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Ryan Smith continues dream of playing football in Canadian Football League

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Ryan Smith has been wowing us since his high school days in Wahpeton.

From there he went on to help the Bison win three straight national championships.

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He just keeps going north; he's a couple months into his Canadian Football League career.

It's game night in Winnipeg, for Wahpeton native and former NDSU standout Ryan Smith this is his fifth professional game in the CFL playing for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders he's played football his entire life, but thru the first two months of his career, it feels like he's back in school.

Ryan Smith/Saskatchewan WR/Wahpeton Native: “Getting used to this game, the waggle, different rules, trying to speed up my game play each game. Being in a different country, that's was different at first, focused purely on football, don't have to worry about school which is nice, be professional about everything prepare yourself well.”

Ryan Smith isn't making this professional journey by himself his parents have traveled to nearly every game and they're not alone, they've brought friends with them, people they bonded with on Bison road trips four years ago.

The Canadian experience has been really fun for us, opportunity for us to see Ryan play football and continue the dream.

Trudi Smith/Ryan’s Mom: “It's been fun, we've chosen to embrace it and we've had a blast.”

We first introduced you to this group two years ago, the Smiths paired up with Mike Hardie's and Travis Beck's parents have tailgated together since their sons started school together in 2010 and when the Smiths decided to go to Winnipeg the rest of the group wasn't that far behind.

Doyle Hardie/Family Friend(Mike Hardie’s Dad): “This is like a new family, been exciting to carry that on as Ryan graduated and bonds we built, and still carried over, and this opportunity that Ryan has in the CFL now.”

Randy Smith/Ryan’s Dad: “I'm in investment business, every client I call the conversation starts and ends with Ryan, 88 or 89 year old lady in Wapheton love watching him playing football.”

Trudi: “He had a lot of doubts should I do this, when he finally got the green light to make the team, he's learned a lot about life, not easy to get where he's gotten.”

Ryan: “I came out of college and go with the CFL thing, I'm a team player, just playing football and that's all I wanted to do and it's awesome.”

Smith has 7 catches for 106 yards so far. His next game is Saturday against Montreal.

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Dom Izzo
Domenic is the Sports Director at WDAY. He comes to Fargo from WNCE-TV in Glens Falls, NY where he launched the sports department at the independent station. Before that, Domenic worked at WSTM, the NBC affiliate in Syracuse, NY as a photographer and live truck operator for over two years. He graduated from Oswego State University in 2002 with a degree in Broadcasting. Domenic hails from the lake effect snow capital of the world, Oswego, NY, he joined the WDAY Sports Department in September 2006.
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