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It started out as a great day. Jordan Sisco, a Regina born and raised football player in his 5th season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, just got the keys to his first home. As his friends and family helped him move boxes in, he got a call that changed everything. The Riders, the only CFL team he had ever played for, released him. It was “pretty much heartbreaking,” Sisco said in a recent interview.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. At the age of 21 Sisco was plucked from the University of Regina Rams to attend a training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. That same year, 2010, he was one of the top 10 CFL draft picks, landing a position as a receiver for his hometown team. “I didn’t expect it. Obviously it’s every kid’s dream when you play sports,” said Sisco.

Long before Sisco started playing professional football he did a school project about Jason Clermont, a Regina born football player who, little did he know, would become his friend and teammate.

It was a smooth start until he broke his wrist in 2011. Then, one year later, on the exact same day, his other wrist was broken.   “All you can really do is sit there and kind of laugh and you know –you can get pissed off and things like that but what that’s going to do for you, that’s not going to help your wrist heal faster,” said Sisco.

When his wrists finally healed a dislocated shoulder nagged him. As a result, he was not on top of his game and played eight games per season for his last two seasons.   “I think that’s a good reason why the opportunities weren’t there and it’s unfortunate, but you know what, it happens,” he said, noting that every year new talent comes into the league and you constantly have to prove yourself.

Now healthy and ready to play, Sisco is looking to join another CFL club. Until then, he will continue working at Gold’s Gym selling memberships, a job even Sisco admits he is not good at.  

The job at the gym helps him keep up with his training required to get back into the CFL. However, it is difficult to stay motivated and push himself to work toward his goal; he has a workout buddy.   “Jordan’s dedicated and I can learn a lot from him,” says Kade Tuba, a junior football player who played with the Regina Thunder this past season.   They make a good team because they are both working toward similar goals.

Not only does Sisco train at the gym at least six days a week, but he reaches out to his contacts and makes his own opportunities to keep playing football. Recently, he trained with the Calgary Stampeders in Regina. “It was good. Got to go catch some footballs and run some routes and hang out with an old teammate and some old coaches so it was a good time,” said Sisco.

Frank McCrystal, Sisco’s former coach who recently retired after 30 years of coaching the University of Regina Rams, says it takes more than motivation to make a career in professional football.   When he saw Sisco training with the Stampeders he noticed he was “quite physical, bigger, stronger and always as fast as he has been.”

“If he stays healthy and works his way through a camp he has the capacity to be a star as big as Jason Clermont was or any of those guys. He is a very capable player,” said McCrystal.

In addition to training with teams, Sisco stays in contact with his sports agent, Rob Fry. Fry says that because the CFL is a small league Sisco is already well known. “I see it as more of a sabbatical—he has the skills to play in the league and that’s why I’m sure he’ll be in a camp this year,” says Fry.   He keeps in touch with the coaches and is anticipating this year’s May draft.

Meanwhile, Sisco is training and demonstrating his desire to play football. In March, he will try out for the Football Canada Senior National team which competes in the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championships.

Until then, Sisco will continue to train and stay ready for opportunities. “I knew it wasn’t the end of the story. It didn’t defeat me,” said Sisco.