For the Carsons, University of Calgary Dinos football is truly a family affair.
Defensive lineman Matt Carson is heading into his sixth training camp with the Canada West program, while his father, Paul Carson, is the Dinos’ offensive line coach for a 13th season.
Sam Carson, 15, Matt’s younger brother will serve as an equipment assistant during training camp.
The Carsons are former residents of Kelowna. Paul served as a past president of the BCFC’s Okanagan Sun, while Matt played high school football here and graduated from KSS.
Now attending his second training camp of 2017, Matt Carson was selected in eighth round (63rd overall) of the 2017 CFL draft by the Toronto Argos,
He dressed and played in the Argos two pre-season games before returning to Calgary to finish his Economics degree.
“I know my way around here now and this playbook I know inside out,” said the 24-year-old Carson, who red-shirted his first year at U of C before moving on to the active roster for the next four seasons.
Having his father and brother present makes conversations at the dinner table interesting.
“At practice it is a coach-player relationship and not father-son relationship,” Matt said.
“It is great having Sam here. It is a chance for him to see environment and know what to expect to play at this level. I hope he (Sam) will play here in the future.”
Despite a busy professional schedule in Calgary, Paul makes time to coach as well sit on the board of the Dinos 5th Quarter.
After a solid playing career with the Dinos which saw him win a pair of national championships (1985 and 1988) and a earning second team all-Canadian (1988), Paul became the offensive line coach in Calgary, winning another national title in 1995 with Peter Connellan as head coach.
Sam started coming to practice four years ago, gaining more responsibility each year in assisting equipment manager Johnny Carr.
“Sammy is a very friendly and personable. When he first came here he was a wide eyed kid who loved to hang with the guys,” said Carr. “Now he is not that far from being one of the players himself. I can trust him to do things on his own such as laundry and running the clock during practice.”
“I love coming around,” stated Sam who will enter Grade 10 in Calgary this September. “I get to learn lots and help out,” he said.
As a player, Sam was recently being named to Team Western Canada that will compete in Dallas, Texas in January in the U16 International Bowl.