Former Portage Collegiate Trojan Shawn Green is taking his talents to the Canadian Junior Football League. The local kicker has committed to play for the Regina Thunder next season. Green spent two years in Quebec at Bishop University as the backup kicker but wanted a change of scenery.

"Ultimately, the main thing is I just wanted to be closer to home," Green explains. "Being halfway across the country is a little bit hard when it comes to family and stuff like that. So, the main thing was being closer to family, and I'm actually going to be moving in with my brother, who's also in Regina."

Green adds his brother also helped him get in contact with the Thunder's coaching staff.

"(His brother) said the guy there wasn't going to be playing anymore, and he gave me the coach's number. It was basically as simple as that," says Green. "I texted him saying who I was and that I wanted to play for him, and he replied. We just went on from there."

He is looking at this new situation as an opportunity to prove himself, and Green says he's very excited about that. The Portager believes his experience at Bishop will help him fit in quickly in Regina.

"Knowing and understanding what being a rookie is like will help me. A lot of these guys who are 17 and 18 years old are coming into a locker room with a bunch of older guys, and that can be intimidating. Whereas, I've already experienced that," Green continues. "I'm obviously a little bit nervous about some things but I've been through it before, so I think that'll take some pressure off when I first get there in the fall."

Green says having this mentality should also help him achieve his goal for the season.

"Right off the bat, I want to go in, and I want to start. That's the way I see things. I don't want to go in there and sit on the bench. I want to work my butt off, so I can take that starting spot," Green explains. "I think the obvious goal is to win games, but in terms of personal goals, I don't have anything crazy other than take the starting spot and help the team in as many ways as I can."

Kickers can often be looked at as an easy position to play because there is only one objective. However, even though it is less physically demanding than the other positions in football, the kickers have to deal with as much -- if not more -- mental pressure as anyone on the field. 

In enemy territory, the crowd is as loud as it will ever be when the opposing kicker is lining up the field goal attempt. On their home field, in a close game, you can hear a pin drop the entire time the ball is in the air, which sometimes can be even more nerve-wracking than hearing the jeers. 

"It's definitely not easy being able to zone everything out and focus on what you have to do. I know when I'm practicing and out on the field on my own, I'm still treating all of those reps like it's a game. I'm treating it like I have hundreds of people yelling at me, and rival fans are screaming my name," says Green. "So, when I'm actually in a game, and those things are happening, it's a lot easier to zone out and focus on the task at hand."

Green played two seasons at PCI under head coach Donald Burrell. He says he learned a lot from his time as a Trojan but the most important lesson was how to stay disciplined.

"He was big on the details and being disciplined with what you're doing and not just focusing on the outcome. You have to worry about how you get there, what you have to do to get there, and what you have to sacrifice sometimes."

Green is thrilled to begin his fresh start in Regina.