The prospect of former Dinos lineman Dan Federkeil living out the NFL dream in Indianapolis seems like a good omen for Dinos football this season.
It really won't take much to improve on last season's dismal showing, as the team finished with a 2-6 record, missed the playoffs for the second time in three years and were outscored by their opponents by over 100 points.
Building from last year's disappointment, and looking beyond Federkeil's ascension to the NFL ranks, there are many bright spots in the Dinos 2006 program.
There is a new head coach with a new mentality; Blake Nill, an ex-Dino himself, replaces former head coach of 10 seasons Tony Fasano, who finished with an almost even 44 wins and 43 losses in the regular season and no wins and six losses in the post-season.
Nill joins the Dinos from Saint Mary's University where he amassed a record of 49-15 over eight seasons.
There is a talented rookie quarterback in Dalin Tollestrup. Several Canada West and NCAA schools courted Tollestrup before he decided to settle here.
With his Raymond High School Comets, Tollestrup won the 2005 Alberta 4A Provincial Championship and finished a three year career at Raymond with an outstanding record of 34 wins against only five losses.
Quarterback coach and legendary Dino Greg Vavra, who quarterbacked the Dinos to their first Vanier Cup in 1983, will provide excellent leadership for Tollestrup.
All this bodes well for an excellent future a few years down the road. This season, however, the Dinos may be suffering from a lack of experience, with only 34 of last year's 70-man roster returning.
Though they can't get much worse than last year's effort, the team will go through growing pains under a rookie QB, no matter how good.
Expect a year of rebuilding, as the Dinos are still a few years away from challenging for the Hardy Cup (Canada West Championship) and will finish the year with a 3-5 record.