The Great Eight
Stingers Receiver Setting Lofty Goals
Kris Bastien could have followed the dream he shared with countless young Canadian boys: pursuing a career in professional hockey.
Instead, he was introduced to something that once upon a time was considered unconventional in this province. These days, though, football is all the rage.
“I was originally a hockey and baseball player,” said the 22-year old St. Lambert, QC native. “But when I came into CEGEP, I tried a year and it went well, so I thought that maybe I had a chance to play university football.
“I find for my body type it was good, too, because I’m more of a taller, athletic player with some strength. It’s a sport that’s really growing in Quebec and was something that always interested me.”
Bastien, who is enrolled in Leisure Studies while looking to transfer into the John Molson School of Business, fit right into his role as a receiver, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone when head coach Gerry McGrath came calling to have him join the Stingers.
He credits a lot of his success with the team to McGrath and receivers coach Dave Spence.
“I came from a CEGEP where we played in a lower division, so I didn’t know what to expect when I came to Concordia,” said Bastien.
“It was a big step up for me. The coaches were great to me though, Gerry McGrath has increased my football knowledge and Dave Spence has been helping me with the receiver aspects, so it’s been great.”
McGrath has said that Bastien is as good as any receiver in the country, and Bastien has set lofty goals for himself that, should they come to fruition, will justify his coach’s high praise.
“I always want to do better than the year before. You always want to be improving as an athlete,” he said. “My personal goal is to finish first in Canada in receiving yards.”
Bastien is on pace to do just that. Despite missing Friday night’s game against the Université de Montréal with a shoulder injury, Bastien’s massive first game alone has him second in receiving yards across Canada with 242.
Bastien caught six passes in the season-opener against Bishop’s University, the most notable being a 103-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the first half.
“I always want to do better than the year before. You always want to be improving as an athlete. My personal goal is to finish first in Canada in receiving yards.” – Kris Bastien
In his search for a receiver to mould his game after, Bastien kept it local, looking to Montreal Alouettes receivers Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green for inspiration—two of the best in the Canadian Football League.
“I look at Richardson and Green, those big inside receivers with strong hands. Personally, I’m not the shiftiest guy, I’m not that elusive, but I feel that with my physical presence I can be good, so I try to watch them and be as much as I can like them.”
Bastien has also been able to draw inspiration from the people closest to him.
“My dad has always been a training freak, and even though he doesn’t come from a football background, he always pushed me to train the hardest and to be prepared,” said Bastien.
“I’ve also spent a lot of time training with Steven Holness, who used to play for the Alouettes. He gave me the opportunity to go train in Miami with [National Football League players] this summer. The past two summers he’s taken my game to a whole other level.
“There’s also my coaching staff [at Concordia], they just took me from being a really raw talent to being a polished one, and they’ve just been making me a better football player in general.”
Bastien has very real aspirations to play professional football after university, and in an era of football where the passing game has evolved into the main facet of many offenses, the demand for receivers like Bastien will only continue to rise—which is definitely good news for him.
“I think it’s very possible,” he said of a potential future in the pros. “And it’s something I’m working on every day. I definitely hope it happens.”
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