Duron Carter gained at least 3,200 new fans on Saturday.
The enigmatic Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver was one of 19 sports celebrities on hand for Moosomin, SK's Sportsman's Weekend but he went an extra mile.
Flown in from Florida to golf in a simulator tournament and speak at Saturday's banquet, Carter was a surprise visitor at a high school club football team's practice earlier in the day.
A club football team of All Star high school-aged players from South Eastern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba was practicing at a nearby field and Carter interrupted the practice (at the invitation of Head Coach Dexter Mondor).
Carter did some one-one-one coaching, called some plays, and spoke to the team as a group right in the middle of practice. Amidst his message, Carter - considered by many to be the top player in the CFL - told the kids that football has always been the most important thing in his life but one day it will be gone. He told the players to embrace "this moment", enjoy it to its fullest, and play their best. The rest will fall into place on its own.
At a soldout banquet Saturday evening at Moosomin's Communiplex, Carter wowed the crowd with countless entertaining answers during a 90-minute "Bear Pit" Q&A session.
Among the things he discussed: What he carries in his ever-present backpack? What's it like having Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter as a dad? His infamous Pick 6 against Bo-Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders, and how much can he bench press?
Other celebrities included Roughriders Alumni Chris Getzlaf, Luc Mullinder, Rob Bresciani and Cleveland Vann, current Rider staff Mike Davis and Stephen Sorrells, NHL/WHL Alum Jeff Odgers, Regina Pats CEO Stacey Catell, Weyburn Red Wings GM Tanner McCall, Virden Oil Capitals Coach/GM Troy Leslie, U of R A.D. Lisa Robertson and more.
Thanks to Moosomin for having us out to their inaugural Sportsman's Weekend and I hope to be invited back again real soon!