Star Rider slotback Jason Clermont was in Estevan Saturday night for Estevan Minor Football's annual fundraising dinner. The voice of the Estevan Bruins, Blaine Weyland, did an interview with Jason and granted us permission to
post the discussion on the blog. Here's how it went:
Q. How much do you know about Estevan Minor Football?
CLERMONT: I know Marco Ricci fairly well so he's kept me abreast of what's been going on. I'm pretty excited about the infrastructure that's been laid down here and the city of Estevan has been rallying around what's been going on here. It's great they made football happen here.
Q. Are you excited about 2011?
CLERMONT: There were a couple of voids created last year.
Rob Bagg got injured and I filled in for him. I think Jordan Sisco is more suited to that position and he may get some more playing time there if Rob's knee injury isn't 100 percent to start the season. Andy Fantuz is gone too so there's a gap there. I don't know how much more Chris Getzlaf can do, he almost had 1000 yards last season playing the second slot position on the wide side. If there are a couple more balls to go around, I expect him to hit 1000 yards for sure.
Q. Did you expect Andy Fantuz to bolt to the NFL?
CLERMONT: I knew that if there was as opportunity, Andy would jump at it. He's the kind of guy who's hungry for opportunity. It's unfortunate there's a work stoppage in the NFL because he would have made the most of his opportunity for sure.
Q. Do you see yourself being more involved in the offense this year?
CLERMONT: I don't want to comment too much on what I do or don't do. I think every chance I've got, I've made the most of it and hopefully people noticed.
Q. What do you think of the coaching changes?
CLERMONT: I think Greg Marshall should have been a head coach years ago and I think Saskatchewan is fortunate that he's now the Riders' coach. He's a guy that, they say, doesn't deal with the media well and maybe doesn't interview well but from a player's perspective he's a helluva football coach. I'm glad he hasn't interviewed well and done so well in front of the media for years because now we get the opportunity to have him as coach.
Q. What about Doug Berry coming back?
CLERMONT: I think it's big for Darian Durant and his progress. Darian's been overcoming some obstacles in that he's had Kent Austin, Paul Lapolice and now Doug Berry.
He's been able to perform every year and learn from each coach. It's nice to have him build from continuity and now that he's lost his #1 target in Andy Fantuz, it's nice for him to have that firm rock to rely on.
Q. What do you remember from minor football and what advice do you have for young players?
CLERMONT: Get involved as a family. If your kid wants to play football, there's so much opportunity for you to get involved in the football program in your community as well.
And for the young athletes, you can believe that you can or you can believe that you can't. Either way you're right. So it's whatever you believe in. If you believe you can't, you won't. If you believe you can, you will.
Kids should be going out and trying to win. They should try to win their 1-on-1 battles, win their position and win their games. There's no shame in losing if you're trying.
There's a lot of emphasis placed on participation but I think kids should be striving to be great and if they fall short, at least they tried.