Even though he’s not out on the field any longer, Ryan Dueck is letting his passion for football shine through.
The Elmwood Giants defensive co-ordinator was a late bloomer in the sport, getting his start with the Manitoba Major Football League’s Eastman Raiders, as there was no program at Steinbach Regional Secondary School at the time. Playing linebacker, he impressed in his rookie year, earning him two years with the Canadian Junior Football League’s Winnipeg Rifles and, eventually, a spot with the University of Manitoba Bisons.
"Football’s a sport where you fall in love with it right away. It overshadowed any sport I’d played up until then," said the 28-year-old St. Vital resident.
After a year red-shirting (practising with the team but not playing in order to extend eligibility) with the Bisons, the sport changed his life during a routine play. Dueck suffered a neck injury in February 2008 while playing a scrimmage.