I was saddened when I heard the news of the passing of Edmonton Elks Running Back and Special Teams Player Christian Saulsberry on December 17. Saulsberry left many loved ones behind including his Mom, Melissa Saulsberry-Smith, who lovingly posted a beautiful tribute to her son on Twitter.
Saulsberry Was An Inspiring Special Teams Player
As a long time fan of the Green and Gold, I’ve been fortunate to have seen some amazing Special Teams players who have lifted me out of my seat in Clarke Stadium and at Commonwealth. Larry Highbaugh was one of those special athletes back on the great Eskimo teams of the late 1970s, and then there was Gizmo Williams, who may well be the greatest kick returner in the history of the Canadian Football League. These two great players always gave fans like me hope when they would enter the game, because you just knew they were capable of taking the ball to the house at anytime.
I felt that way about Christian Saulsberry. He became a beacon of hope this past season for the Elks in what has been a difficult period for the franchise and fans. Saulsberry’s explosive speed, and ability to break it open reminded me of a lot of Highbaugh and Williams. That’s part of why the news of his passing is difficult to process. It’s difficult to see an athlete like Saulsberry’s career cut short when he gave fans like myself hope for greater times ahead.
Christian Saulsberry Memorial Fund
Melissa Saulsberry-Smith has established a new foundation to have football camps for young men and help to assist small school players with the ability, skill and get to the next level. It is Saulsberry-Smith’s desire to educate not only the player but the parent on the process and the work it takes to strive and work toward their goal of playing professionally.
A Go Fund Me Christian Saulsberry Memorial Fund has been established for those who wish to honour Christian. Our hope is that the fund helps future athletes make their way to the Canadian Football League to inspire fans from coast to coast in Canada. Rest in Peace Christian. We mourn your loss along with your friends and family.
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