Lancaster story

The following is from today's National Post. Read it to the end.


Homecoming moves Holmes
Riders Fans Thrilled Popular Player Has Returned
Rob Vanstone, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, August 23, 2007
REGINA -Corey Holmes was deluged with messages from well-wishers during his latest touchdown celebration.

About 100 Saskatchewan Roughriders fans were present at Regina International Airport late Tuesday night to welcome back the immensely popular returner/slotback/tailback.

Obliging as ever, Holmes took a few minutes to field questions from reporters. Following our yak session, I handed him a printed version of an e-mail that had been sent to me from out of town earlier in the day.

Holmes, who played for Saskatchewan from 2001-2005, was greeted by a horde of fans at the Regina airport on Tuesday. "I almost wanted to start crying,'' he said. "It feels good to be wanted."

Please give my regards to Corey Holmes,'' the e-mail began. "He is a very special person. He is class all the way and I know he will be happy in Regina. He was before and with his personality, he will be happy there again.

"Tell him I really enjoyed talking with him and I will be following his career from here.''

Holmes held on to the sheet of paper as he waded into the throng of fans.

"The last time I saw a homecoming this big was when Pamela Anderson was in the Grey Cup parade in Vancouver,'' Roughriders general manager Eric Till-man marvelled.

Nearby, dozens of fans wore genuine, imitation Roughriders jerseys. One Rider Prider asked Holmes to sign his green cast. It quickly became an all-star cast when Holmes' good name was applied to the plaster.

It was almost 11 p.m., but the late hour did not deter Mark and Heather Becker from bringing their children to the airport. Emilia, 12, carried a sign which read "Welcome Back CH.'' Her nine-year-old brother, August, toted a "Welcome Back, Corey" sign that included a picture of August and Holmes.

"I can't wait to see Corey Holmes again,'' August said excitedly, shortly before his favourite player emerged.

Holmes' first stint in Saskatchewan lasted from 2001 to 2005. In the latter year, he was named the CFL's top special-teams player -- an award he also won in 2002 -- and the Roughriders' outstanding player. He was also named the Riders' most popular player in 2005.

He appeared to be untouchable until April 21, 2006, when he was traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the first overall pick in a dispersal draft of refugees from the defunct Ottawa Renegades. Tillman's predecessor, Roy Shivers, proceeded to choose quarterback Kerry Joseph first overall.

Without receiving enough credit, Joseph has helped Saskatchewan post a 6-2 record for the first time since 1976. Saturday's riveting 39-32 victory over the visiting Edmonton Eskimos vaulted Saskatchewan into sole possession of first place in the West Division.

Just when it appeared that the excitement had peaked, an announcement arrived in the e-mail inbox shortly before suppertime on Sunday. The Roughriders had acquired Holmes and Regina-born slotback Chris Getzlaf from Hamilton for receiver/returner Jason Armstead.

"I was upset when Corey left here,'' staunch Riders fan Heather Hepting said while awaiting Holmes' arrival. "I'm so glad he's coming home.''

Home for Holmes is actually Greenville, Miss., but Saskatchewan is such a comfortable fit for him. Holmes has a remarkable way with people, who are drawn to him. That explains Tuesday's response to the first Holmes
"I almost wanted to start crying,'' Holmes said. "I just feel overjoyed right now. It feels good to be wanted. It feels good to be supported.

"I'm just glad to be back with the organization that's winning and on a positive note. I wanted to end my career in Saskatchewan and I hope that it ends this way.''

So does Tillman, who acquired Holmes because of his on-and off-field attributes.

This validates everything that I've heard since I first stepped on Saskatchewan soil about the special relationship and bond between Corey Holmes and our fan base,'' Tillman said while savouring the scene.

Eventually, the crowd dispersed. Before leaving the terminal with Tillman, Holmes took a few seconds to peruse the electronic message I had handed him a few minutes earlier.

Quite understandably, a smile crossed Holmes' face as he read the e-mail. It was from Ron Lancaster.


Now is that a class act or what?

An Argo-Cat fan

Now is that a class act or what?

It sure is. 100%

Wouldn't expect anything less from Ron. A pleasure to meet and talk to!

Oski Wee Wee,

Great story.....class stuff going on there.
I hope Corey gets his wish for a Grey Cup this year and stays with Saskatchewan until the end of his career.

Sorry mr62 cats, not this year. The Cup is coming to TO this November! :lol:

An Argo-Cat fan

You are correct, BF. The Grey Cup will be coming to TO this November - to be presented to the team that wins it. Notice I didn't mention the blue team? lol

Great story.....class stuff going on there. I hope Corey gets his wish for a Grey Cup this year and stays with Saskatchewan until the end of his career.
Sorry mr62, Corey Holmes is first class all the way, I wish him the best!! But I don`t wish that he wins the grey cup this year with Saskatchewan. Even though it seems unlikely, I hope Hamilton shocks the cfl and wins it this year!!!

Hahahaaaa.... I just assumed (as all knowledgeable people would) that the Cup would be hoisted by Pinball and the rest of the team. :slight_smile:

Failing that, I'd be happy to see coach Taafe wrap his arms around it before passing it along to his players.

An Argo-Cat fan

Hahahaaaa.... I just assumed (as all knowledgeable people would) that the Cup would be hoisted by Pinball and the rest of the team.
Barney, c`mon your kidding right? I think the cats have a better chance than Toronto

Barney,

By the way, I`m just having fun!!

Not to worry. Of course I realized that (or I figured you'd come down with Mad Cow disease or something else affecting your faculties). :lol:

An Argo-Cat fan

Hey, you never know the cats and Argos could make it in the Eastern final. Funnier things have happened?? :smiley:

Thats a classy story about both C. Holmes and mostly Ron Lancaster.

Nice to hear something classy reported on around here, good job by the National Post.

I think we might suprise the Als Saturday night too!

The only time I was ever a Ron Lancaster fan was during his tenure as a player in Saskatchewan.

His letter changes everything. He is a class act and I truly respect his thoughtfulness in wishing Corey the best, as I'm sure we all did.

This being said, I'm still glad to see the Ticats get Jason Armstead. I think that he will add something to the team despite shortcomings in other areas.

All the best to Corey Holmes, class act all the way.

corey holmes belongs in sask, the ticats tried to destroy his career by having him play outta position and not including him in the gameplan, at least he is in a place where he is appreciated.

at least corey holmes gets a chance to redeem himself, unlike terry vaughn who had to endure the only non-playoff season in his career and didnt get 1000 yards receiving. The ticats are a black cloud in players careers, look at how much calvillo, allen, o'shea, improved after leaving steeltown.

Lets not get carried away here...(15 Grey Cups)

A Black Cloud in players careers?

How about adding Danny Mac & Darrin Flutie as a couple of players who dis prove your mud throwing theory.

Since you've gone so far back as D.Allen playing here in your depressing post do you want to add Winfield and Champion and Rocky to your list?

Allen played here a long long very long time ago and did just fine then moved on .

O Hay ;you're kidding right?

Calvillo needed a good QB like Tracy Ham in Montreal to show him the ropes and a coach like Charlie Taaffe to get hoim some confidence,that was timing thats all.

Corey Holmes was hurt last year and this year just didn't fit in and when he got the ball didn't do alot.

He'll no doubt get inspired in Sask and power to him but he wasn't inspired here in any way it seems.

Lancaster and Holmes are classy guys. Great role models for football fans.

(primetime) corey holmes belongs in sask, the ticats tried to destroy his career by having him play outta position and not including him in the gameplan
They did no such thing. Not every player works out on every coach's offensive scheme and unfortunately, Corey, classy guy that he is, simply didn't fit in to the new format.

Good luck to him in Saskatchewan and even better luck to his very able replacement in Hamilton.

Barney:

If the____'s win the Grey Cup I just hope its not with help from Rocky Butler!!!!!