Alberta Golden Bears’ centre Nick Ternovatsky played up to his potential at the CIS East-West Bowl.
“It went very well actually. I was very happy,” said the high school product of the St. Albert High Skyhawks. “I really wanted to perform well and show that I can play at the next level. There were a lot of scouts there and I wanted to get noticed and showcase myself.”
CIS players eligible for the CFL draft are traditionally selected to play in the annual event. Even though Ternovatsky was passed through the CFL draft, held a week before Saturday’s game in London, Ont., he is optimistic about a possible pro career.
“I was pretty disappointed but it’s not the end of the road. I think I piqued a few interests when I was there so hopefully something transpires from that,” said the scrappy six-foot-one and 290-pound lineman. “I still have two years of play left, so I have plenty of opportunities to show myself.”
Ternovatsky, 22, was one of four Golden Bears named to the west team’s roster. In total, 16 all-Canadians from 2009 — seven on each side — huddled up.
“I was pretty honoured. My brother Neal [a former Golden Bear and Grey Cup winner with the 2008 Calgary Stampeders who is Alberta’s defensive line coach] got the chance to go to it,” he said. “Guys in the past told me it was really fun to play in it and meet guys from different teams and just be in that kind of atmosphere with good players so I was pretty excited. I was kind of nervous too but I went in pretty prepared. I just wanted to enjoy it and have fun while I was there.”
A condensed playbook and limited practice time made for some anxious moments.
“When we got there we received our playbooks and had meetings and throughout the whole week we were inserting plays,” Ternovatsky said. “We didn’t have that much time to gel together. It was pretty difficult at times, especially with the chemistry with the other O-linemen. I’ve never played with these guys before so it kind of took a while for that to click, but eventually it did.”
The former Edmonton Wildcat split time at centre with another player.
“We would rotate every three series so I got in there quite a bit. It turned out pretty well.”
Ternovatsky was on the field for the only touchdown of the game, a 19-yard passing play by the west in the 12-9 loss. The east added a single off the opening kickoff, kicked three field goals and recorded a safety.
“It was a pretty good game, the only problem was the weather was pretty bad. It was really windy and cold. It was kind of unfortunate that most of our plays were passing plays so it kind of made it difficult throwing into the wind,” he said. “There were a few rough patches, a few crinkles I guess you could say, but I thought the west did pretty well.”
The faculty of arts student is entering into his third season with the Golden Bears after making the 2007 Prairie Football Conference (PFC) all-star team at centre.
“My first season was all kind of new to me so that experience helped me a lot last year,” said the Wildcats’ starting centre for the 2006 PFC champions and Canadian Junior Bowl finalists. “I thought I performed really well last year. I got pushed into more of a leadership role. I was the team captain and I really felt like I was a leader out there. I was also a lot more comfortable with the offence and the CIS aspect of the game.”
He is gung-ho about the upcoming season.
“We’re going to have a very good team this year and I really want us to make a push for the Vanier Cup. We have a good chance and I really want to show the young guys that we can do it.”