The best names in Ottawa’s CFL history

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/”

Since it was founded, the CFL has been home to players from all walks of life and virtually every cultural background.

This cast of characters has not only provided the league with stunning feats of athletic accomplishment, it’s also given it some incredible names. Nowhere is this more evident than in Ottawa where, over 133 years of pro football, there have been a number of players with truly unique names.

There have been odd names, funny names, and some names so unbelievably fake-sounding that they could only be real.

Without further ado, here are the most interesting names in Ottawa’s CFL history.

HC Doc Galvin (1912)

Galvin spent only one season at the helm of the Rough Riders and despite starting off 4-0, a pair of back to back losses to Toronto to close out the season meant Ottawa finished behind the 5-1 Argos in the standings and out of playoff contention.

HC Reverend Father Stanton (1913)

Better known for his time coaching the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Father Stanton spent a single year coaching Ottawa’s pro team. The Rough Riders again went 4-2 but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

DL Jean-Paul ‘Lally’ Lalonde (1948-50)

An inductee into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame for his numerous athletic achievements in boxing, hockey, lacrosse, and football, Lalonde spent two seasons with the Rough Riders. The Ottawa native played in thirteen games for his hometown team but missed the 1948 Grey Cup, which Ottawa lost 12-7 to Calgary, due to a knee injury.

RB/DB/P Avatus Stone (1953-56)

A two-time CFL All-Star, and one of a handful of players to ever earn All-Star honours on both sides of the ball, Stone was an ultra-rare three-way player. Not only did he contribute on both offence and defence, but he was also the Rough Riders’ punter and main kick returner.

Stone scored 11 touchdowns in 1953, snagged six interceptions in 1954, and was named the East Division’s best player in 1955. In his five seasons as the team’s punter and kick returner, he averaged 43.5 yards per punt and 24 yards per kick return.

QB/P Vito Babe Parilli (1954-59)

Parilli’s 18-year career in pro football was mostly spent in the U.S., but on two separate occasions the Rochester native did stints with the Rough Riders. In 1959, he threw for 373 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions while splitting time at quarterback with Russ Jackson and Frank Tripucka. He also punted 65 times, averaging 38.4 yards per punt.

OL Hardiman Cureton (1957-59)

Like Stone, Cureton would go on to earn All-Star honours on both sides of the ball, but during his time in Ottawa he only played guard on the offensive line. Cureton also worked as an ice cream salesman in Toronto and, in 1960, forced the Rough Riders to trade him to Hamilton — the Ticats sent Angelo Mosca back the other way — so that he could continue playing football and keep his sales job.

DL/K Mack Junior Yoho (1958-59)

In addition to being a starting defensive end, over the course of the 18 games he suited up for the Rough Riders, Yoho caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, returned three kickoffs for 32 yards, and made 31 percent of the field goals he attempted.

DL Marshall Shirk (1965-71)

A three-time East All-Star, Shirk was named Ottawa’s Most Outstanding Lineman in both 1970 and 1971. He suited up for a total of 81 games with the Rough Riders, winning two Grey Cups.

DB Irby Augustine (1970)

Irby Augustine Jack Gotta Ottawa Rough Riders 1970. Photo Ted Grant

Augustine played ten games for the Rough Riders and notched two interceptions, returning one of his two picks for 35 yards.

DB Ulysses Young (1972)

The name Ulysses might conjure up images of Civil War generals, but this Ulysses wore No. 38, played a single year of pro football and made one interception in five games.

TE Rhome Nixon (1972-75)

Over the course of his four seasons with the Rough Riders, Nixon played in 51 games, caught 141 passes, averaged 15.9 yards per catch and hauled in 16 touchdowns.

OL Tuufuli Uperesa (1975-76)

I’d pay good money to watch broadcasters struggle to pronounce Uperesa’s full name. The six-foot-three, 255-pound guard played in eleven games during his time in the nation’s capital and even returned a kickoff — presumedly a failed onside attempt — for 16 yards.

QB Condredge Holloway (1975-80)

Before he was an Argo, Holloway was a Rough Rider. Over six seasons with Ottawa, he started 91 games, completing 54.7 percent of his pass attempts for 8,363 yards, 56 touchdowns, and 38 interceptions. He also carried the ball 258 times for 1,693 yards and four touchdowns.

RB/REC Sylvester Molly McGee (1975-76)

During the two seasons he wore Ottawa colours, McGee proved to be a legitimate dual-threat, turning 80 carries into 312 rushing yards and a touchdown, and 20 catches into 188 yards and two touchdowns. He was traded to Saskatchewan late in the 1976 season.

DB Wonderful Terrific Monds Jr. (1976-77, 1979)

Monds Jr. only played three seasons in Ottawa — he spent 1978 with the San Francisco 49ers — but thanks to his colourful moniker, his legacy will live on forever. In 30 games with the Rough Riders, he made six interceptions and was a part of the 1976 Grey Cup-winning team.

QB Julius Caesar Watts Jr. (1981-86)

If not for a dubious double pass interference call, Watts would be enshrined in CFL lore for leading the greatest upset in Grey Cup history. Instead, he’s remembered for his remarkable ability to avoid the pass rush, often evading defenders when escape seemed impossible.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

In 58 games for Ottawa, Watts completed 52.2 percent of his passes for 10,937 yards along with 61 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. He also ran the ball 346 times for 2,085 yards and nine touchdowns.

QB Prince McJunkins (1983-84)

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

As great of a name as J.C. Watts is, his backup for a few seasons arguably had a better one. McJunkins spent two seasons with Ottawa, throwing for 458 yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. The Wichita State product’s 51 rushing attempts resulted in 419 yards.

DB Admiral Dewey Larry (1984)

Larry’s time with the Rough Riders was brief — he suited up for just two games in his only season in the CFL — yet he still managed to return six kicks. He averaged 4.3 yards per punt return and 17.3 yards per kickoff return.

LB Horace Morris (1995)

Talk about a name that rolls off your tongue like the invocation of a magic spell, eh? Morris’ 12 games with the Rough Riders resulted in six sacks, 22 tackles, and a fumble recovery.

LB Troy Asbell (2002)

Not to be confused with another linebacker who played for the Renegades a few years later, Asbell made 32 tackles and one sack in six career games.

REC D.J. Flick (2002-03)

The Renegades didn’t boast many play-makers during the club’s brief existence, but Flick was as dependable as they come at receiver. In 21 games with the Renegades, the five-foot-nine, 190-pound target caught 64 passes for 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns.

OL Val St. Germain (2002-05)

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The first overall pick in the 1994 CFL draft, St. Germain was a fixture at left guard during the Renegades era, starting 63 of a possible 72 games. The Ottawa native’s career spanned 14 seasons in the CFL and was named a divisional All-Star three times.

REC Llewellyn ‘Yo’ Murphy (2003-05)

The most prominent (and reliable) receiver of the Renegades era. In 43 career games with Ottawa, Murphy racked up 137 catches for 2,114 yards and 13 touchdowns.

LB Chuck Assmann (2004)

Assmann spent one of his six CFL seasons in the nation’s capital, mainly as a special teamer. In the three games for which he dressed during the 2004 season, he made one defensive tackle and one special teams tackle.

REC Pat Woodcock (2004-05)

A marquee free agent addition, the 2002 Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadian was expected to help propel the Renegades into the playoffs in 2004. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Although he posted career-highs in receptions and yardage in 2005 — 36 catches for 504 yards — the five-foot-ten, 175-pound Ottawa native never took over games the way R-Nation hoped he would. To this day, I still have no idea how he survived getting absolutely levelled by Terry Ray.

Following his retirement, Woodcock and fellow former Renegade Donnie Ruiz founded Elite Performance Academy. Woodcock was the Redblacks’ strength and conditioning coordinator in 2016 when the team won the Grey Cup.

OL SirVincent Rogers (2015-18)

In four seasons with the Redblacks, Rogers was a stalwart at left tackle, helping his team make three Grey Cup appearances while starting 61 games. The Jasper, Texas native was named the league’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2015 and named an All-Star twice.

DB Armageddon Draughn (2017)

The six-foot-four, 195-pound Stone Mountain native was signed by the Redblacks in spring of 2017 but unfortunately was a training camp casualty.

REC Norristorius ‘Tori’ Gurley (2017)

After bouncing around the NFL and brief stints with the Argos and Blue Bombers, Gurley was signed and participated in the Redblacks’ 2017 training camp. Like Draughn, he failed to survive camp cuts.

Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).