After five years in garnet and grey, kicker Lewis Ward will be the latest Gee-Gee to join the CFL’s Ottawa REDBLACKS.
During his time at uOttawa, Ward established himself as one of the best kickers in U SPORTS history. He shattered school and conference records, earning his place in the record books as second all-time in career field goals (89) and third all-time in points scored (412).
In the 2017 season, Ward handled both the kicking and punting responsibilities for the team. His 24 field goals on the season set a career best, and helped cement himself as the school’s all-time leading scorer. The Kingston, Ont. native’s longest career made field goal a 51-yarder against Guelph in 2016 to send the game to overtime.
Despite going undrafted last season, Ward knew the interest and opportunity was still there. After a landmark final season, he was able to secure his opportunity to show his talent at the next level.
“It takes a lot of commitment, and I’m very proud to get here,” said Ward. “This is a job for me now and I’m trying to make it my career. I’ve got an opportunity to make a paycheck doing what I love and I have to make everything count now.”
After inheriting the kicking job from Gee-Gees great Matt Falvo in 2013, Ward has become a captain and leader for the team.
“He’s been very consistent and deserves this opportunity,” said Gee-Gees head coach Jamie Barresi. “It certainly validates all of the work that he’s put in. he’s really dedicated himself to this and it’s a really great reward.”
Despite Ward’s strong showing as a punter this season, his focus remains on what got him to where he is today, his place kicking abilities.
“Last year going into the draft, I know I was viewed as just a place kicker, but this year I think showed some people that I can do the punting job effectively,” he said. “My craft is my place kicking, but punting is something that I’ll continue to work on because you never know what you’ll be asked to do.”
“It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Gee-Gees in the CFL right now on one team, I would love to be a part of that and stick around,” said Ward.
As rookie camp in the spring is fast approaching, Ward will continue to prepare to take the field again with hopes of finding a spot on the REDBLACKS roster come summer.