Algonquin College Loggersports Team celebrates Grey Cup title with Ottawa Redblacks
The athletes who participated in the Grey Cup celebration are all graduates of Algonquin College's Forestry Technician program and the Loggersports team. They had to pinch-hit for the Grey Cup celebration because the current Loggersports team members could not attend because of their academic schedules. Back Row (L to R) Konor Poulin, Chris Ryan (Coach) Front Row (L to R) Jesse Shaw, Rory Whalen
The Algonquin College Loggersports team may have been prevented from attending this past weekend's Grey Cup game in Toronto, but it was front and centre when Ottawa celebrated its first CFL championship in 40 years. Four members of the Algonquin College varsity team joined thousands of Redblacks fans who cheered on the players who pulled off a thrilling 39-33 upset of the Calgary Stampeders in a dramatic overtime win on Sunday.
As part of the celebration, the Loggersports team cut five wooden cookies, acknowledging the four players who scored touchdowns in the championship game and R head coach, Rick Campbell. The souvenirs were presented to each of the players and the coach, who gathered on a huge stage in the middle of the revitalized Lansdowne Park.
The biggest chant of the day was for Grey Cup MVP Henry Burris, who appeared on crutches, and told the crowd he had not yet decided whether he would retire. His words were greeted with a loud and boisterous chant of, "One more year Henry." The 41-year old veteran quarterback soaked in the admiration and gave his trade mark smile to the large crowd that included dozens of children who were at home because school buses were cancelled earlier in the day by freezing rain that swept across the Ottawa Valley.
When the Redblacks franchise was born three years ago, the football club envisioned a celebration for each touchdown the team scored that would pay homage to the rich forestry heritage of the region. They found a partner that could bring that vision to life in the Algonquin College's Loggersports team. Since the Redblacks' first game, the Loggersports team has been a fixture at TD Place Stadium, where they have cut a Redblacks' branded wooden cookie off of a log, in celebration of a touchdown.
The Redblacks have advanced to the Grey Cup game two years in a row, a remarkable feat given the short time the team has been operating. Last year, the Loggersports team travelled to Winnipeg, but were not allowed to perform at the big game because of a last minute protest by the Edmonton Eskimos who cited the Grey Cup was being played at a neutral site game, and therefore no team celebrations should be permitted. This year in Toronto, the CFL had concerns about player and fan safety at BMO Field and disallowed both the Redlac and Stampeders from having their touchdown celebrations take place. The Stampeders have had a horse run down the sidelines for many years, each time they score a touchdown.
Ottawa will host the Grey Cup game in 2017.