Newspaper article The Canadian Press

For Veteran Receiver Grant and Ticats, There's Really No Place like Home

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

For Veteran Receiver Grant and Ticats, There's Really No Place like Home

Article excerpt

For Grant, Ticats, there's no place like home


Courtney Stephen has a confession to make.

Growing up in Brampton, Ont., the six-foot, 194-pound defensive back followed the Toronto Argonauts. That might not sound like a big deal, but Stephen is in his third season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Argos' biggest and most hated rival.

"I hate to admit it but I definitely followed the Argos a lot when they had Mike (Pinball) Clemons and Damon Allen and guys like that," Stephen said Thursday. "When I got drafted (in 2012 by Hamilton) it was one of those things where I just kind of had to hang up all my Double Blue stuff and switch over."

But Stephen had an inkling early on he was destined to play professionally in Hamilton. During his days playing youth football, he sported the same black and gold colours he currently dons with the Ticats.

"So it's nothing that's too foreign to me," he said with a chuckle.

Hamilton (2-2) makes its home debut Monday night hosting Toronto (3-1). The Ticats are 7-0 at Hortons Field since the facility opened last season, their first victory there being a 13-12 decision over the Argos on Sept. 1.

"Our fans have been eager for us to get home and play and they definitely know the rivalry and history between the two teams so it's going to be a special atmosphere," Stephen said. "It's going to be somewhat of a playoff atmosphere just given the amount of familiarity there is between the two teams.

"The players and coaches are looking forward to it and I think it's definitely something the fans should look forward to."

Receiver Bakari Grant, in his fifth season with the Ticats, said Hamilton-Toronto games quickly become grudge matches.

"There's going to be some hard hits," he said. "We don't like them, they don't like us and that's the way it is."

Tim Hortons Field was the soccer venue for the Pan American Games, which concluded Sunday. That forced the Ticats to play their first four regular-season games on the road. …

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