A kicking competition was held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this week.
The Ticats brought close to a dozen kickers and punters to Hamilton for two days of workouts, including an on-field session at Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday.
The participants included a trio of Americans with CFL experience: Ray Early, who handled the punting duties for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season, former Winnipeg and Ottawa kicker Brett Maher and former Ticat and Redblack Delbert Alvarado, who made 11 of 14 field goals with Ottawa last season.
Also in attendance was Alabama product, Cody Mandell. He has spent time with the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. And Canadian Brett Lauther, drafted by Hamilton in 2013 but saw limited action for the club before brief stints with Toronto and Saskatchewan.
The team is also expected to bring in UBC kicker Quinn van Gylswyk for a workout in Hamilton before the Canadian Draft on May 10. van Gylswyk is currently the No. 20 ranked prospect on the CFL’s scouting bureau.
That the Ticats are bringing potential kicking candidates to the city instead of working them out in more ideal weather conditions in the U.S. is telling. Wednesday was wet, cold and windy and Tim Hortons Field has quickly gained a reputation as a tough place to kick, which means the team wants to see how players will perform in adverse conditions.
The most likely scenario will see the Ticats bring several kickers to training camp for a competition that will last throughout the pre-season.
After losing Justin Medlock to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in free agency back in February, the Tabbies have been looking for a replacement – or replacements – to handle the kicking and punting duties. At the moment, Hamilton does not have a single kicker on the roster.
– with files from Drew Edwards.