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The Stampeders will take to the field for the first time in 2017 when they host the BC Lions in Tuesday night’s pre-season showdown at McMahon Stadium.
Kickoff for the CFL’s first live action this year goes at 7 p.m. MT.
The game will not be televised, so fans wanting their first look at this season’s roster hopefuls will need to watch live at the stadium.
“I don’t think these guys care if it’s this early (into training camp),” said head coach Dave Dickenson, following a Monday-morning walkthrough. “But the challenge for us is to make sure they’re prepared. What I’m most worried about is them trying to understand the CFL clock – substitutions in pre-season are a mess. But as for the actual football, these guys are ready to play and it will be fun to be out there.”
Several players will be making their first appearance with the team, including seven picks from this year’s draft class. In total, 37 players – including both rookies and CFL veterans – are expected to make their Stamps debut.
“We won’t play Bo (Levi Mitchell) and everyone else will just play, hopefully an equal amount and we will evaluate,” Dickenson revealed. “We’ve been doing that all camp so I’m not changing my philosophy. I need to see these other three guys and let’s see how they play.”
Both Calgary and BC went 1-1 during pre-season action in 2016. Each side suffered their defeat at home, which included the Lions’ 10-point loss to the Stampeders in Vancouver.
Once the 2016 regular-season got underway, the Stamps put together a club-record 15-2-1 campaign to clinch first place in the West. Meanwhile, the Lions settled for second place with a 12-6 mark and beat the Blue Bombers in the Western Semi-Final before Calgary dominated the Leos to the tune of 42-15 in the Western Final to earn a spot in the 104th Grey Cup.
A scheduling oddity will see the Stampeders play their second pre-season tilt just five days after squaring off against the Lions when they visit the Eskimos this Sunday, June 11 at 5 p.m. MT. Unlike Tuesday’s showdown, the second and final tune-up affair will be shown live on TSN from Commonwealth Stadium.
Then, after nearly a two-week break, the Red and White will begin their regular season in Ottawa on Friday, June 23 for a Grey Cup rematch versus the defending-champion RedBlacks.
Several ex-collegiate teammates recently drafted by the Stamps and Lions respectively will be facing one another at the professional level for the very first time. Calgary’s Tunde Adeleke and BC’s Nathaniel Hamlin were both selected from the Carleton Ravens secondary. Offensive lineman Felix Gacusana Jr. and running back Ante Milanovic-Litre of the Stampeders arrived via the Simon Fraser Clan, as did linebacker Jordan Herdman of the Leos.