Former star Cheetahs quarterback Hugo Richard was featured in an article in the Journal de Québec about the road he has followed to become the starting quarterback for the University of Laval Rouge et Or, current Vanier Cup national champs. We have translated the article below. Congratulations, Hugo, on this tremendous accomplishment!
"Big step for Hugo Richard"
By Richard Boutin
Published on August 15, 2014
In his very first year with the Laval University Rouge et Or, Hugo Richard will be the starting quarterback beginning with the team's first game of the season on September 6th. The rookie pivot reached his goal faster than expected and perhaps in a different manner from what he wished. Regardless, on September 6th, he will become the first rookie quarterback in the history of the Rouge et Or to emerge as a starter in his first game.
"I try not to think too much, but it's inevitable," said Richard, after the first team training yesterday morning. "It's a big step in my career. I'm glad that the game takes place at home in Laval." Richard will experience his baptism of fire on September 6, facing the visiting University of Montreal Carabins.
Even the best pivots in the history of the team have had to wait a few weeks before landing the starting job. In 2005, Benoit Groulx had got his first start at the fourth meeting of the season. Replacing William Leclerc, who was hurt in the third game, Groulx had never stepped down again, except when he was sidelined with an injury.
A similar situation happened in 2008 when Mathieu Bertrand had got his first start in the third game, taking over from Francois Chapdelaine. Then when he got injured, Bertrand had to hand the reins to Dominick Goulet at the Dunsmore Cup against the Concordia Stingers, a game that had stretched over two days because of darkness.
"I came to Laval with the goal to compete and win the starting job, but this is not the way I wanted to get it," said the former start of the Vanier Cheetahs. "With the return of Alex (Skinner) in the third game, everything will begin again. It restarts at zero. The best player in training that week will be the starter.
While the challenge is enormous, Glen Constantin is trying to reassure Richard. "The success of the Rouge et Or does not only rely on the quarterback or on one player," said the head coach. "We won big games with quarterbacks of different calibers. We will build on a good offensive line, good running backs and a solid defense."
While acknowledging that the situation is not ideal, Justin Ethier identifies a factor that reassures him and plays in Richard's favour. "Hugo wasn't brought to camp with the aim to be number three behind Alex and Anthony (Leduc) and be patient," he said. "He came to Laval with the intention of earning the starting job. He simply reached his goal in different ways. I will not have to convince him that he is not a number 3 quarterback. Benoit Groulx had the same approach in 2005. Hugo and Ben are different quarterbacks, but both are great competitors."
"A year ago, Hugo was the impact player we wanted and we worked very hard to recruit him," said Ethier. "We are very excited to work with him and he will be ready in three weeks even if inexperience may cause some mistakes like all others before him." Constantine and Ethier both praised the strength of character of Hugo, the former mainstay of the Canadian National Junior team.
Click to read the original article in Fench.