Sunday, 3 September 2017


Part of the University of Calgary Dinos excellent recruiting class was on display Friday evening in Edmonton against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. According to Canada Football Chat the Dinos were rated with the nation’s number one recruiting class.

Due to five players making Canadian Football League rosters, training camp injuries, and some a couple of players opting not to pursue football in 2017 no less than eight rookies were a part of the Dinos 45-man travel roster.

What is unique is that all eight players are graduates of the Calgary High School system or the immediate surrounding area.  

“They (first year players) were a talented group coming in. These players have worked hard since they have been here and earned the right to be in the lineup,” states Defensive Coordinator Matt Berry who was instrumental in scouting and recruiting the players.

Receiver Jacob Izquierdo and offensive lineman Logan Bandy played for the 2016 Calgary and Provincial 4A Champion St. Francis Browns. Notre Dame Pride graduates suiting up are defensive back Deane Leonard and offensive tackle Tyler Packer. Defensive Jack Burns and linebacker Devon Derouin come from the Henry Wise Wood Warriors. Receiver Kevon John-Clarke played for the St. Mary’s Saints while linebacker Daniel Tietz is a graduate of Springbank High School which is just outside the Calgary city limits.

Leonard and Izquierdo are sons of former CFL players, with Deane being the son of Kenton Leonard and Jacob the son of former University of Calgary all-Canadian tailback who played seven professional seasons.

“Having these players suit up so early in their varsity careers speaks to the strength of Calgary High School football and the outstanding coaches involved,” Berry stated.

“This is a dream come true,” stated Burns when told he would dressing who expects his family to make the trek to Edmonton.

For Izquierdo the mood is one of excitement. “I am excited to see my first league action,” he stated.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

St. Francis High School, University of Calgary, Three Sons Following their Fathers:

What do freshmen Christian Cardone, Cole Belway and Jacob Izquierdo have in common? All three attended the same high school their fathers, they are now attending the same university as their father playing post-secondary football with the Dinos. All three also won City Championships in High School, just like their father. But that is where the similarity ends.  All three play different positions than their father.

Christian Cardone is defensive back, Cole Belway is a quarterback, and Jacob Izquierdo an inside receiver.

Remo was a fullback for the Dinos from 1988 through 1992 graduating with a Management degree and is currently employed by TD Wealth Management. Young Christian hopes to pursue a career in Accounting and is enrolled in the Haskayne School of Business.

“It is good to follow in my father’s footsteps. He talked me a lot about the program here but was completely behind me whatever decision I made to play after St. Francis,” stated the 5’10” 175 lbs Cardone.

“It makes one wonder how fast 30 years went by,” stated the elder Cardone at practice. “Having Christian with the Dinos brings back a lot of great memories,” Remo stated.

Brian was a member of the Dinos 1985 Vanier Cup Championship starting on the defensive line and a first round selection of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1986 Canadian Football League Draft. He is now employed as manager of Western Canada for CSL Behring.

“I feel honored another generation is now with the Dinos,” said Brian who played in 1984 and 1985 before spending five seasons in the CFL with Winnipeg and BC. “The tradition at St. Francis was phenomenal and that has helped Cole,” he added.

“He (Brian) talked to me about the relationships he had especially with the 1985 Championship team and the tradition with the program here,” stated Cole who quarterbacked the Browns to City and Provincial 4A Championships in 2016. “It is a great to be here,” stated Cole who is studying Kinesiology.

“I knew how good my father was. It is a honor to playing here and keep the tradition going, that tradition played a choice in helping me decide to come here,” stated the 6’3”, 200 lbs. Haskayne School of Business student.

“It is nice to see the next generation come up,” stated Jacob’s father, a four year starter who played with the Dinos from 1987 through 1990 earning all-Canadian status before embarking on a seven year professional career that saw him win three Grey Cups.

J.P. sees a difference between football now and when he played.

“Seeing Jacob at training camp reminds me on how difficult it was when we played. We had two a days with full equipment and contact but it in this era this is the way football has to go,” said J.P. who currently teaches at St. Francis and coached his son but let his son decide where he wanted to attend university.

“Calgary is home and he wanted to stay home and play here,” J.P. stated.

Three players following in their father’s footsteps, with the tradition of being a St. Francis Brown, a University of Calgary Dino, and hopefully a Vanier Cup champion, just their father.


For the third consecutive season the University of Calgary Dinos and the University of Regina Rams met in a pre-season game at the Methanex Bowl in Medicine Hat, AB. to conclude their respective training camps.

“It is an opportunity to have our team play a game and for us as coaches to evaluate our new players as well as showcasing our product to the people of Medicine Hat and surrounding area,” stated Calgary Head Coach Wayne Harris who is in his third year at the helm of the Dinos.

Approximately 1000 fans took in the contest on a hot evening that saw the Rams lead 10-3 at the half and scored 29 unanswered second half points to 39-3 win.
“A lot of guys got a lot of game time, more than in past years, and that was our plan going in,” stated Harris.
Prior to the game both teams had their pregame meal at Crescent Heights High School.

Both teams did not show much in the terms of plays as they meet in the second week of the regular season in Calgary. Calgary opens their regular season Friday evening in Alberta while Regina does likewise hosting the University of British Columbia.

An interested spectator at the game was former University of Calgary player and Medicine Hat Crescent Heights graduate, Connor McGough. McGough was on his bye week with the Hamilton Tiger Cats who selected him fourth overall in the 2017 CFL draft.

A special thanks to the organizing committee of the game whose proceeds went to the United Way of Medicine Hat.