Burris back to his roots
CFL quarterback | He feels right at home with local
players at grid practice
By Christopher Cameron
Published in the Daily Gleaner on Wednesday April 27, 2011
Appeared on page B3
Every professional athlete has to start somewhere and for Calgary
Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris, being able to attend a Capital Area
Minor Football Association practice on Tuesday meant as much as his Grey
"It means everything because I was here during my childhood
working on my game, to hone my craft, and to hopefully reach my dream of
where I am today," he said. "This is what it is all about and
just letting them know that any dream they have can come true. I came
from the same setting, from a small town, and I had physical challenges,
being the small guy, but I worked through it and everything paid off the
end. I just wanted to let them know that."
Burris travelled to Fredericton after the Touchdown Atlantic ticket
announcement earlier in the day in Moncton.
In his first trip to the Maritimes, the CFL's Most Outstanding Player
for 2010 felt at home when he stepped onto the Oromocto turf field and
saw the community surrounding the athletes as they practiced.
"I'm loving it because it's similar to where I grew up," he
said. "Community supports community and when I come out here and I
see all the people out here supporting these kids, it says a lot about
this area. That (support) gives kids confidence and I love to see that
type of environment as far as family like and community like
Although his focus through Touchdown Atlantic is being able to give
back to the area, he discussed how big it was to be involved in the
"It's huge, but of course we were like 'why didn't they pick us
for part one'," said a grinning Burris. "They picked Edmonton
and so we've got to fix Edmonton's dirty business and win one for the
West. The ovation of the way the people here absorb the game and the
celebration and the festivities throughout the week. It was definitely
like a Grey Cup out here last year and to be selected to be a part of it
this year is truly an honour."
Having missed the Grey Cup for the past two seasons, losing out in
the Western Divisional Final to Saskatchewan, Burris believes this game
will be a great chance for the Calgary Stampeders to prepare for a
potential trip to the league final.
"Anytime you get to play against a team that you could see in
the Grey Cup you want to give it your all just to hopefully get that
upper hand on them, that confidence," he said. "When you're
playing a game in such a special environment and a special situation
that is almost like a Grey Cup you're fortunate to have that
Burris continued, discussing his teams chances of making it back to
the Grey Cup.
"We'll be up there battling again," said Burris. "We
just got to get over the hump. We just have to win two more games.
That's all I've been telling people. That's my goal for the season, is
to win two more games. Our team is still suffering from that loss
against Saskatchewan and so the burn is going to help us out I think.
It's going to help us get more prepared with a hunger and fight to get
over the hump."
Burris believes the CFL's move to Atlantic Canada is a good one.
"I feel they need a team out here," said Burris. "I
feel that doing some of the right research and getting the right
ownership group together and using all the resources they have out here
to bring people together to support a franchise is definitely
"The people definitely out here deserve one because you can
definitely see the love for football is in the air and the football
programs keep getting better for kids...the only thing that is needed is
For now, Burris' focus is on the eason and being able to give back to
New Brunswick football when he returns in September.
"I can only imagine what it's going to be like when we come back
and are hosting all the amateur games up in Moncton and in Fredericton
as well. Helping the kids to get better as players and as people will be
rewarding and that's what it's all about."