Lauther looking for strong season in draft year
TRURO - There's a lot riding on this season for Brett Lauther.
A boyhood dream of playing professional football hangs in the balance as the 21-year-old Truro native prepares to kick off his fourth season - and draft year - with the Saint Mary's Huskies.
No wonder he can't wait to get started.
"It felt like a long off season," Lauther, a six-foot-one, 195-pound kicker, said. "It's exciting to be back with the guys playing football again."
The Huskies - with new coach Perry Marchese - open their Atlantic University Sport (AUS) campaign Saturday, when they travel to Wolfville to take on the defending conference champion Acadia Axemen at 2 p.m. The contest will be broadcast live on EastLink.
For Lauther, a sociology student at the Halifax campus, it'll be the start of a quest he hopes will end with his name being called in the Canadian Football League draft in the spring.
"Since I was a kid, any sport I played, I dreamed of being pro and it's still my dream," Lauther said. "So I've got to go after it. And hopefully the hard work will pay off."
Although the chances are against any player in any sport making the pro ranks, Lauther has already started to build a case for himself. He led the CIS in scoring last season with 91 points and his 17 field goals were the fourth-highest single-season total in conference history.
He kept that momentum rolling this spring, going 5-for-5 in the East/West Bowl CIS showcase for 2013 draft-eligible players in London, Ont. He nailed a 16-yard strike with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter to give the East a 24-10 lead and seal the victory. He also collected 191 punting yards and 176 kickoff yards.
"It couldn't have went any better for me," Lauther said. "It was a lot of fun too."
But Lauther knows in order to reach his ultimate goal, he has to concentrate on the here and now. He spent the summer doing his regular training regimen, but also worked on the finer points of his game, tweaking his kickoff approach, refining his punting drop and kick and finding ways to stay relaxed so he can be more consistent.
He hopes all the fine-tuning will help him check a few things off his list this season, namely helping the Huskies back to the top of the AUS, then snatching the Vanier Cup national championship.
But Lauther will be the first to tell you the key to all of that will be keeping a level head.
"It's so important," he said. "I want to win with this team. Everyone has put in a lot of work. There's a new spirit around the team this year and I think we're going to have a good year."