May 10, 2023

Veteran Whyte Still Has Fire To Compete

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 6: The Calgary Stampeders play the BC Lions in their CFL semi-final game at BC Place November 6, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/BC Lions)

Written by Evan Tate– 2022 was a phenomenal season for veteran kicker Sean Whyte. The 37-year-old led the CFL in field goal percentage at 92.5%, kicking through 36 of his 39 attempts.

“I had an awesome long snapper in Tanner Doll. Stefan Flintoff, a phenomenal holder; they made my job so easy, man, and it was so much fun. They really rejuvenated my love of the game again, even when I’m 37 I still have the fire in me to compete.”

The ageless wonder continued his memorable season by going 54 of 55 on convert attempts in all 18 regular season games. In two playoff games last season, Whyte was perfect kicking the ball, converting on all four field goals and all five extra points. Whyte credits his longevity to the evolution of his workouts throughout the years.

“When I was younger, I just wanted to kick and kick and kick for hours and now, I’ve learned how to train smarter and not harder,” he explains.

“I’m always working on flexibility because I have to. It’s getting harder as you get older, but honestly, I feel really good. I don’t really stop moving.”

Ageless wonder Sean Whyte still has fire to compete. The kicker reflects on last year's return and hunger to win a Grey Cup with his team.

Adding that he’s been kicking for so long, a large part of his ability comes down to muscle memory.

“For me, I’ve kicked for such a long time that it’s like riding a bike. Once I put the ball down in the holder and I go to swing, I’m like okay, I feel normal, like nothing’s ended.”

Growing up in White Rock, Whyte was thrilled to rejoin his hometown team in the 2022 offseason. Following the season, Whyte signed a two-year contract extension to keep him in British Columbia for the foreseeable future.

“Last year was great, just to be back home, again, was phenomenal,” Whyte said.

“To have my mom and dad in the stands every game, they deserve it, they’ve sacrificed so much of their life for me to even chase my football dream.”

Whyte was initially signed by the Lions as a rookie in 2008, where he would back-up legendary kicker Paul McCallum. He played in 13 games over three seasons, going 27/35 on field goals and completing 100% of convert attempts, before being traded to the Montreal Alouettes in 2011.

Whyte played four impressive seasons with the Alouettes until he signed with Edmonton in 2015. The kicker went on to post some of the best numbers of his career during his time in the Alberta capital, while also capturing the 103rd Grey Cup. With 14 pro seasons and a Grey Cup under his belt, Whyte is still hungry for more.

“Growing up as a kid watching Lui Passaglia, I’ve just always wanted to be a part of that team and the team that wins it and have the BC Lions logo on my ring. I got an Edmonton one and I love that ring, I still wear it out,” Whyte adds.

“But you know, this is my hometown and nothing’s better than winning for your home team and getting a championship ring and being able to share the cup with my community.”

Whyte hasn’t kicked below 87% since 2013, he says there’s another accolade on his bucket list that he feels he has been disrespected from in the past.

Ageless wonder Sean Whyte still has fire to compete. The kicker reflects on last year's return and hunger to win a Grey Cup with his team.

“I want to win a League All-Star, that’s like my biggest thing and I know there was a few years I kind of was scratching my head why I didn’t get it but that’s one goal for me. I’d love to get an all-star in my career,” the kicker explained.

Whyte, who will turn 38 in October, is proud of the career that he’s built behind him. Inspired by the past kicking greats who played into their 40s, he wants to build off that and be remembered for his steadiness.

“I don’t want to be that kicker that, you know, does really well and then drops off for a while. I just want to be that consistent guy,” he said.

“So that’s probably the biggest thing for me in my career. And I think I’ve done that; I think my stats show that I’ve been consistent.”

Entering his 14th professional season, Whyte doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“I’ve always said I’m not going to do this if I’m not having fun, and I’m having so much fun here,” Whyte adds.

“As long as Neil McEvoy wants me to come back, I think I’ll be there. I just love playing pro sport, I love the feeling of running out in the field and the fans cheering for us. My leg feels good, I still got power in it. I can always get stronger. I’ll say I am 38 this year, so I think I could get there to 42. I’m just like that, man. It’s just how I’m built. Since I was a little kid.”