Hard work and determination have made Rams' slotback Jason Clermont arguably the best receiver in Canadian amateur football.
"I don't think I have an ounce of talent in my body," says a modest Clermont. "But, I work hard and that's why I'm still in the game."
Clermont was the hero of last year's Canadian Junior Football League championship match against the Okanagan Sun. The Rams were third and ten from the Sun 45 yard-line with less than a minute remaining in the game's second overtime. Clermont caught a pass on a five yard in route and turned it into a 42 yard gain.
On the next play, he dived in for a three yard rushing touchdown. That gave the Rams a 23-20 double overtime win and the Canadian Bowl.
"I don't think he accepts losing," says Rams' fullback Chris Briltz. "I think he always expects the best in himself."
Clermont was the Prairie Football Conference's Most Outstanding Rookie Receiver in 1996, and was a PFC all-star in 1997.
Always looking to improve, he had a career year this season catching 39 passes for 747 yards and rushing the ball 30 times for 157 yards. He finished tied for the CJFL lead in touchdowns at 13, and he lead the CJFL in receiving yards per game at 93.4. He was voted as a PFC all-star for the second straight year.
"J.C. is a leader both on and off the football field," says Rams' head coach Frank McCrystal of his 6'1" and 223 pound well built receiver. "He is someone that gives coaches, players, and fans confidence."
Clermont started playing football when he was seven. He watched a pee-wee football team practise in the yard behind his house. One day the coach asked Clermont if he wanted to play, and Clermont joined the team after getting his parents permission.
He would eventually play high school football for Usher Collegiate. Clermont credits his pee-wee coach and later his high school offensive co-ordinator Davin Kivisto as the biggest influence in his football career.
"We had a rough season in grade eleven. He (Kivisto) always kept things positive," says Clermont, who quarterbacked Usher to the 1995 city championship of the Regina Intercollegiate Football League in his grade 12 year. "I think, to date, he has kept me in the sport."
Clermont enjoys playing for the Rams. He says every opposing team plays their best football against the Rams because of the team's history. Clermont hopes that junior football will survive in Canada, but he sees the Rams move to the CIAU next year as necessary.
"I think, that the way the league is falling apart around us, the only way to preserve this team is to move to a different league," says Clermont. "I don't think a whole lot will be lost in the move."
Off the field, Clermont loves working out, lifting weights, and going to the movies. He enjoys spending time with his girlfriend Renae Meier, who he lives with, and her four-year-old daughter Tanessa. Tanessa cheers loudly at Rams games, and she had her face painted with Clermont's #11 for the Prairie Football Conference final.
"She's the number one Rams fan," says Clermont. "I got her a Rams windsuit."
As for his future, Clermont does not know what he will do after football.
"I don't want to think about life after football," says Clermont. "I fall in love with it more every day I am at practice. Hopefully, I will keep working hard and keep playing."