Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

With CFL awards on the way this week, the Toronto Argonauts are hoping Peter Nicastro and Ryan Dinwiddie get away with some hardware.

When a team goes from a record of 4-14 to winning first place in their division, they are required to get some recognition. The Toronto Argonauts got some when the final nominees for the CFL Awards were announced.

Up for this year’s coach is Ryan Dinwiddie, who showed why Argos was right in putting their trust in a rookie head coach. Sure it was not a perfect season as he made some dubious decisions from the sidelines, but he also found ways to help the team overcome heavy losses and need to have a new defensive coordinator in the middle of the season.

Dinwiddie will have tough competition, with Winnipeg Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea also being nominated. Given the dominant season the Blue Bombers had, it would not be disappointing for the Argos head coach to lose to O’Shea.

On the other end, rookie offensive lineman Peter Nicastro will represent the East as the nominee for Rookie of the Year in the fight against BC Lions linebacker Jordan Williams. Like Dinwiddie, Nicastro is going to have a tough fight to win the award when Williams set the record for a single season for tackles by a Canadian rookie with 81.

It will always be difficult for an offensive lineman to get the recognition he deserves, given that there are limited statistics to base his game on. If you followed Nicastro’s season at the same time, there are many reasons why he deserves the nomination.

When Argos took the native from Calgary with the seventh overall pick in the 2021 CFL Draft, they were ecstatic considering he was the best player on their draftboard.

“We were fine with him and then he had to go out and prove it. He’s just a professional, ”Dinwiddie said of a young child coming in and doing the things he did, unfortunately he was injured at the end of the year, but you know he deserves the nomination. I’m happy and proud of the work he’s done this season. “

Argos did not ease Nicastro into his role on the offensive line when he started as the team’s starting left guard before being moved over to center and thriving with the opportunity. Unfortunately, his regular season was interrupted by a knee injury, which he hopes will not be a problem for the Eastern Final.

Nicastro played its first season of professional football and noticed the adaptation to play against opposing players who were difficult to block, whether they were a starter or a rotation player.

CFL football is something that is close and dear to Nicastro’s family, as they have been season ticket holders for about 30 to 40 years. Now they are going to see the young offensive line player who only gets better with more experience under his belt.

“I’m still young, I’m only 22, so I hope you know I believe I can get more done in my career and I get more wins and the Gray Cup remains the main goal,” Nicastro said. “I think the coaching staff here really pushed me to be at my best and I’m so excited to see what happens next.”

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With the way his rookie season went, Argos has a cornerstone player in a central position who is likely to be in the conversation about top Canadians in the future.

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