A young London Beefeater team learned a lot during the 2016 season and will come back this year will a vengeance looking to get back into the Ontario Conference playoffs. The extra incentive of the Ontario champion hosting the Canadian Bowl is another big motivator to win this season.
For the Beefeaters to succeed, the offensive line must play to their potential. One of those players is Mazin Salman, a CJFL Weekend Warrior.
Last season was his first in the CJFL and the decision to play for the Beefeaters was a no brainer. “After high school, I saw becoming a Beefeater as my only chance of putting on a bucket again and playing the only sport I knew and loved. Without a doubt becoming a Beefeater was a great opportunity to compete and be a part of something great.”
The London native says despite the tough 2-6 season last year, the decision to return this year was an easy one, “There is no sport like football, and with this group of brothers that I competed with last season, I feel as if they are just as dedicated, hardworking and motivated as I am to the team. That makes it an easy decision for me to come back and to achieve goals my teammates and I have set out for the next season. As well, I feel as if I'm the fastest and strongest I've ever been in my life, and eager to make a strong impact on the field.”
At 6’2, 235 pounds, many in the Conference referred to Salman as an “undersized” offensive lineman which has drove him this offseason. Eager to get back on the field, Salman has been in the gym getting bigger, stronger and faster. So much so that he would like to make the jump to the other side of the ball. “In my final year of high school I played both ways as an OL and DL, but throughout my high school career I was a defensive player, and I hope to go back to my roots this season as so far I have cut 38lb since the season and plan on cutting more weight in hopes of being fast and agile to play defensive end. Improving Speed and agility and being light on my feet is what I set out to achieve most this off season.”
When Salman isn’t working in the gym, he’s putting in his shifts at “Solutions” in London, an organized living store. He is also currently a student athlete, “attending Western University, but plan on switching to Fanshawe College in pursuit to become a personal trainer, as working out is something I truly enjoy, and I would love to help others find their fitness passions as well . When I'm not studying, working out or working at my job, I'm mostly hanging out with friends and family."
Despite entering just his second season, Salman has already begun thinking about life after the CJFL, “I would love to make a run at the CFL combine. But after my playing career, I hope to continue to make an impact in the football community by becoming a coach.”
Salman and the Beefeaters open the season on Sunday August 20th when they visit the GTA Grizzlies.
Offensive lineman Mazin Salman of the London Beefeaters is a CJFL Weekend Warrior.