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April 4, 2019

YEAR IN REVIEW: JUNIOR TURNER

CALGARY, AB - JUNE 16, 2018: The Calgary Stampeders won 28-14 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium on Saturday's Home Opener. (Photo by David Moll/Calgary Stampeders)

Year number eight was great for Junior Turner.

Not only did Turner remain healthy for the entire campaign – something he hasn’t managed to do since 2015 – but he was able to provide consistent production from the middle of the Stampeders defensive line.

“It gives you a different perspective,” Turner said of his time on the sideline due to injury. “To be honest, I was having a lot of fun being a cheerleader. Trying to do that as best I could, encourage my guys. I tried to do that encouraging from a different perspective, because I knew I couldn’t go out and play. That helped me a lot.

“I became a teammate in a different way. I never had to experience that before so I learned a lot. And I think that was instrumental in my growth as a person, as a man. A lot of little things added up to me having fun (this year), and playing free.”

The 6-foot-3, 266 lb. defensive lineman had a very successful season, recording 21 tackles and setting a personal best four quarterback take-downs. Turner added four more tackles in the playoffs, including a game-clinching sack to claim his second career Grey Cup.

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For his efforts on the field and in the locker room, Turner was the Stampeders nominee of the Jake Gaudaur Award – which is given annually to the CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship and contribution to their community.

“I tried to help out where I could and be a leader where I can,” said Turner. “The biggest thing was to always talk to people, be vocal when I had to be.”

“Me and Micah (Johnson) talked about becoming better leaders on the team, realizing we’re senior guys now. We just try to lead the young guys and not make the mistakes we did.”

Among the other accomplishments, Turner suited up for the 100th game of his career. After inking a deal to remain in Calgary for the 2019 season, the veteran will be back to help lead the Stampeders on defence.

Check out some of our favourite Junior Turner photos from this past season!