Bronco going to Lions’ camp
Kamloops Broncos’ kicker Aaron Smit will be running with the Lions at rookie camp.
The 18-year-old St. Ann’s Academy graduate was asked by the B.C. Lions to attend the three-day camp, which starts on Thursday, June 2, and runs through June 4 at Hillside Stadium.
“I don’t know if they’re looking for someone to join the team for the season but, if I can just get better, that’s a plus for me,” said Smit, who first heard the good news from Broncos special teams coach Brad Yamaoka.
The chances of Smit earning a spot with the Lions this season are slim-to-none, but a good showing during his short stint with the Leos can lead to good things down the road.
Former Lions centre Lorne Plante, kicker Sean Whyte and wide receiver Josh Boden were all in Smit’s shoes at one point, impressing the CFL club’s staff enough to eventually land spots on the squad.
Smit posted decent numbers — 13 of 21 field goals and 31.3 yards per punt, with the average punt return going for only 8.5 yards — in British Columbia Football Conference play last season.
The best from Smit, who is entering his second year with the Broncos, is likely yet to come.
“We looked at inviting somebody from Kamloops and we felt that the good young kicker had an opportunity to come in, learn and just experience camp,” said Lions head coach and GM Wally Buono, who spoke to KTW while on vacation in Parksville on Wednesday, May 25.
“It gives you an opportunity to see them and it gives them an opportunity to see you.”
Rookie camp runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The Saturday session will kickoff at 9 a.m. and wrap up at 11 a.m.
The full Lions’ squad hits the field for main camp on June 5, with the last session scheduled for June 21.
FanFest, which will include autograph sessions and a minor football camp, is scheduled for June 12.
Smit admitted there will be nerves, given he has no idea what to expect at camp, but he will do his best to soak it all in and show his leg off in the process.
“New experiences are always good,” said Smit, who hopes to get some reps at receiver for the Broncos this season.
“They’ll have experience, so anything they can say to help out would be good for me.”