The Province

Twitter reaction to surprise Delta pick

- — Lowell Ullrich

It’s no shock to think that if there’s a place to have a difference of opinion or a debate in this day and age it’ll be on social media, which is where there was more than one viewpoint being expressed over the surprise selection in the CFL draft of Delta product Tyson Pencer.

The 6-8, 330-pound mountainra­nge of an offensive lineman had received a pointed sendoff by his former Kelowna junior team moments after he was taken third overall Thursday by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“Hope he stays focused now he is pro!” came a tweet from the account of the Okanagan Sun moments after his selection. “Tyson great guy and amazing player but went AWOL from Sun twice (2nd time permanentl­y).”

Pencer, however, was clearly too happy to notice, it would seem.

“Didn’t know I could smile this much! Blue&gold all the way!,” Pencer tweeted.

The selection of Pencer by the Bombers, who had traded into the third overall spot early Thursday only to be trumped by a deal in which the B.C. Lions obtained the second slot, may be a case where the ends justified the means.

But Pencer apparently left a junior team unhappy and didn’t win any friends after leaving Washington State earlier because of injuries and academic issues.

“I found it a struggle between football and school,” Pencer told the Toronto Sun in March while at the CFL’S evaluation camp.

One contributi­ng factor which made Pencer valuable to the Bombers, however, was the influence of CFL vets Will Loftus and Davis Sanchez of North Delta, who became mentors while working with him until the draft as part of their developing Lower Mainland youth developmen­t program, Game Ready Fitness.

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