A Hamilton Tiger-Cats held a kicking competition this week.
The Ticats brought close to a dozen kickers and punters to Hamilton for two days of workouts, including an on-field session at Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday.
The participants included a trio of American CFL veterans: Ray Early, who handled the punting duties for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season; former Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Ottawa Redblacks kicker Brett Maher and former Ticat Delbert Alvarado, who was with the club briefly last season.
Also in attendance was former Alabama kicker Cody Mandell, who has spent time with the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys, and Canadian Brett Lauther, who was drafted by Hamilton in 2013 but saw limited action for the club before brief stints with Toronto and Saskatchewan.
The team is also expected to bring in University of British Columbia kicker Quinn van Gylswyk for a workout in Hamilton before the Canadian Draft on May 10. Van Gylswyk is ranked No. 20 by the CFL's scouting bureau.
That the Ticats are bringing potential kicking candidates to the city instead of working them out in more ideal weather conditions in the United States is telling. Wednesday was wet, cold and windy and Tim Hortons Field has quickly gained a reputation as a tough place to kick. The team obviously wants to see how players perform in adverse conditions.
The most likely scenario will see the Ticats bring several kickers to training camp for a competition that will last throughout the pre-season.
After losing Justin Medlock to the Blue Bombers in free agency in February, the Ticats have been looking for a replacement — or replacements — to handle the kicking and punting duties.
At the moment, Hamilton does not have a single kicker on the roster.[/b]