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Training Camp

Prairie Rose School students recently had a chance to spend an afternoon in football training camp, thanks to a visit from new Winnipeg Blue Bomber Nic Demski.

Mr. Demski, who spent the two previous seasons playing slotback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, visited Prairie Rose to teach students some flag football basics.

“We want students to know that there are more options available to them than just tackle football,” said Phys. Ed. Teacher Scott Smoke. “Flag/touch football is getting more and more popular these days. Having someone like Nic here, who plays football professionally, is just a great promotion for the game.”

One of the areas Mr. Demski addressed was a common problem area for many students: how to a catch a football. The old adage of ‘keep your eyes on the ball’ still holds true.

“I always ask the kids when I coach, ‘what’s the first body part you catch a ball with?’” he said. “Some of them will say the hands, but to be honest, it’s your eyes. As long as you have your eyes open, you’ll know where the ball is and you can secure it with your hands.”

The Blue Bomber told students aim the tip of the football between their hands, and then use their hands to bring the ball to the body.

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Mr. Demski is no stranger to the city, as he was both born and raised in Winnipeg. In fact, he attended Oak Park High School with Mr. Smoke.

“I love doing this kind of stuff and being out in the community,” Mr. Demski said. “It feels awesome to be back in Winnipeg. I grew up here and I’ve played in our stadium already as a (University of Manitoba) Bison, so why not as a Bomber as well.”

The Bombers were initially invited to visit Prairie Rose during I Love to Read Month by teacher Debbie Bray. While the team didn’t have the personnel available at the time (many players live/train outside of Winnipeg in the off-season), officials promised to send someone later in the spring.

“It means so much to these kids, most of them have never met a professional athlete,” Ms. Bray said. “This is really getting the students hyped up for football season.”

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