerseys,” said the special teams captain. “They are really excited. Even when I am out in the community everyone is responding really well.”
“To have CFL back in the city, it’s going to be special.”