by Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
Following week 13 in the CFL, a few stories emerged as Hamilton met Montreal in the “Touchdown Atlantic” series in Moncton, New Brunswick. The most prevalent story though, save the close Ti-Cat victory, was the debut of Hamilton’s rookie place kicker; Brett Lauther. It was a special day for Lauther, as he made his first professional start in the CFL only a few hours away from his collegiate home; St. Mary’s University, in front of many friends and family. We had the opportunity to ask Brett a few questions following his first start (in which he made a perfect 4 of 4 field goal attempts). Here’s what he had to say:
CFLPA: What did it mean to you to have your CFL debut in Moncton, in front of some of the same fans that watched you play university ball?
Brett: It meant a lot to me to be getting my first start on the east coast. It’s something I didn’t really think about until it started to work out how it did, then it kind of set in a little that I’d be playing close to where I’m from in my first pro game. It was pretty surreal to have so many family and friends at the game and watching on TV. It’s a moment and weekend in my life that I’ll never forget!
CFLPA: As a new player, what goals have you set for yourself in professional football?
Brett: My goals personally, I don’t really want to share because to be honest it would make most people laugh. I’ve always set high goals for myself in life no matter what I was doing from hockey to football and even smaller everyday life goals. I believe that if you don’t set big goals or dream big you’ll never be able to get where you want to be.
CFLPA: Who do you see as your idol or role model in football?
Brett: Growing up I never played football so a lot of players and people I idolized were hockey players. I started playing football in high school and a big reason was because my dad always played [football] and wanted to see my brother and I play someday. I think my dad has definitely been my biggest role model in not only football, but in life as well.
CFLPA: It was announced earlier in the week that you would be starting as kicker for the Ti-Cats in Moncton, were there any changes that you made to your preparation for the game with that in mind?
Brett: A few small changes were definitely made knowing that I would be playing my first game. However, this whole season, even when I wasn’t playing, I would still prepare and get ready each week like I was just in case my chance finally did come. I think this helped me a lot looking back on my first game.
CFLPA: How has your role with Hamilton developed since being drafted? What do you now feel responsible for on/off the field?
Brett: My role on the team, I feel, has always been one of just putting my head down staying out of the way and trying to work hard each and every day to get better. It’s hard to have a major role in your first year on a pro team, so I’ve been learning a lot from the veteran players on how to be a “pro” on and off the field. I just want to represent this great team and organization on and off the field in the best manner possible because the fans here deserve nothing less.
CFLPA: In the CFL as a rookie, “The Phantom” has been known to make appearances in the locker room during training camp, which can cause some havoc for rookies. Did you or any of your teammates have any run-ins with the Phantom?
Brett: Personally, the Phantom has never really crossed paths with me. I’ve always tried to do what I’m told and not step on anyone’s toes, especially early in the season so I’ve been lucky so far. I did see the Phantom strike a few times on rookies who wouldn’t sing for the vets. Some people had missing clothing and frozen gear.
CFLPA: Who have you bonded with the most on your team and why?
Brett: I really think that I get along with the he players on the team. Some names would be: Neil King (a teammate from Saint Mary’s), and my other roommates Courtney Stevens and Rico Murray. A few other names would be both kickers: Luca and Josh, and long snapper – Kevin Scott. Like I said though, I have a great relationship with everyone on the team.
We want to thank Brett for his time, and wish him the very best in the 2013 season, and in his career as a place kicker in the CFL. Catch the Ti-Cats play next on Saturday, September 28th against the Calgary Stampeders.