June 3, 2022

Game Preview | Lions vs. Roughriders

Taken from 2022 BC Lions Training Camp.

Nathan Cherry has been waiting for this moment. And wouldn’t you know it? It comes against a team wearing familiar colours. The Lions’ top draft pick of 2022 will make his pre-season debut against the team he grew up cheering for. As he prepares to make an impression amongst a solid group of defensive linemen, Cherry is also now entirely comfortable with the colour orange.

“The fact that it’s the Riders makes things a little more special,” said the former Saskatchewan Huskies standout.

“There are going to be a lot of people in my family who will not know who to root for (laughs). It’s going to be awesome.”

Cherry also admits his phone notifications have involved a bit more friendly trash talk this week.

“A little bit. Some people will be rocking orange, others will still be rocking green. It’s going to be fun.”

On the field, Cherry brings size and the ability to shoot gaps. A First Team U Sports All Canadian and Canada West All-Star selection in 2021, Cherry has taken cues from some of the veterans in training camp and will draw on that as a template for success on Friday.

“There are a lot of good players here,” said Cherry of the group in Kamloops.

“It’s not like college where only some people stand out. Everyone is good here. It’s definitely an adjustment. You’ve got to get used to the speed the first couple of days but once you get the hang of it, it’s all good.”

With the Riders slated to start a couple of veterans up front in Dan Clark and Evan Johnson, Cherry will relish the chance to hit someone in those former primary colours of his.

“This is a childhood dream come true here. I always imagined being out there in front of thousands of fans. This is going to be awesome.”

Pre-Season B | Lions vs. Roughriders

Friday, June 3

7:00 pm, BC Place

TSN 1/ESPN+/AM730/Lions Audio Network

Lion Veterans To See Action

Quarterback Nathan Rourke and the rest of the starting offence will likely see the field for at least a portion of the first half as now the challenge becomes a balance between veterans not facing any rust while still getting the chance to evaluate any newcomers who might be on the bubble.

“That’s another huge piece to this game is to get these guys in and make sure we don’t miss out,” said head coach Rick Campbell.

“There is going to be a handful of guys who can help us this year that are new to us and we need to make sure we don’t miss out on those guys. We want to play good football and also get a good look at guys we need to decide on for Saturday.”

One of the starters who will be in full uniform is 2021 CFL All-Star Lucky Whitehead. Many fans and observers are keen to see what he has in store for an encore after his first season in orange was interrupted in the final weeks due to a broken hand. The playmaker is ready to pick up where he left off.

“I’m glad I got out of camp healthy, most of all,” said Whitehead.

” I feel great. I’m ready to start playing for real, to be honest. This full season is going to be fun. But I’m super pumped to get out there this week, fly around and get back into that groove.”

The Lions and Riders will play three times in the regular season. It doesn’t hurt to set a tone early. Especially with Cody Fajardo and several Saskatchewan Roughrider regulars slated to be in uniform.

5 Lions To Watch

WR Jamarius Way, #80– He provided a highlight-reel grab for the Lions’ only major in Calgary last week. What does he have in store for an encore?

WR Montay Crockett, #72– Another playmaker at receiver, Crockett’s returning ability makes him a versatile option in 2022.

DB Tyneil Cooper, #24- Previous experience in Winnipeg gave him a leg up amongst other newcomers in Kamloops. Cooper provides good cover skills.

DL Sione Teuhema, #47– Has pushed veteran Obum Gwacham at that rush end position. A little depth off the edge would be greatly beneficial this season.

RB Darius Clark, #32- He and Bruce Anderson have formed a nice trio with incumbent James Butler. Pressure will be on to establish a run game when the contests start to matter in the standings.

Matt Baker: