Canadian Football League

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Argos one big Canadian Football League Family!

The underlining theme surrounding the Argos 2004 Grey Cup win was FAMILY. Today, that theme has never been truer. The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is ecstatic to announce that Chris “The Comet” Cunningham, younger brother of Argo legend Jimmy “The Jet” Cunningham, has re-signed with the club while Petie Scarborough, younger half-brother of superstar running back John Avery, has also signed up.
Cunningham is anxious to return to the Double Blue: “I’m eager to return to Toronto. The opportunity to play for the Argos provides me with the best situation. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to last season but now I can change all of that. I love Toronto and I want to be part of their great organization.”
Argos’ star running back John Avery was thrilled at the thought of playing football with his brother: “I am extremely excited that Petie is coming to Toronto. I‘ve always been a big fan of his, as far as watching him take on all the pressure of playing in my shadow and making a name for himself down south. With Petie, the fruit does not fall far from the tree.”
Cunningham arrived in training camp with the Argonauts in spring of 2004, just nine seasons after his older brother Jimmy first appeared in Toronto. Being the shortest, lightest and youngest player on the boatmen offered Chris a decided disadvantage, however, the “Comet” blasted off in his first pre-season game catching two touchdown passes at Ivor Wynne. He continued to work hard and made his first CFL start in Week 4, again at Ivor Wynne. Chris left the Argonauts on September 25 for personal reasons and now returns to prove himself once again.
Just five years John Avery’s junior, Petie Scarborough is a former North Carolina High School Football Player of the Year. Scarborough tallied a remarkable 1,300 yards receiving in his senior season at Asheville High and was named to the state All-Star Team. His 40-yard dash time has been clocked in the low 4.3 second range and Avery is convinced that his little brother’s natural football ability will be more than enough to land him a spot on the championship roster.
Chris Cunningham
WR, 5’7”, 174 lbs, Import
Southern Methodist
Born: September 8, 1981
Houston, Texas
Entering 2nd Year Argos / 2nd Year CFL
2004: Signed with the Toronto Argonauts as a free agent February 24, 2004…impressed coaches and fans with 2 TDs on 2 receptions for 53-yards in first pre-season game vs Hamilton…added to the practice roster in time for the regular season…Week 4, The Comet blasted off in his pro-football debut against the Tiger-Cats, he started at SB and brought in 3 passes for 95 yards, including a stunning 51-yard over the shoulder catch from Damon Allen… Week 12, allocated to the injured list for Labour Day Classic…Week 14 to 15 did not dress due to injury…Week 16, added to practice roster…left team for personal reasons on September 25.
College: 2003 Surpassed Jerry Levias to become SMU's fifth all time leading receiver….ranks sixth all-time in receiving yardage, and third all-time in punt return yardage at SMU, just 73 yards shy of breaking Doak Walker's all-time record…awarded Kenneth Pye President's Award, given to the player who most contributed to the success of the total football program...2001 Named offensive MVP….1999 named Freshman of the Year…Texas native has the second highest total of all-purpose yards in a single game in SMU history…named All-Western Athletic Conference.
Personal: “The Comet” is the younger brother of legendary Argo Jimmy ‘The Jet’ Cunningham. Chris is the proud father of Chris II and wants to eventually open his own training facility. His favourite vacation spot is Las Vegas and his favourite car is the Range Rover.
Petie Scarborough
WR, 5’11”, 210 lbs, Import
Mars Hill
Born: October 19, 1981
Asheville, NC
Entering 1st Year Argos / 1st Year CFL
2003 - 2004: Spent in Asheville, NC training.
2002: Played in 3 games for Mars Hill and recorded 6 receptions for 90 yards, LG 26 and 8 punt returns for 96 yards, LG 25…Dressed in first game of season vs Virginia and led all receivers with 4 catches for 51 yards.
2001: Attended training camp at Butler Community College but transferred to North Western Community College prior to the start of the season…Scouted by Mars Hill College at one of North Western’s games and transferred to Mars Hill…Red shirted at Mars Hill as a freshman.
High school: 2000 (Senior) Named All Conference and USA Today North Carolina Player of the Year…Scored 14 TDs on 44 receptions and 1300 yards…Voted to the North Carolina All-Star team, but did not attend because of his commitment to Butler Community College.
Personal: Half brother of Argo running back John Avery…Wakes up at 5 AM every morning to train.

Former Canadian Football League Player Sellers Signs 3-Year Deal.

Former North Thurston High School star Mike Sellers has signed a three-year contract to remain with the NFL's Washington Redskins.

"It's a great opportunity for Mike," Sellers' agent, Ken Austin, said Monday. "He wanted to stay with the Redskins, and they wanted him back. We expect great things from him in the upcoming seasons."
Sellers, a 29-year old tight end who lives in Lacey, was the state's offensive player of the year in 1992 as a senior at North Thurston.
"He still calls the Olympia-Lacey area home," Austin said. "He's in the community so much, it's just as if he never left."
Sellers, who could not be reached Monday for comment, played in all 16 games last year for the Redskins. He was second on the team with 29 tackles on special teams, and he caught one pass for 14 yards.
In 69 career NFL games, Sellers has 26 catches for 288 yards and six touchdowns. He also has played five seasons in the Canadian Football League.
After a standout career as a running back and linebacker at North Thurston, Sellers attended Walla Walla Community College.
He spent the 1993 season at Walla Walla, where he was an All-America linebacker, then he dropped out of school to help his ailing mother, Crystal.
Sellers sat out of football the following year, then was headed for Portland State, but he went to the CFL instead and at age 19 made the Edmonton Eskimos.
After three seasons in the CFL playing linebacker, tight end, fullback, defensive end and nose guard, Sellers signed with the Washington Redskins in 1998 as a free agent.
He played three seasons for Washington, then spent part of the 2001 season with the Cleveland Browns before being released.
After two years back in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Sellers rejoined the Redskins last season.

Ottawa signs veteran Canadian Football League Players.

The Ottawa Renegades continued to add depth and experience to their secondary, announcing Tuesday that a pair of veteran defensive backs were signed by the football club.
George McCullough, who has been with the Renegades since the team’s 2002 expansion season, and Bo Lewis, who spent the past seven years with the B.C. Lions, have inked deals with Ottawa. McCullough has played both cornerback and halfback during his time in Ottawa, while Lewis is primarily a halfback.
“We are excited about both of these guys being Renegades this season,” said Joe Paopao, head coach and general manager of the team. “George brings stability and has a great understanding of what it takes to be a pro player. I’ve always respected his attitude and know what he will bring to the table. We’re really pleased to add Bo to our roster. He brings a wealth of experience and has played in a lot of big games. He’s played in two Grey Cup’s, won one and has been an all-star player.”
Lewis’ championship appearances came in 2000, as part of the winning Lions team, and last fall’s B.C. club that was a finalist to Toronto. Two years after his first title win, he was named to the 2002 CFL West All-Star Team – the same season he had a career high 48 tackles. With over 10 interceptions in his career, Lewis recovered last year from an injury suffered late in 2003 to post a solid campaign. The native of Mississippi was second in the Lions in fumble recoveries in 2004 with two, bringing one back for a touchdown, while also registering 42 tackles and a pair of sacks.
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound product of Jackson State University is 30.
McCullough, also 30, was a 41-game, six-season NFL veteran (Tennessee and San Francisco), before finding a home in Ottawa. The graduate of Baylor University arrived mid-way through the team’s inaugural season and has not looked back. He started in 10 of the 11 games he played in 2004 (shoulder injury kept him out) and continued to improve as the season went on. The Galveston, Texas native returned an interception for a touchdown against Saskatchewan on Oct. 9 and followed that up the next week in Hamilton by making six tackles, while batting down two passes.
Lewis and the 5-foot-10, 187-pound McCullough become teammates for the second time. They were both on the NFL’s Tennessee Titans for a short time in 1998.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Howell ready jump start Canadian Football League Career.

The once burned Ottawa Renegades have once again agreed to terms with a free agent wide receiver.
According to the Ottawa Sun, the club has agreed to terms with former Blue Bomber Markus Howell.
"The paperwork is in transit, I think," Coach Joe Paopao confirmed to the Sun on Sunday night. "We've agreed to terms. I'm pretty confident things will work out."
A few weeks ago, the team thought that they had signed Ed Hervey, who had verbally agreed to join the Renegades, but then signed a contract to stay in Edmonton.
"If the terms of my contract with Ottawa go through, it's a done deal," Howell told reporters out west. "It's really not about money because Winnipeg was close, but they are giving me an opportunity."
Last season, Howell only had two catches and played as defensive back when the Blue Bombers where hit with injuries.
"I need a fresh start. There might have been a stigma placed (in Winnipeg) that I wasn't a starter," the 29-year old Winnigeg native told the Sun. "(The Renegades) want me as a receiver and they said there could be a chance of being on defence but only in an emergency situation. It will definitely be a little different to be away from Winnipeg, but change is good. It was a tough decision."
In five seasons, Howell has 104 receptions for 1,280 yards.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Roberst hopes dream still alive in Canadian Football League.

The long football journey of Keion Roberts (Brandon) steered him away from Florida State (didn't qualify academically), down the path of Hinds Community College in Mississippi, Dixie State University in Utah and Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Next stop: The Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Roberts, a speed-rushing defensive end, recently signed a one-year contract with the Argonauts, fulfilling his dream of playing professional football.
Last year, Roberts said he thought the dream was gone.
``I still remember the doctor's words: `You have something called Crohn's disease,' '' Roberts said. ``You hear the word disease and it takes your breath away. I didn't know what was in store for me, I really didn't. I knew I was in for a fight.''
During his junior season at Midwestern State, Roberts' weight dropped drastically. He thought it was a stomach flu. He couldn't hold food down. The trainers were mystified.
Roberts, who dropped from 275 pounds to 208 in less than two months, underwent a colonoscopy when he returned home to Brandon for Christmas. It was then that he received the correct diagnosis.
Crohn's disease, an inflammation of the small intestine that affects the colon and parts of the digestive tract, is sometimes confused for other intestinal disorders.
``I'm so grateful that they figured out what was wrong with Keion,'' said Roberts' father, Greg. ``He could have died had that thing kept going. We were thinking the football was over, that it wasn't possible for him to come back.
``Personally, I was really skeptical. I didn't think I wanted him to go back to school and play after going through something like that. But Keion kept saying he was on a mission. He made it all the way back.''
Roberts withdrew from school and missed spring drills during his recovery period. Once he was healthy, and able to gradually regain his weight, Roberts said he felt better than ever.
``I've learned that you can never take your life for granted,'' said Roberts, 22, who also played on Brandon's state finalist basketball team with the Graham twins - Joey and Stevie, now at Oklahoma State - in 2000. ``Sitting in that bed, I kept thinking it could've been worse. I needed to make the most of my opportunity.''
Roberts, who reports to training camp in May, said he hopes the CFL will be a springboard to his ultimate goal, the NFL. During a tryout camp in Seattle, Roberts ran a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash, drawing immediate interest from the Argonauts, the defending Grey Cup champions coached by Michael ``Pinball'' Clemons, a former Dunedin star.
``The CFL game is made for Keion,'' Midwestern State defensive line coach Bryan Cross said.
The CFL field is 65 yards wide and 150 yards long (including both end zones), placing a premium on speed.
``I basically lived in the backfield in college, and that's what I need to do in the CFL,'' Roberts said. ``I need to chase that quarterback. That's how I'm going to showcase my game. I can't wait for the opportunity.''
An opportunity that Roberts nearly lost.