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North Van's Jackson re-signs with Lions

NORTH Vancouver's Paris Jackson will get to roar with his hometown B.C. Lions for at least two more years after resigning with the football club last week.

NORTH Vancouver's Paris Jackson will get to roar with his hometown B.C. Lions for at least two more years after resigning with the football club last week.

The two-year contract will see the 31-year-old wide receiver, a Carson Graham grad, suit up with the club he has spent his entire nine-year CFL career with. Through those nine seasons Jackson has racked up 400 catches for 5,533 yards with 31 touchdowns.

Though it was a championship year for the Lions, 2011 was a struggle for Jackson who was recovering from injury at the beginning of the season and spent most of the year as a backup receiver and special teams player. He recorded just seven catches for 117 yards, both the lowest totals since his rookie year in 2003.

As the year wore on, however, his role increased. Jackson hauled in a 51-yard touchdown against Edmonton Oct. 29. In B.C.'s Grey Cup win over Winnipeg Jackson hauled in two catches for 43 yards.

Jackson's reduced role with the Lions led to speculation that he would sign elsewhere when he became a free agent but he put that all to rest with this latest agreement with general manager Wally Buono and coach new head coach Mike Benevides.

"I believe I can continue to contribute to the team in a variety of roles and this demonstrates that both Wally and Mike feel the same way," Jackson said in a Lions press release. "I'm ready to do whatever is asked of me to help win another championship."

Buono said he appreciated all of the things Jackson does both on and off the field

"Paris has always been a very good receiver and in recent years he has developed into both a leader and mentor for our younger receivers," he said. "He is an important part of our team and this is another offseason win for the club to have him returning."

Jackson's relatively quiet 2011 season has him fired up to come back with a big 2012.

"I really got humbled last year," Jackson said last week. "I understood the game can be taken away from you at any point if anyone has doubt in your ability to even run, and realized Wally wasn't playing around. Maybe the last few years I didn't train as hard."

He's not going to leave anything to chance this offseason - he's upped his normal training regime and is concentrating on getting his formerly troublesome knees in top shape.

"It's in my hands. It's all up to me," said Jackson. "I feel like a young kid all over again."

. . .

Jackson may feel even more like a kid this spring as he goes back to school to help run a training program for students of Sentinel secondary. The program is set to run in conjunction with the school's attempt to re-start its football program.

According to Sentinel athletic director Glenn Johnston, more than 30 players have signed up for the junior football team for next season and the school has raised more than $30,000 to run the program. Jackson has also signed on to help coach the team in the fall and will attend Sentinel practices in the late afternoon after finishing up with morning training sessions with the Lions.

The school still needs final approval from the B.C. High School Football Association for the team to join the league.