Paredes aims to finish ‘terrible’ season on a strong note

 

Stamps kicker hitting at just a 70.7 per cent clip, way off his all-star form of the past two seasons

 
 
 
 
Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Peredes smiles on the practice field at McMahon Stadium on Tuesday. The season has been anything but rosy, though, as he’s made just 70.7 per cent of his kicks (29-for-41).
 

Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Peredes smiles on the practice field at McMahon Stadium on Tuesday. The season has been anything but rosy, though, as he’s made just 70.7 per cent of his kicks (29-for-41).

Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald

When Rene Paredes watched a ball he struck with some authority from 32 yards out on snowy Saturday afternoon clank off the upright and drop depressingly to the turf, it was really a microcosm of his entire season.

“Exactly,” sighed the fourth-year Calgary Stampeders’ placekicker. “That’s my year in a nutshell. I hit the ball well . . . I don’t like to sit down and give excuses, because I’m not that type of guy, everybody saw the weather. I hit the ball well, but it was my type of year basically. I’m hoping things will turn around starting this week.”

The numbers speak for themselves, but that doesn’t keep Paredes from weighing in on a season that has been very un-Paredes-like. For a guy whose field goal percentages the past two campaigns were 93 and 94.7, respectively, his current output of 70.7 (that’s good on 29-of-41) is shocking in its mediocrity.

“Terrible. There’s nothing else to say,” Paredes submitted after the team’s initial practice for their last regular season game against the B.C. Lions on Friday night. “It hasn’t gone my way this year. It’s been a tough year. I just want to focus on the playoffs now and hopefully my luck will turn around and make this run for the Grey Cup. That’s the number 1 goal for everybody on this team.

“The good thing is the coaches are still on my side, my teammates are still on my side, so that does give me confidence and motivation to keep doing my job. I have to try to not think about it, which is very hard, but when you come off two seasons that are amazing and all of a sudden things happen the next year . . . It happens to all athletes at some point in their career they’re going to have a bad season, a bad couple of games. The only thing I’m hoping now and working hard for is get this game in on Friday, go to playoffs and make my kicks, help the team win.”

The mental part of a kicker’s game comes into focus when consistency is lacking, but special teams co-ordinator Mark Kilam believes that’s the same for a football player at any position.

“It’s never just one thing,” Kilam pointed out. “You can never point to one thing. There’s always a combination of things that lead to that. The most important thing is that he’s still working, he’s a pro, we’re trying to get through it. Every player’s going to have adversity and the way you respond to it, that’s what’s going to define you.”

Partnering with a different holder throughout the season has made things a little more challenging as well. Bo Levi Mitchell used to be his holder, but when he assumed starting quarterback duties, it was deemed best to find someone else. Brad Sinopoli was the man, until he got hurt, punter Rob Maver had a turn, and, as of late, backup QB Drew Tate has taken over.

Trying to get that harmony is often more difficult that one would think.

“Definitely,” Paredes agreed. “When I come out and a different guy is holding, I have to explain to him how I like it, because every kicker likes the ball placed differently. But it’s part of the job. We’re all pros here and we have to adjust to whatever they give us.”

The Caracas-born 29-year-old would like nothing better than to close out the 2014 season in style, a harbinger perhaps for the post-season.

“This off-season I’m definitely going to work even harder to get back to where I was,” he promised. “But that’s a whole different story. We still have three more games to go and, like I said, the main goal for me is to make my field goals so we can make it to the Grey Cup and win that Grey Cup.”

 
 
 
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Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Peredes smiles on the practice field at McMahon Stadium on Tuesday. The season has been anything but rosy, though, as he’s made just 70.7 per cent of his kicks (29-for-41).
 

Calgary Stampeders kicker Rene Peredes smiles on the practice field at McMahon Stadium on Tuesday. The season has been anything but rosy, though, as he’s made just 70.7 per cent of his kicks (29-for-41).

Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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