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Stampeders dynamic duo Awe and Judge look for bigger and better things this season

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Linebackers Micah Awe and Cam Judge are the heartbeat of the Calgary Stampeders defence. 

In 2023-24, the dynamic duo put up some impressive numbers.

In his second season with the Stamps, Judge had 90 defensive tackles, five interceptions and a touchdown.

In his first season with the red and white, Awe set a franchise record for defensive tackles with 134. It was the third highest total in CFL history, but Awe says he wants more.

"I’m being completely honest, I didn’t like the way I played a lot of times last season," Awe said.

"So this year is almost like a renewal. Some people are happy with where they’re at. Yes, I broke the record and, yes, I’m third all time, but that really means nothing to me because to me it’s all about winning the championship."

Familiar with each other

Last season was the first time Judge and Awe had played together. 

This season will be the first time either of them have played with a linebacker for more than one season. 

Judge says that familiarity is going to help them take things to another level.

"It’s huge," he said.

"From day one of practice we’re talking about little details of the defence. Last year, especially with him being new, he was just getting his job done. Now his job is in the back of his head, so we’re thinking how we can make plays and stuff, so it’s been nice."

The glue on defence

Head coach Dave Dickenson knows he can count on Awe and Judge to get the job done. 

He says they drive the bus on defence.

"They work extremely hard and they’re leaders out there," said Dickenson.

"They both have good speed and they’ve got a little nasty in them and they like to tackle."

"We’ve got some good competition this year, but I do think those two are the glue that kind of keeps our front end and our back end together on defence."

Life-changing off seasons

Awe and Judge both had life-changing off seasons. 

Awe and his wife Meaghan welcomed their first baby in the off season.

Awe says it changes your perspective.

"Every decision I make now on and off the football field, there’s an extra reason why I do it; ittle Raelynn is my reason."

Judge, meanwhile, got married last month.

He says not too much has changed for him.

"(It's) taken some time getting used to getting my ring on my finger while playing football. Other than that, nothing too crazy," he said with a laugh.  

The Stampeders play their first pre-season game on Saturday afternoon as they host the B.C. Lions. 

Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

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