What is Calvin McCarty’s future with the Eskimos?
Time flies when you’re having fun, and Calvin McCarty has had great fun spending time on a football gridiron for a large part of every season since 1998. His enjoyment has continued since then at all levels of the Canadian game, including the Edmonton Eskimos, who drafted him in 2007, a fourth-rounder in the annual draft of university prospects.
But, as long established, time flies. Now, at the football-mature age of 36, the solid, thoughtful person waits with all CFL players for word on the potential start of what would become his 14th season as a valued and versatile Eskimo contributor. He is listed as a free agent, as much because of the Covid-19 delay as any other reason.
There has been no public comment since McCarty reached free agency but the Eskimos did not take a prospective fullback with any of their draft choices last week.
Carty was 14 when he stepped into the spotlight by setting all kinds of records as a Grade 8 student at St. Thomas More High School in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, B.C. There, he played two positions, running back and linebacker, well enough to lead the Knights to the B.C. championship by collecting three touchdowns in a one-sided final victory.
One year later, by now a high school senior, McCarty’s standards climbed even higher. He switched from linebacker to defensive back while remaining dominant on the offensive side of the ball. At the end of the season, a close observer estimated the versatile young guy had collected more than 1,000 yards rushing.
One interesting aspect of the McCarty career is the time he spent at university: one season at Boise State and one at Reedley College, a school with about 10,000 students in California, before ending his scholasic career at Western Washington in the border community of Bellingham.
In every university situation, McCarty’s statistics were beyond the acceptable norm, but as a pro, his versatility has much exceeded his individual totals. He has been a persistent blocker, an able receiver and a forced on special teams, in addition to the running well as a tailback and fullback, especially in short-yardage situations.
In yardage gained, his best year was 2008, when he totalled more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. Since that prosperous second season, individual numbers have fallen. Injuries, of course, have been a big part of the reason. but by the end of last season he had compiled 1,615 yards as a runner and more than 2,000 yards on 263 catches through the air.
Will there be more this year? Time and roster competition and the pandemic will help to tell the story.
But one aspect of McCarty’s career remains indelible: he has been a consummate professional on the field and off. Few athletes in any sport have made commitments as large as his to his home community, St. Albert, and many surrounding centres.
When word first surfaced that McCarty’s active career might come to an end, his supporters smiled broadly at the realization he had scored two touchdowns against Saskatchewan – both on one-yard plunges – in what may have been his last career game.
The good news is two-fold: the Eskimos have said they hope to find a post-playing career position for him, perhaps as a coach. Whether he remains with the organization or not, he has committed to staying in and around Edmonton. The entire community will benefit.
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Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce to form Task Force on Homelessness in Red Deer
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be convening a Task Force of community and business leaders to address the issues of homelessness and identify actionable steps which can be taken to tackle this generational challenge in Red Deer.
“With the release of the City of Red Deer’s Point in Time (PIT) Report on homelessness last week we are very concerned and disappointed with the effectiveness of the strategies currently in place, and the urgency by which we need to turn this situation around within our city,” commented Scott Robinson CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly our current strategies are not enough, and we need to elevate the urgency by which we get things done to reduce the number of citizens who are without a place to live. The growing number of people who are homeless is not sustainable and is impacting on our sense of pride, safety and attractiveness of our city to business and industry.”
“We will share more about this Task Force and the next steps in the coming weeks. Time has run out to act with conviction, courage, and clarity. Our community and citizens deserve that from our community leaders, and we are ready to bring the business community and the urgency required to the table.”
Over the next 60 days, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be reaching out to its business and social agency partners to build the Task Force on homelessness and establish a strategy to address the critical steps that need to be taken to reverse the trends and further our community’s vision as a vibrant and healthy city.
Matt Cassidy, Chamber Board President. remarked “Our Chamber is positioned to be the collaborative leader in connecting our business community, social agencies, and elected officials together, to find tangible progress on this complex issue. All businesses rely on the vibrancy of our community as they strive to be sustainable, innovative, or grow, and the results of the PIT Report indicate that we need to do much more. This task force will help hold our leaders accountable for the actionable progress needed and engage one another effectively.”
“In speaking with our membership, and those working closely with the vulnerable populations there are best practices and models for delivery that are successful in other parts of the world that we need to start implementing” says Robinson. In addition, we need to look at ways that our private sector can get more involved and bring their expertise and strategic thinking to the table. As a collaborative community we also need to ensure that governments at all levels are delivering on their promises of affordable housing and eliminating barriers to expediting these investments.
Established in 1894 the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative business leader representing over 825 member businesses. As one of Red Deer’s oldest and most established membership organizations we are striving to build a vibrant community that fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow.
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