By michelle-lee : Football: NFL: Toronto’s Philip Blake was chosen in the 4th round of the NFL Draft by Denver. Blake played his college ball at Baylor where he was the starting Centre, hiking the ball to Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. If he makes the roster, his snaps will be to Quarterback Peyton Manning, one of the best ever. Blake was drafted 23rd last season by the Montreal Alouettes but decided to return to Baylor for one more year despite already earning a sociology degree. He wanted a chance to fulfill his dream to play in the NFL.
CFL: To celebrate this year’s 100th Grey Cup, Bell Media commissioned “Engraved on a Nation”, a series of eight original documentaries. One of them showcased CFL great Chuck Ealey. “The Chuck Ealey Story” was among those unveiled at the recent Hot Docs International Film Festival. Ealey, not allowed to play quarterback in the NFL because he was Black, opted instead for Canada’s CFL where he played for Hamilton (leading the team to a Grey Cup win over Saskatchewan in his rookie season), Winnipeg and Toronto. His career totals: 13,326 yards and 82 touchdowns. Directed by Charles Officer, the film chronicles how one man beat the odds and changed the game by paving a path for other Black quarterbacks on both sides of the border. Ealey said coming to Canada was “a blessing in disguise” but his main goal was obtaining his economics degree. “Everything else was a bonus. I could have gone to the NFL as a defensive back but I wanted to play quarterback” he said. The “Engraved on a Nation” series will be shown in September on TSN, CTV and the French-language RDS networks.
Wide Receiver Shamawd Chambers of Markham was chosen by Edmonton as their first pick (6th overall). Chambers, 23, who attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. was coveted by the Toronto Argos but they had no chance without a first round selection unless GM Jim Barker could pull off a trade which he couldn’t manage. Chambers ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the 2012 CFL Evaluation Camp, registering 4.42. He was also invited for a try out with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
Soccer: FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced in Ottawa that the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be played in six Canadian cities – Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Monkton.
Karina LeBlanc #1 goalie for Canada’s National team injured her ankle in practice but says she’ll be good to go when the Olympics roll around. The Maple Ridge native was in goal for 3 of 4 games in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in January when Canada and the U.S. both qualified.
The Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) League has folded. The league had already cancelled its 2012 schedule. Karina Le Blanc, Christine Sinclair, Candace Chapman, Lauren Sesselman and Sophie Schmidt are among several Canadians who played in the WPS.
Men’s Team: Midfielder Julian de Guzman, Defender Ashtone Morgan and Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario have been named to the 22-man team that will compete for Canada in the next World Cup. Canada faces the U.S. on June 3rd in an international friendly at Toronto’s BMO Field before returning to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Canada visits Cuba June 8th and hosts Honduras June 12.
Track & Field: Donovan Bailey, 44 has been charged with driving while having a blood alcohol level over .08. The, 5-time World and Olympic champion and in inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame was stopped by police on March 28th and was due in court May 14th but he was unable to attend. Bailey was reportedly in Jamaica to promote the upcoming Olympics. He is scheduled to be a TV commentator for the Canadian media contingent that will be covering the London games. His case was put over till June 11th for a pre-trial conference.
Olympics Bound: Along with better known hurdlers Predita Felicien and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, 25-year old Nikkita Holder is preparing to compete for Canada in the 100m hurdles at the London Olympics. Ranked 8th in the world, she is a member of the Project Athletes Track Club at York University. She attended the University of Illinois on a track scholarship and majored in community health and health education promotion. She is currently training in St. Vincent under former sprinter and now coach Desai Williams. Sprinter Justyn Warner, who is engaged to Holder, (they plan to wed in October), is also expected to be on Canada’s team.