Training camp notebook – Day 17

Trois-Rivières, Tuesday, May 30, 2023 – In 2022, after four seasons with Ottawa, Avery Ellis decided to sign with the Montreal Alouettes. Although he only played nine games with the Als before being traded to Edmonton, he remembers what it felt like to be in Montreal. He finished the season with 34 defensive tackles, seven quarterback sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games.

On Sunday, Ellis signed with the Alouettes after he was released by the Edmonton Elks before training camp.

“I was disappointed not to be in Edmonton, but I feel like I have a second chance with the Alouettes,” the 28-year-old said. “I’m thankful that I can still play football and make a living doing this. I know general manager Danny Maciocia well and I still have good friends in this locker room, and I can’t wait to start playing.”

Kristian Matte is still smiling

37-year-old offensive lineman Kristian Matte always has fun on the football field. He’s about to start his twelfth season with the Alouettes. He’s always in a good mood when he jumps onto the field for practice in the morning.

“Training camp isn’t always an easy period for the players, but I’m used to it now,” he said. “We have daily practices, gym sessions, evening meetings, there is a lot of work for us to do but we have to get through it.

“We learn to live together, we become a family. Here, everyone helps each other. We’re all here for the same thing, and I love the energy that the guys put out. The comradery is great.”

With his wealth of experience, Matte is not afraid to guide the younger players. He frequently serves as a big brother in the locker room for the teammates that need to talk or ask for advice.

“There are a lot of guys who leave their families in the United States or feel far away from their loved ones,” he explained. “I talk to them, and I use my own experience to help them. We, as a team, build the foundations of our house, that’s what we have to remember. These are crucial steps for a successful season.”

The Alouettes make a difference in the community

On Monday and Tuesday, the Alouettes invited young football players from the Mauricie region to attend practice. Elementary and high school students from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan areas were present for a nice morning at Diablos Stadium. The kids threw footballs around with Alouettes players, who also took photos and signed autographs for the youngsters.

“This is the future generation,” quarterback Cody Fajardo said. “I remember, as a kid, I threw my cap up to a Buffalo Bills quarterback and he signed it for me. He was the third quarterback at the time, but he was a professional player, and it meant more to me than anything in the world. A professional player signed my cap, and I wore it everywhere.”