It is a term used in many different aspects of life to describe a unity or bond between two individuals. The dictionary describes it as an “association or society linking people together by a common interest.”
The desire to win the 106th Grey Cup on Sunday in Edmonton is a common interest that two members of the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League share, but their bond has far deeper roots. Quarterback Trevor Harris and offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers are members of what they call “the God Squad.”
“It’s our name for the guys who attend chapel,” the 6-foot-4 Rogers said through a chuckle. “Me and him have been able to lean on each other, challenge each other faith-wise.”
Harris hails from Waldo, Ohio, while Rogers is a native of Jasper, Texas. Although the two spend their bye weeks on opposite sides of the United States, they celebrated their second Thanksgiving weekend together in three years. And while also united through Christ, they share a few other things in common as well.
Both have spent significant time bouncing around the pro football ranks, before finding a comfortable home north of the border.
“We met during my first year in the CFL in 2013 (in Toronto),” Rogers said. “He was there the year before and we pretty much almost followed each other to Ottawa.”
Sometimes I have to remind myself God is in TOTAL CONTROL. It helps me find peace when things don't add up. #SinnerSavedByGrace
— SirVincent Rogers Sr. (@SirV55) November 6, 2018
The 320-pound Rogers, who played in college at Houston, signed with Ottawa in 2015, while Harris arrived the year after. Rogers plays left tackle — the man responsible for protecting the QB’s blindside.
“Off the field, [Rogers is] this laughing, gregarious personality, but when he steps over the stripe a switch gets flipped,” Redblacks chaplain Paul Huggins said, adding, “Sir V, he doesn’t realize his greatness at times. He and I have walked through a few of his ups and downs over the years. He also listens and takes advice.”
“Trevor is also a fierce competitor and a student,” Huggins continued. “He’s the same in everything he does, he is always learning and always finding ways to grow.”
If you ask anyone who experiences a brotherhood, their relationships are often battle tested. Aside from taking bumps on the field, Harris and Rogers have been able to bond through some of life’s most difficult obstacles.
Harris nearly lost his parents in a devastating motorcycle accident in 2012, while Rogers, 22 days younger than Harris, lost his mom in May of 2011.
“It was her seventh year on dialysis, she had a lot of health issues like kidney failure. She was a diabetic,” Rogers said softly, adding, “She was the closest person in the world to me at that time, and it caught me by surprise. I went into a deep depression.”
His mother used to call him before every college game and tell him to “go big or go home.” Harris describes himself as a self proclaimed “momma’s boy” and calls his mom every morning.
“When you really learn about people is through adversity and the ability to overcome,” said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell. “Both of those guys have the quality of character, and are a big reason why we have been so successful.”
The “God Squad” won a Grey Cup together in 2016 against the same Calgary Stampeders they will face on Sunday.
Two men with different backgrounds from two opposite sides of the country, united as teammates and brothers in Christ.
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