by RENALDO DORSETT
Approximately 40 prospective football players turned out to try their hand at developing a more in depth knowledge of football at the third annual Karl McCartney Camp and Scouting combine.
McCartney, along with the coaching staff of the Edmonton Eskimos will hosted a three-day schedule of events beneficial to coaches and players, which culminated with the the scouting combine for players aged 16-15, hosted at the Roscow Davies Soccer Field at the Blue Hills Sporting Complex.
The list of events began February 5 at the Crab House Collins Avenue where they hosted a coaching seminar, followed by a seminar on February 6, teaching players the classroom aspects of basic football fundamentals.
McCartney is a four year veteran linebacker for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. He said was delighted to be able to lend his support to the Canadian visitors as his whole objective is to see more Bahamians get an education and play football with the view of one day becoming a pro football player as well in the CFL.
“It will be good to see more Bahamians excel and actually learn a new culture and whatever they learn, they can bring back home and make the Bahamas a better place,” McCartney said, “There’s a lot of talent in the Bahamas. It’s just about getting the opportunity,” he said. “So some of the guys here have the potential to play professionally and some have the potential to go to college and get a degree.”
The visiting coaching staff was from the Edmonton Eskimos, led by head coach Chris Jones.
Jones and his staff addressed the combine participants following the conclusion of the event. “You flew around, you worked hard, hopefully you were able to pull something out of today that’ll make you a better football player. I commend you for that. Hopefully we will be able to do this every year, football is a breat game and you deserve to learn it,” he said.
Phillip Lolley, Linebackers coach said: “I was here years ago and it seems like it was growing. We want to get more people out, and keep doing it every year it takes alot of discipline and alot of effort. Karl is from here, he cares about your well being and he wants to give you the opportunity he has had.”
Stephen McAdoo, Offensive Coordinator said: “The first step is that you guys showed a lot of grit and determination by sacrificing the time to come out and learn the game of football. we appreciate that because pushing yourself is the only way to get better. It is great opportunity for us as coaches. Believe it or not you’re actually making us better. It helps us sharpen our skills as teachers to be able to relay our knowledge of the game from the ground up. You guys are leaders now, when you head back to your neighbourhoods, teach what you have learned here to those guys all around you and little by little you will see the game continue to grow here in the Bahamas.”
McCartney, 27, was a member of Calgary Stampeders 102nd Grey Cup winning team last November.
The Stampeders were claimed champions of the Canadian Football League with a 20-16 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last night at the BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
McCartney was selected in the fifth round (37th overall) of the 2010 CFL Canadian Draft and signed on May 20, 2010.
In his rookie campaign he was an immediate force on special teams as he led the Stampeders with 19 special-teams tackles.
He finished the season with eight defensive tackles, including one tackle for loss.
In his second league season, McCartney was limited by injury to seven regular-season appearances but still managed to top his previous total with 13 tackles while also tying for second on the squad with three tackles for loss.
In year three, McCartney played in all 18 regular-season games, both playoff contests and the Grey Cup. He led the team for a second time in his career as he made 23 special-teams tackles, third in the league. He also had nine tackles and a sack on defence.
Last season he played in 11 games and had 11 defensive tackles, including a tackle for loss, a sack, a fumble recovery, 14 special-teams tackles and a knockdown.
In several weeks, Holland College will give host a recruitment drive for prospective players wishing to join the football club for the institution on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Bahamian players have been the driving force behind the three Atlantic Football League titles in school history.