From the gridiron to the classroom

Photo: Ronnie Marco, The Cord
Photo: Ronnie Marco, The Cord

Killian Cuppage
The Cord

Ronnie Pfeffer has had quite the turbulent year.

The former Wilfrid Laurier kicker/punter just finished his first season in the CFL and was fortunate enough to be part of the Grey Cup finalists, the Ottawa RedBlacks.

But the journey to the Grey Cup final wasn’t easy. During the 2015 CFL draft last summer, Pfeffer saw his two teammates and good friends, Chris Ackie and Ese Mrabure-Ajufo, go in the top five. Pfeffer also watched on as running back Dillon Campbell was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts.

Pfeffer’s name was never called.

“It was tough going undrafted, having your friends and family over at your house and you didn’t get your name called,” Pfeffer said. “I was preparing myself to come back to Laurier, and have a fifth year.”

But Pfeffer would never suit up for the Golden Hawks. After an injury to their star kicker, the Toronto Argonauts signed Pfeffer just a week into the CFL season.

“I’m fortunate that the Toronto Argonauts picked me up as a free agent,” Pfeffer explained.

Pfeffer was an efficient 12-of-16 on his field goal attempts with the Argos, with his first CFL field goal being from 50 yards out in his first game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Despite six impressive games with the Argonauts, Pfeffer would soon be without a team again.

“Unfortunately another down came again when their starting kicker came back from an injury and I was left without a job again.”

But Pfeffer wasn’t a free agent for long. Merely days after being released, Pfeffer signed with the Ottawa RedBlacks as their punter, finding comfort for the rest of the season.

In his first season in the Canadian professional football circuit, Pfeffer finished as a Grey Cup finalist. He’s grateful the RedBlacks gave him a chance and is thrilled to see his hard work pay off.

“Since then it has just been all up. It shows how dreams can become reality,” he said.

An advocate for perseverance and hard work, Pfeffer has never strayed from being positive. Despite multiple times where he’s had to reroute his journey, the kicker/punter specialist also specializes on never giving up.

“The biggest thing I learned is perseverance is key,” he explained.

“There’s times where you might get knocked down and go through an injury, or not get picked up by a team, but if you keep working hard the chance will come.”

As for the offseason, Pfeffer is coming back to Laurier to finish his degree in sociology, adding another important item to his list of accolades. He hopes when his football career is done he will be able to pursue other dreams.

“I picked up my courses for next semester and I want to be able to graduate and be happy, and be relaxed knowing that I did graduate school. When football is all said and done I’ll be able to pursue my next dream,” he said. “For football I’m just going to keep working hard and strive the limit.”

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