Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Peter Quinney Enjoying the Argo Experience

Peter Quinney is ready for some football. He has been preparing for the “Labour Day Classic” for some time.

Peter plays for the Toronto Argonauts, and is relishing the opportunity to step on the field in Hamilton next Monday. The Argos dropped a decision to the Tiger Cats by four points last August 20. That did not sit well with Quinney. He is ready to avenge that loss. “We need to come out swinging next Monday,” he told me during a phone interview.

As is the case with many other local followers of the pigskin game, I have been monitoring Quinney’s progress for several years. While he was a resident of Roslin, Ontario, and a student at Harmony School, he played “pickup football” on the expansive yards north of Belleville. Then, in Grade Five, he caught wind of the Belleville Minor Football League, and he began his serious quest to become a professional football player. Mind you, he also has managed to complete an undergraduate degree at Laurier, as well as the teacher education program. He plans to do a little teaching following the football season.

“When I was at Harmony, I played every sport. I really loved the games and the activities. You name it, I played it: track and field, basketball, baseball, hockey.”

He played for Rich Elliott and Chris Gregoire during his minor football career. He credits both for igniting the flame to play organized football. In the 2000 season, he played fullback for the Knights, leading the team with four touchdowns in the final game to win the Mike Schad Bowl. He also coached the Centennial based teams in the league with Matt Lisk.

It was at the Centennial Secondary School football factory in Belleville where he really developed the love of the game. “Joe Dicresce and Dan Foley were great coaches. I also played with outstanding players who went on to play football after high school: the Pyear brothers, and Mike Botterill, to name a few.”

Following his high school days in Belleville, in 2005 Quinney moved on to Wilfrid Laurier University. He played three different positions, and won the Vanier Cup with the Golden Hawks in 2005.

He was drafted in the fifth round by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2009, attended camp, played one game, and was released. In early January of this year, he signed as a free agent with the Argos. Following months of intensive training, and a structured diet, he is ready to face the Ticats on Monday. “No pizza, no junk food,” he reported to The Intelligencer’s Paul Svboda last January.

At that time, he realised the uncertainty of playing in the CFL. “I didn’t tell many people about it (signing with the Argos), because with the CFL you can be in and out. I know guys who signed one day and were gone the next. I’m pretty excited about it, but I’ve got to make sure I make that roster. You have to earn your stripes,” he told Svboda.

Now he is under the tutelage of Mike O’Shea, perennial CFL all star who knows a little about the Labour day Classic. He played for the Argos, and the Ticats. “Mike is a great coach. He has been really helpful in my game preparation.”

Primarily a special teams player at the present time, Quinney knows the best is yet to come. “I know I am in a great position. But I have not reached the plateau that I want to get to. I am still learning. On the field I am constantly seeing where I am, and where I need to be. Just learning the nuances of the game. I know I must take responsibility for my play on the field.”

The Argos have won five games, and lost three. The Ticats stand at four and four. The math is not difficult. This is a critical game for both teams. Chin straps will be fastened tightly for this tilt.

Keep an eye on number 44 in the Double Blue as he streaks down the field on kickoffs and punts. He will be negotiating his way to making another tackle on the turf at Ivor Wynne. And he will be relishing every minute of it.

James Hurst

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