Noel Prefontaine has decided to end his career where he started it – with the Toronto Argonauts. The kicker/punter is set to retire after signing a one-day contract ahead of Sunday’s game against the BC Lions at the Rogers Centre.
Prefontaine began his career with the Argonauts in 1998, after being selected in the supplemental draft and played 10 seasons in Toronto, before being traded to Edmonton in 2008. The six-time CFL all-star returned to play for the Double Blue in 2010, before being released in 2014.
Personally, I can’t pretend to have been Prefontaine’s biggest fan (I always felt he was overrated), but there’s no denying the impact he had with the Argonauts. He holds the franchise records for most all-time kickoffs in a career (688) and most kickoff yards (40,521).
On top of this, the 40-year old holds club records for total punts (1,464), all-time punting yards (67,061) and most punting yards in a single game (744). As if that wasn’t enough, Prefontaine also showed he wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty, recording 91 special team tackles during his career.
When you combine Prefontaine’s time in Toronto and Edmonton (254 games), he scored 1,634 points, including 347 field goals. He also had 80,678 punting yards and 53,723 kicking yards, while winning two Grey Cup rings in 2004 and 2012, both with the Argonauts.
The eight-time CFL East all-star released a statement to express his gratitude: “I would like to thank the Toronto Argonauts organization for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing professional football.
“I’m honoured to have played in the CFL for 16 seasons. I played the game with a strong sense of commitment and passion and can only hope I left a mark in the hearts of Argonauts fans.”
Moving forward, the Argos are in safe hands (or should that be feet?!) with Swayze Waters. However, let’s take the time to pay tribute to Prefontaine, courtesy of this video prepared by the Argonauts:
What are your thoughts on the gesture? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Photo provided courtesy of www.argonauts.ca