The preseason has come to an end, and the Calgary Stampeders swept their series with two wins. In their exhibition home game on June 12, Calgary won 20-6 against the B.C. Lions, with fans enduring a bit of rain and hail before the game. But it wouldn’t be pre-season in Calgary without it.
Calgary Stampeders Preseason Sweep
The most impressive feature of this preseason game was the mix of quarterbacks playing for Calgary, and their performance. Bo Levi Mitchell, Bryant Moniz, Dominique Davis, and Andrew Buckley all saw action during the game and all played well, making for impressive depth at the QB position – and that’s not even including Drew Tate as Calgary’s other quarterback option.
Teams know the value of a strong, healthy backup option as quarterback. Just ask the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronoto Argonauts. Last year, Saskatchewan’s record dropped after star quarterback Darian Durant went down with injury. And this year, the Argos are faced with Ricky Ray on the six-game injured list. Not having a good second and even third option can prove costly.
This past Friday, Calgary concluded their preseason with a 37-29 win over Saskatchewan, rain and hail also included. Drew Tate was in as quarterback, completing 12 of 17 passes and one touchdown. Bryant Moniz showed up for short yardage and walked away with three touchdowns. As with all teams, this last exhibition game was the last chance for players to rally for a spot on the roster as the deadline for roster cuts drew near. After the game, Coach John Hufnagel commented, “There will be hard decisions.” Coach Huf was true to his words.
Saturday night, Twitter and other social media news was flooded as Hufnagel and coaching staff ripped off the proverbial band-aid and announced Stampeder roster cuts.
Quarterback Dominique Davis was let go and Andrew Buckley will be returning to the University of Calgary, leaving Mitchell, Tate, and Moniz in the top three quarterback spots respectively.
Defensive lineman Demonte’ Bolden; receiver and older brother to Bo Levi Mitchell, Cory Mitchell; defensive back Lin-J Shell; defensive back Royce Adams; receiver Nathan Slaughter; receiver Dan Buckner; running back Keith Tosten; and defensive lineman Eric Taylor were all released.
I would have liked to see Cory Mitchell make the team. Sure, it would be nice to see brothers play on the same team, but he also has talent. I thought he looked comfortable and focused on the field when he played. I guess Lemar Durant, who was picked up in this year’s draft, showed greater promise to coaching staff.
Roster cuts are always hard and there’s always some disappointment. This year is no different; however, the Stampeders’ depth chart looks promising. Now we just have to wait for the regular season to start. And for Stamps fans attending the opener on June 26 against Hamilton, the 50/50 draw starts at $101,670 due to unclaimed winning from an October, 2014 game. Not a bad way to start the season.