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Chris Bodnar has the best summer job ever

Ed Kapp
Sports Writer

Over the course of the past few years, Chris Bodnar has spent portions of his summers working as a landscaper and doing odd jobs to make a bit of extra money.

But after receiving a life-changing phone call in late-2011, Bodnar – the University of Regina Rams’ punter for the past two seasons – will be doing something a little different to make ends meet this summer.

“I got a call from my agent and he told me that the [Saskatchewan Roughriders] had acquired my rights,” explained Bodnar, 22. “And a few days later – I think it was on December  21st – my agent emailed me the contract and said that they wanted me to go in and sign the contract … That was that.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with landscaping or doing odd jobs, but Bodnar emphasized that the opportunity to take the field with the Roughriders – a squad that he has grown up cheering for in his native Saskatoon – is, for all intents and purposes, an ideal situation for the young punter.

“Being a Saskatchewan kid and being able to play my junior and college football in Saskatchewan, it’s a perfect situation,” Bodnar said. “I couldn’t be happier to be able to stay close to home and, obviously, play for the Riders – a team that this province just loves.

“ … This is absolutely the best summer job (laughs). And it’s the least amount of hours, from what I hear, so that’s an added bonus.”

Bodnar – who has spent the past several months working out with the team and getting to know his new coworkers – admitted that the prospect of playing for the Green and White hasn’t fully sunk in. But, after a brief stint at the Edmonton Eskimos’ training camp last year, Bodnar – despite signing a two-year deal with an option for a third season with the Roughriders – is more than aware of the fact that his tenure with the organization is all but guaranteed.

“I wasn’t in Edmonton as long as I’d like, but, from that, I understand that it’s a business and you have to take it day-by-day and not look too far ahead and just, kind of, focus on the present,” said Bodnar, who is one of two punters currently under contract with the Roughriders, the other being Montreal product Chris Milo. “Because you never know what will happen … I’m just going to go day-by-day, enjoy it, do the best I can and I’ll let the rest take care of itself.”

While Bodnar is hoping that he is able to crack the Roughriders roster and fulfill his dream of enjoying a long career under the Green and White banner, if he doesn’t make the team, he insisted that he won’t be too terribly disappointed.

“I just want to kick to the best of my ability and give it a fair shot,” the kinesiology student offered. “If it’s good enough to make the team, great, but if not, I’ll just use it as motivation, have another season with the Rams, hopefully get to this point again, and give it one more shot.”

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