To fully appreciate the good times in life, you have to experience hardship.
After putting forth an outstanding 2005 season with the Montreal Alouettes in which he hauled in 83 catches for 1,037 yards, Dave Stala suffered a slew of injuries that saw him play in only 18 games over the next three seasons.
“It was one of the toughest times in my career, not being able to play for almost two full years,” said Stala.
After becoming healthy, Stala signed as a free agent with Hamilton in 2009, and experienced the second-best year of his career, catching 67 balls for 751 yards.
“I just had to work my butt off and when you work hard good things will happen,” he said.
Stala’s own rebirth mirrored that of his hometown Tiger-Cats, as he helped lead a group of young receivers to the post-season before falling to the B.C. Lions in overtime.
“I’m very happy to be in Hamilton,” said Stala. “I had a good year last season and it was honestly the most fun I’ve had in any season during my career,” he added.
This season Stala has taken on the role of mentor on a team full of young talent at the receiver position.
“I was where they are at one point and guys helped me out, so hopefully I can help some of the younger receivers pick up the offense and really become a part of it,” said Stala.
The veteran Stala knows that any wisdom he can impart to the younger players only makes the team better.
“If I help somebody out with routes or their assignment or anything that’s going to help them get better, I’m more than happy to help.”
As important as the hard work and dedication that makes for a successful football team, Stala believes that having fun is just as important.
“I like to joke around a lot, I like to play pranks so the guys know if something is going on in the locker room, they’re going to blame me first,” admitted Stala.
Other than having a good time, Stala knows that keeping things from getting too serious, especially during training camp, is good for the team.
“The vets know how to approach training camp and how to get through it,” said Stala. “That’s one of the things you need to do is keep things light in the huddle and out on the field, so it’s a lot of fun out here with these guys.”
|Photo Gallery: Training Camp June 15
|Ticats TV: June 15 Training Camp Report
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES:
TOMORROW'S SCHEDULE: The Ticats will be on the field from 8:05am to 12:30pm for back-to-back practices. Current weather forecasts predict a 90% chance of rain (close to 10mm) and a temperature of 18*C.