Wes Cates

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Wes Cates carried the ball for six years as a professional running back in the Canadian Football League. Wes was born in October of 1979 in Columbus, Ohio and graduated in 2001 from California University of Pennsylvania where he played in every game of his 4 year college football career setting a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record 5,647 total yards on 937 carries, 63 rushing touchdowns and 386 total points. Cates was an All-American for his last two college years and PSAC – West Offensive Player of the Year in 2001. He was drafted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in his first eligible year.

In 2006 Cates made his CFL debut after signing with the Calgary Stampeders. While he dressed for 17 of the 18 regular season games, he did not see a lot of playing time and finished the 2006 season with 25 rushing attempts for 181 years and two touchdowns, also catching 21 passes for 286 yards and one touchdown.

Cates was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders just as the 2007 season began and he immediately became an integral part of the team and fan favourite with his speed and determination. He ran for 866 yards on 153 carries, caught 45 passes for 452 yards and scored five touchdowns. In the 2007 playoffs, Wes’s determination showed as he helped his team win a Grey Cup Championship rushing for 128 yards on 25 attempts, all while having a broken foot.

Wes rushed for 1229 yards in his 2008 season amassing 451 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. He earned a spot on the CFL All-star team and ranked second in the league in rushing yards. Wes was also the Roughriders nominee for Most Outstanding Player in 2008.

After a shoulder surgery in 2009, Wes started in the final 16 regular season games as well as the West Final and Grey Cup. He ended 2009 with 195 rushes for 932 yards, 5 touchdowns and 33 receptions for 336 yards and 2 receiving touchdowns.

In 2010, Wes started in all 18 regular season games, both play-off games and the Grey Cup. He finished the regular season with 203 carries for 1,054-yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, 42 receptions for 335-yards and one touchdown, 27 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He also recorded four receptions for 48 yards, 10 carries for 83 yards and one touchdown in playoffs and Grey Cup. Cates was named West Division All-Star for 2010.

Over his six CFL seasons, Wes rushed for 4,942 yards and scored 83 touchdowns. He has made a home for himself in Saskatchewan and has been involved in sales in the resource industry where he provides services to oil and gas, mining and construction companies. Wes enjoys being involved with the community and giving back to the fans and the sport that gave so much to him.

Pictures courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders