Sherritt wears red and white for the first time in CFL’s Battle of Alberta

Sherritt’s name is synonymous with the Edmonton Eskimos

Sherritt wears red and white for the first time in CFL’s Battle of Alberta

J.C. Sherritt is about to experience the other side of the CFL’s Battle of Alberta.

Sherritt’s name is synonymous with the Edmonton Eskimos, having played linebacker for the team his entire eight-year CFL career.

He was an all-star and the league’s outstanding defensive player in 2012, followed by a Grey Cup win in 2015.

Less than two weeks after announcing his retirement Jan. 16, Sherritt was scooped up by the provincial rival Calgary Stampeders to be their linebackers coach.

“The football gods always have a sense of humour,” Sherritt said Friday.

He’ll coach against his former team Saturday when the Stampeders host the Esks in the first of three meetings in 2019.

“It’s a western opponent, a rivalry game, all that good stuff,” Sherritt said. “These are games you get a little amped up for just naturally.”

Both teams are 4-2 and the winner pulls even with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers atop the West Division at 5-2.

Saturday’s game is also a preview of the traditional Labour Day series between Alberta’s CFL clubs starting Sept. 2.

“We play these guys three times and two of them at home,” Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said. “If you can protect your turf to win the series, obviously that would be big for us.”

The Esks are coming off a 26-0 thumping of the Toronto Argonauts, while Calgary squeezed out a 17-16 road win over the Ottawa Redblacks thanks to a walk-off, 31-yard field goal by Rene Paredes.

One of the few CFL teams with a healthy No. 1 quarterback, Edmonton arrived at Week 8 with the most passing yards (1,931).

Trevor Harris has thrown eight touchdown passes and given up just two interceptions.

One his favourite targets is sidelined, however. Greg Ellingson (54 catches for 457 yards) is on the one-game injured list.

“He had an unfortunate injury early in the week, a little tweak,” Edmonton head coach Jason Maas said. “He wasn’t going to be available full-strength for us this week.”

Nick Arbuckle gets a fifth straight start for Calgary in the absence of injured Bo Levi Mitchell.

The latter is recovering from an injured pectoral muscle and started throwing again Friday. Mitchell is targeting Aug. 17 versus the Montreal Alouettes for his return.

Arbuckle is 3-1 in starts since marshalling Calgary to victory over the B.C. Lions in relief of Mitchell on June 29.

The Eskimos declared their 2019 coaching staff prior to Sherritt’s retirement and hiring by the Stampeders.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for him. I think he’s going to learn a lot here,” Maas said.

“We didn’t quite have the same opportunity in Edmonton for him due to the limited number of guys you can have on your staff now.

“He was a great player, one of our leaders in our locker room, one of the best Eskimos to ever play. To be honest, I thought he could have kept playing, but it was a good decision for him to know when it’s time for him.”

Under Sherritt, Stampeders middle linebacker Cory Greenwood of Kingston, Ont., leads the CFL in tackles with 43.

“I was just so lucky to get a room of high-character individuals,” Sherritt said. “That’s not always the case in pro sports. It’s just not.

“No disrespect to anybody, but the situation I ended up in, you could almost say the timing was perfect.

“To be able to get a linebacking job with the Calgary Stampeders, I know how lucky I am because it’s not that easy to get a job, especially at a professional level.”

Sherritt took some heat on social media from Eskimos fans annoyed that a mainstay player was joining the enemy.

The 31-year-old Californian maintains it didn’t bother him because he barely maintains his Twitter account.

“I’m one of the worst social-media people out there,” Sherritt said. “Fans are one of the greatest parts of this game. I’m not going to fault a fan for getting upset about that stuff.”

EDMONTON ESKIMOS (4-2) AT CALGARY STAMPEDERS (4-2)

Saturday, McMahon Stadium

ROMAR’S RETURN — Stampeders running back Romar Morris makes his first start since rupturing his Achilles tendon in last year’s West Division final. He scored four touchdowns — two on the ground and two in the air — the last time Calgary faced Edmonton on Sept. 7.

PICKY BACKFIELD — Calgary’s Tre Roberson and Robertson Daniel have a league-leading combined eight interceptions between them, but Edmonton is stingy in the picks department giving up just two so far this season.

CALGARY CURSE — Esks QB Trevor Harris 0-6-2 all time against Calgary, which is the only CFL team against whom he doesn’t have a win.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Community Christmas Eve Dinner cancelled

The 20th anniversary of the Community Christmas Eve dinner is cancelled amidst COVID-19 concerns

The consensus around the Sylvan Lake council chamber Wednesday was the town does not have the ability to properly enforce a proposed mandatory indoor mask bylaw. File Photo
Sylvan Lake town council squashes mask bylaw

The bylaw did not make it past first reading, after a 4-3 vote defeated the motion

Sylvan Lake RCMP are looking for the identity of the suspect who stole from over 40 resident mail boxes. (Photo Courtesy of Sylvan Lake RCMP)
Over 40 mailboxes broken into at Sylvan Lake apartment building

Sylvan Lake RCMP are investigating the incident and searching for the identity of the suspect

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read