After a long, intense camp, the University of Calgary football coaching staff have chosen the four players who have risen above their peers, and truly epitomize what it means to be a Dino.
On Weds., Aug. 29, it was announced that quarterback Lincoln Blumell, fullback Jeff Almon, and linebackers Agustin Barrenechea and Patrick James (PJ) Shea will captain the squad for the 2001/02 football season.
Blumell, the only repeat co-captain, is returning for his fifth and final year of eligibilty in Canadian Interuniversity Sport competition (the CIS was formerly known as the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union).
"It is an honour to be picked as a captain," explained the boyish pivot. "It means that I did well last year and my teammates respect me as much as I respect them."
A leader both on the field and in the classroom, Blumell was injured during the second series of Friday night's season-opener when his throwing hand smashed off the helmet of a University of Alberta defender. He will miss at least six weeks with torn ligaments in his throwing hand, but despite the injury his presence will be felt by the team.
Almon, a six-foot-two, 220 lb fullback from Oakville, Ont., is entering his fourth year with the team. He originally started at the slotback position but his size and aggressiveness made him ideal for the big man's backfield spot.
"I lead by example on the field," he said. "I hit hard and run the ball right up the middle."
The two guys on the other side of the ball will be doing everything in their power to stop the opposition from turning Almon's game plan around on the Dinos.
Barrenechea, the seemingly soft- spoken one of the group, joined the Dinos last year after a stint with the Canadian Junior National Rugby Team. Nicknamed Goose, for no other reason than its ease in pronunciation, Barrenechea is excited about the season and his new coach, defensive coordinator Dave Johnson.
"[Dave] is very passionate and extremely intelligent," said Goose. "It's exciting to play for him."
The excitement seems to be shared by Shea.
"It's time for a climax," resounded Shea. "It's been weeks of fondling, and now its finally time to get it on."
In his third year with the Dinos, Shea hopes to be a voice of reason for the Dinos and accepts his new role with open arms.
"Its a new pressure because being a captain comes with a stigma," he said. "But pressure is a good thing. It forces you to be as good as you can be."
All four will definitely be as good as they can be--if they expect to reach the level of last year's 6-2 team. But, it seems the team has the right foundation in place.