J.R. LaRose carries the Grey Cup and gets a really high five from welcoming committee member Mackenzie Thacker as he arrives at KVR Middle School. Other student greeters included Alex Neenan

J.R. LaRose carries the Grey Cup and gets a really high five from welcoming committee member Mackenzie Thacker as he arrives at KVR Middle School. Other student greeters included Alex Neenan

Roaring welcome

B.C. Lions players Geroy Simon, J.R. LaRose and Angus Reid were welcomed Wednesday with roars and lineups of devoted fans.



B.C. Lions players Geroy Simon, J.R. LaRose and Angus Reid were welcomed Wednesday with roars and lineups of devoted fans.

Reid, who helped the Lions win the 99th Grey Cup, the organization’s sixth, said that response they received while in Penticton was great during their province-wide Grey Cup tour.

“It reminds me how many great fans we have outside the Lower Mainland,” said Reid. “It’s nice to get the Grey Cup out and see how much we are loved.”

Reid, an 11-year CFL veteran all with B.C., said the KVR students were outstanding.

Anxiously awaiting the trio were students were dressed in orange. The gymnasium was decorated with orange and black signs with a Lions professional display.

“It was great meeting them,” said Reid. “It was fun to see excitement on their faces. Seeing Lions clothing.”

Among the KVR students excited for their visitors were Greg Brydon and Joseph Traynor. Brydon said it was “pretty cool” to have the trio and trophy at the school and was excited.

“I heard that one was Geroy Simon and that was pretty cool,” said Brydon of his favourite player. “He is one of their best players I think.”

Traynor said it was good that the Lion’s came to their school on their own time.

“I feel honoured that we have them here,” said Traynor, who along with Brydon felt he and his schoolmates were enthusiastic.

Lance Zablotney, a Pen High Secondary teacher, was thrilled with the response students from KVR showed.

“It’s a real nice privilege for Penticton to have such an event,” said Zablotney.

Jeff Goodis, a KVR teacher, said the students were quite excited by the events, getting autographs, taking part in photo ops and enjoying the upbeat atmosphere.

“It was a great opportunity for KVR Middle School,” he said. “Both the Lions and the students made it a fabulous event.”

Once the players were done interacting with a mob of students, they headed to Rona where more fans awaited. Terry Steinke of Summerland, a Lions fan since 1962, was one of them. He asked the players to sign the white jersey he wore when they won the Grey Cup last fall.

“I don’t gush over this stuff,” he said, after meeting the players. “I’m just thrilled.”

While signing memorabilia for the hundreds of fans in line, LaRose said the turnout was great.

“It’s exciting to be on the tour,” he said. “It’s great to give back.”