As the B.C. Lions hold their training camp in Kamloops this month, V.I. Raiders fans will be cheering for a couple of alumni.
Running back Andrew Harris, returning from injury, remains a key cog with the Lions and receiver Whitman Tomusiak has a chance at an expanded role with the CFL team. Lions general manager Wally Buono talked to the News Bulletin about the two players a few days before training camp.
Buono was asked if the departure of Stefan Logan puts more on Harris’s plate, but the GM said that’s not the case.
“What we’re trying to do is not put too much more on his shoulders,” said Buono, adding that the Lions drafted Shaquille Murray-Lawrence out of UNLV to take some pressure off of Harris. The Lions also expect an import running back will be able to carry some of the load.
“It’s really hard to put so much pressure on one individual and as we saw last year, if an injury occurs it just devastates your team,” said Buono.
He said if the running back position “is monitored,” then Harris can still get his reps, have his success and lengthen his career.
“Our plan is to use Andrew, but our plan is not to beat him into the ground to where by half the season, he’s lost or he’s hurt,” Buono said. “If we can do that, he’ll be better for it and so will we.”
Tomusiak, meanwhile, will be “coming in to compete” this year, whereas last year was more of a learning experience for the prospect.
“Tomusiak is at that point [where] he now needs to go to training camp, compete and he’s not going to be protected by his junior status anymore,” Buono said. “I think he’ll be up for it.”
GAME ON … The B.C. Lions play their first exhibition game June 12 on the road against the Calgary Stampeders and play their season opener July 4 on the road against the Ottawa Redblacks.