A pair of Saskatchewan Roughriders shared their stories of success with students at Success School on Monday afternoon.
Defensive backs Tad Kornegay and Lance Frazier gave a presentation on the importance of education and positive lifestyles to a gym filled with 100 Rider fans to kick off Education Week in the Southwest.
The pair, both selected as 2009 CFL West Division All-Stars in helping the Riders advance to the Grey Cup against the Montreal Alouettes, delivered a message that highlighted working hard to achieve your dreams and goals.
“We want to let the kids know that education is very important. And what goes hand in hand with that, the message I want to send to them, is the company that they keep, the friends that they choose, and how much friends and peers rub off on each other, just surrounding yourself with positive people that have the same goals that you may have to succeed and better yourself,” Frazier said at Monday’s event.
“Even coming from a smaller centre, those opportunities are still out there for you to do and be whatever you want to do or be,” Frazier said.
Frazier, who played with the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, and had training camp experience with both the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks, is a fifth-year Rider. He is on way to setting career best totals in tackles, and so far this season has 31 while zeroing in on his previous best of 38 in 2009). He also currently has four interceptions, one fewer than the five recorded in both 08 and 09.
Kornegay, a fourth-year Rider and six year CFL veteran, said shooting for your goals is important.
“Nothing comes easy. You can’t be scared of failing, or to being successful. You can’t have one without the other, so you’ve got to just go through trials and errors just to become who you are. And don’t ever be scared to be successful, no matter how many people tell you can’t do something, or you can’t be something that you really want to be. You’ve always got to find a positive message.”
He said his own journey to CFL made him step up to a number of challenges.
“You’ve got to believe in yourself, no matter what. No matter if you have people who don’t believe in you, you’re number one in your success to get to where you want to be.”
After a pair of seasons in Hamilton, Kornegay joined the Riders for the 2007 season.
In 2009 started the Grey Cup and had a CFL West-Division All-Star stand out campaign where he was 11th in the CFL with 74 defensive tackles along with 10 special teams tackles.
Both admit that wearing Rider green is a special opportunity.
“Green is everywhere. There’s not a lot of professional teams that get this much love, and opportunity just to enjoy this moment. There’s a lot of players out there that just wish they could be in our shoes and have the feeling that we have,” Kornegay said. “You probably will never go anywhere, in any sport, and find the fan base the way it is here.”
Fraser said despite his NFL experience, the atmosphere at Mosiac Stadium stands out.
“There’s nothing like the atmosphere in Regina on game day and the support that we get. You can see the comradery and the fans across the province – anywhere you go somebody’s going to have on Roughrider clothing, or have a Roughrider license plate. It travels well. Just to be appreciated and recognized the way we are here, and accepted, is a total honour.”
“There’s nothing like game day!”
Despite dropping a 34-26 decision to the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday, the Riders carry a 9-6 record into their final three games of the regular season (Saturday in Edmonton, Oct. 31 in British Columbia, and Nov. 6 at home versus Edmonton).
The Riders will be hosting a playoff game this post season thanks to a 9-6 record over their first 15 games. They will be on home field for the West Division semi-final unless they can catch the Stampeders for first place. Calgary needs one win in their final three games or a single Riders loss to clinch top spot in the West.
“As of late we haven’t played the way we need to play. We’ve been in this situation before,” Frazer said in a message to Rider faithful. “We just believe we can get it done. We have yet to play our best football. It’s not over yet. We’re still pushing towards the Grey Cup! And that’s always the goal. We don’t have a doubt that we’ll get there.”