Argos’ Raso makes defenders miss in first practice

It was a banner day for the Toronto Argonauts, who announced their latest roster signing.

The double blue welcomed Darius Raso to the family on Thursday. The seven-year-old native of Kleinburg, Ont., has been suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia for a little over a year. He has undergone chemotherapy regularly at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Raso’s love for football and the Toronto Argonauts has been instrumental during his fight with cancer.

Raso attended the Argos’ Aug 1 game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where the Boatmen were able to secure their first win of the campaign. During warmups, Argos staff spotted Raso, who had a sign that read, “Hey Argos, I’m beating cancer so beat the Bombers,” and brought over franchise icons Damon Allen and Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons.

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This sign is everything 👊👊 #TNF #CFLGameday

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During the game, he was also picked up from his seat and brought onto the sidelines by Argos running back James Wilder Jr.

Before putting pen to paper, Raso addressed his new teammates and sat in on morning meetings. On the way to officially sign his contract, he got to sign his first autograph as a professional football player.

From there, it was time to meet the media. Raso joined general manager Jim Popp to ink his one-day contract.

“We are thrilled to add a player of Raso’s stature to our roster,” Popp said of his new signee. “Raso’s determination, strength and love for football and the Toronto Argonauts are an inspiration to us all and we know he will be a tremendous asset both in the locker room and on the field.”

Raso received his official team jersey, wearing No. 7, his favourite number. He made his way from BMO Field to Lamport Stadium for practice and walked alongside Wilder.

Once he made it onto the field, it was a rough day for the defence, who were hard-pressed to take down the nimble back once he got up to full speed.

Raso will participate in his first Mark’s Labour Day Weekend game when the Argonauts travel to Tim Hortons Field for a matchup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sept 2.