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"Theres no place like home" -- Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz. The road to the 2012 Grey Cup was not comprised of yellow brick. There were no lions, scarecrows or even tin woodsmen along for the journey. The final ingredient that provided the Toronto Argonauts with enough extra courage and heart to win the championship may have come from what the memorable quartet from movie lore was searching for all along - home. Eleven players on last years championship squad hailed from the Greater Toronto Area, a total of 15 called Southern Ontario home. While some of those players, most notably Ricky Foley, have left for various reasons, four new players on this years active roster are from the GTA. Jonathan Hood and Jermaine Reid are CFL veterans who have found their way into double-blue uniforms, while Shane Herbert and Jermaine Gabriel have the opportunity to take their first pro football snaps in front of family, friends and hometown crowds. Gabriel is a native of Scarborough, in the citys east end. He played in the fall at Cedarbrae Collegiate, while his summers were spent starring with the Toronto Thunder of the Ontario Varsity Football League. He also spent some time coaching at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate. The rookie defensive back is arriving just as his favourite player, long-time defensive star Jordan Younger, is leaving after announcing his retirement on the eve of training camp. Gabriel says that the two have crossed paths in the past. "I used to sit all the way up in the nosebleeds and watch the games growing up as a child,” Gabriel said. “I always used to watch the defensive backs, I watched Younger. I met him at e-camp, he was giving me a couple of pointers when we were doing the drills; it was pretty cool." Meeting your idol is one thing, but lacing up the cleats with your favourite CFL team blows that off the charts. "Its unbelievable, the love I get from everybody. Everyone is always checking up on me asking how Im doing and hows the team doing” Gabriel continued. “I feel like ever since I became an Argo everyone is like, Im going to buy an Argos hat, Im going to buy an Argos jersey and come out to all the games. Ive got a bunch of friends with season tickets now, so its been an unbelievable experience." Gabriels fellow freshman has been through the pro experience before, but like the heroine from the movie, things turned out to be a bad dream. Herbert is also from the east side of Toronto, hailing from Ajax. He played at Pickering High School and for the Pickering Dolphins and Oshawa Hawkeyes before heading to Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was a member of the Golden Hawks. He was signed as a free agent by the boatmen in 2011, but didnt make it through camp before being released. He looks like a completely different player this season. "For the past year Ive been working hard on my speed and strength,” Herbert said. “Jim (General Manager Barker) knows the potential I had and when he saw me at the workout I know I impressed him through my off-season training and my hard work and effort. I was fortunate to get invited back and Im just taking it step by step, day by day." At 61" and 190 pounds, the defensive back has the body type and attitude that Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones loves. In turn, Herbert loves playing in the system that the DC employs. "Im a more in your face DB. Ive got long arms, Im a more rangy guy so its easier for me to get up in someones face and press a receiver and thats what Chris Jones loves. He loves the taller defenders that dont mind getting physical so I feel like I fit this defence quite well." Herberts favourite player as a kid was Damon Allen and he understands the unique opportunity to wear the same jersey as his idol. "Its an honour actually to play for your home team and to have your family and friends come out to the games and support you." Hood comes over from Hamilton after three seasons in black and gold. He appreciates the colour change and is thrilled to be donning the double blue. "It feels awesome. When I was growing up thats all we saw, we saw the Argos practices, we saw Pinball Clemons and everyone. Its amazing, we used to look up to those guys and now Im that guy, it feels great." The man who lit up stadiums wearing number 31 was idolized by just about everyone who saw him play, but what was it about Clemons that drew the native of Mississauga, west of Toronto, to the running backs style? "He was exciting to watch. He always brought energy,” Hood said. “It didnt matter that he was a smaller guy, it didnt matter who he was up against, he was just go, go, go and he made the best of everything and he won a lot of championships and he had lots of success." Hood graduated from Father Michael Goetz Secondary School and also played for the Etobicoke Eagles before heading to a CIS career at both St. Francis Xavier and Western Ontario. Hes certain that playing at home will be good for a jolt of adrenaline every game. "I definitely think so because you have a lot of family and friends that get more involved in the league,” Hood continued. “Even when I was playing in Hamilton it was close, but not everyone got involved. Now that Im in Toronto everyone is coming to the games. I have to make sure 50 people get tickets, its crazy. So it gives you that boost knowing that the support is there. Support is huge and it just gets you fired up to go and play your best." The other veteran is Reid, who suited up for Hamilton and Edmonton before heading home. His six years of pro football may be a bit of a surprise, seeing as he never played any amateur football aside from at St. Marys Catholic Secondary School in Pickering. He may have come to the game late, but it was certainly a case of love at first contact. "It was probably after the first hit. It was an inside run drill. I just shed a block and I leveled the running back and that was it, it got me." He was good enough at St. Marys to head to the University of Akron, where he played for four seasons. Now hes heading home. Reid had heard his name mentioned in trade rumours and was ecstatic to find out he was on his way back to where it all began. "It was amazing, Im going home, my family gets to see me. It was a good feeling, I was just thrilled when I heard the news." But is there an added burden that comes with playing at home? "Besides trying to round up 16 tickets a game its really not that much pressure,” said Reid. “Everything outside of the lines is washed away as soon as you cross those lines every game day, so I try not to think of any of that, I just put all that to the back of my mind and just think about the game." The first game at home will be one the foursome will always remember. Not only is it against the Argos arch rivals from Hamilton, but the 100th Grey Cup Championship banner will be unfurled before kickoff. Fridays game between the Argonauts and Tiger Cats can be heard live on TSN 1050 and TSN1050.ca with Mike Hogan and Sandy Annunziata Custom Tottenham Hotspur Jerseys . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (4) – He had a strong game Sunday; was very good in tight with big saves on Crosby, Malkin and Neal in-crease. Davinson Sanchez Jersey .Lets go back to the Avs, who have become one of the funnest teams to watch in this years playoffs. http://www.footballhotspurstore.com/Wom ... ur-Jersey/. You can watch the game live on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 9pm et/6pm pt. Jonathan Huberdeau and Quinton Howden are expected to make their debuts for Team Canada. Moussa Sissoko Jersey . - The Kansas City Royals are hoping All-Star catcher Salvador Perez will be back in a few days. Tottenham Hotspur Jerseys . Spieth again showed game well beyond his 20 years with a 9-under 63 on the North Course, giving him a one-shot lead over Stewart Cink going into the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open.SHENZHEN, China -- Alvaro Quiros and Simon Dyson each shot a 5-under 67 to share the lead after the first round of the China Open on Thursday. The pair were a stroke ahead of a group of six golfers that included defending champion Brett Rumford of Australia and Alexander Levy of France, who briefly moved into a tie with Quiros and Dyson in the growing darkness on his back nine but bogeyed the par-3 8th hole before play was suspended. He has one hole remaining to play. Englands Ian Poulter was in a group of 12 golfers just behind at 3-under on a crowded leaderboard. Henrik Stenson, who has a chance to take over the top ranking from Tiger Woods with a win here, had a 71. The Swede, currently ranked third, has been battling the flu this week and didnt get in any practice time on the course at Genzon Golf Club before the opening round. "Im not throwing up but Im not too keen on eating and my energy levels arent the best," he said. "Its not easy to play a golf course blind, and it definitely costs a couple of shots when you havent seen it, or havent played it." Chinese 15-year-old Guan Tianlang, who became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters last year, was level with Stenson at 71. "I think today I played pretty consistently. My putting feels good, but needs a couple changes so if tomorrow I got more birdies, will keep me going," he said. Quiros has six wins on the European Tour, but hasnt had a top-3 finish in the past three seasons. The Spaniard said hes worked on improving his putting this year and the results are starting to come -- he finished tied for fifth at the Joburg Open in February and then joint 13th last week at the Malaysian Open. "You cant see it yet on the rankings, but I have been playing better," said the Spaniard, ranked a lowly 240th in the world.dddddddddddd Dyson, who also has six wins on tour but none since 2011, said he played some of his best golf in a long time during his round, sinking six birdies to go with one bogey. "I really didnt miss a shot. I missed two fairways just, and didnt miss a green so gave myself a lot chances, which is always nice," he said. Stenson is coming off a banner year that saw him become the first golfer to win the European Tours Race to Dubai and the U.S. PGA Tours FedEx Cup in the same season. Hes gotten off to a slow start this season, however, with his best finish a tie for 14th at the Masters. According to the European Tour, Stenson can nudge Woods out of the top spot in the rankings this week only if wins the tournament and there are no withdrawals in the field to affect the maximum number of points hed receive. The Swede had back-to-back birdies on his first two holes, but then struggled to find the fairway and greens down the stretch, making four bogeys. He blamed the state of the rough for some "horrific lies." "I took a six on 13 by just being off the green -- you cant even get the ball hardly on the green to save par. I think its a course that when the rough gets that silly in certain areas, it kind of takes away a lot of skill," he said. Poulter is also looking for a boost, which he typically gets in Asia. Hes won three titles here, including the 2012 HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in Shenzhen. He had four birdies and narrowly missed a couple others, including a 6-footer on the 9th that would have moved him into a share of the lead. "Coming from Augusta National, where (the greens) are quite quick, you come here and the greens are very slow," he said. "Even the putts that look downhill, down grain, are just not very quick and it takes some adjusting to." Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping NFL Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Gear Wholesale NFL Camo Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Camo China NFL Jerseys ' ' '


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