Former Knight enjoyed summer school
Football: Charlie Power returns to University of Saskatchewan
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 06:00 am
An Okotoks university student spent his time in a unique summer school he said he hopes will lead to a career when he graduates in a year’s time.
He took his lessons from professors John Hufnagel, Dave Dickenson and other coaches of the Calgary Stampeders
Charlie Power, 22, was on the Stampeders’ practice roster after the University of Saskatchewan slotback was drafted by the reigning CFL West Division champions in May.
“I went to the camp thinking I was going to be there all year — it was my shot to play in the CFL,” Power said. “Looking back on it, it was a great opportunity for me to play all summer and gain some experience… It wasn’t until it got closer to the deadline that I decided to go back (to university).”
The 6-foot-3, 237-pound Power was drafted as a fullback, a new position for the 2009 Holy Trinity Academy graduate.
“It wasn’t too big of an adjustment because I had done some of the blocking techniques at the U of S,” Power said. “The big thing was the mental aspect of it, learning all the plays and the different offence… After that it was just getting used to how big and how fast the linemen were.”
He played in a pair of exhibition games before the regular season, the first one being at McMahon Stadium against the B.C. Lions on June 14.
“I got in the third quarter at fullback and played special teams in the second half,” Power said. “It was fun. I had a few mental mistakes, but I made a few special team tackles and I made a catch (a six-yard reception from Bo Levi Mitchell).
“It is a bit faster and the players are bigger, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty much the game you have been playing your entire life.”
He also played in front of 32,000 watermelon heads in the Stamps’ 24-23 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 20. He had a 14-yard reception via Kevin Glenn.
He admitted to being a bit star-struck when he got on the field with the likes of Nik Lewis and Jon Cornish.
“You realize you watched these guys growing up but get used to it,” Power said. “I tried to emulate the way they prepare — the mental aspect of it. The confidence and the effort they put into it — (Rob) Cote and Cornish are always in there learning. You know when they go out there they are going to be out there and make the plays.”
Even though Power was vying for starting fullback Cote’s job, the veteran Stamp was nothing but helpful to the rookie.
“Cote was always looking after me and giving me tips on blocking and things,” Power said.
The Saskatchewan game would be Power’s last with the Stamps — for now. Power informed the Stampeders he planned to go back to Saskatoon for his final year of university.
“I told (assistant general managers) John Murphy and Mike Petrie that I planned to go back and they gave me the opportunity to stay as long as I could, which was great because I could earn some more money and get some more experience,” Power said. “They weren’t upset and told me I did well. We will just see what happens next year. My plan is to go back and try again.”
Power could not stay on the practice roster past Aug. 14 or he could be ruled ineligible to play college football. He has settled back into life in Saskatoon and will take what he learned from “summer school” to help him on the gridiron in the future.
“What I most got out of the Stampeders was confidence on this side of the ball — I have only been on offence for a year,” Power said. “It also gave me a different angle on watching game film and how much effort goes into preparing for a game.
“It is also going to help my blocking — working against those big ends, definitely helped.”
Power will be back at McMahon Stadium on Sept. 14 as the Huskies take on the U of C Dinos at 5 p.m.