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.
The Canadian Junior Football League is pleased to announce the 2017 schedule that kicks off in the BC Conference (BCFC) on Saturday July 29, 2017.
Following the BCFC kick off, both the Prairie Conference (PFC) and the Ontario Conference (OFC) will open the season on August 12th with a pair of interconferene games. The Winnipeg Rifles visit the Ottawa Sooners and the Windsor AKO Fratmen host the Edmonton Huskies
This season marks the return of the OFC who now comply with the rest of the CJFL and capping the age limit to 22.
This season also highlights six CJFL Interconference games including 10 teams from the PFC and OFC. The first two are set for August 12, then a pair on August 26th, before concluding on the weekend of September 23-24th.
The CJFL playoffs will open the weekend of October 14-15, followed by the conference championships October 21-22. With the return of the OFC, the CJFL will host a National Semi-Final game this season which will see the winner of the PFC host the winner of the BCFC on October 28. Two weeks after that game the winner will travel to Ontario and face the winner of the OFC title in the 2017 Canadian Bowl on November 11th.
Each of the Conference schedules are below:
For the first time in its long history the CJFL will see teams from the Prairie Conference (PFC) battle teams from the Ontario Conference (OFC) in regular season action as six Interconference games have been scheduled.
Last season the CJFL hosted a pair of successful Interconference games between teams in the BC Conference and teams in the PFC. Despite bad weather and lopsided scores, fans in Chilliwack and Kelowna came out in droves to support the history making games and enjoyed the experience.
This year’s Interconference games will feature a total of 10 teams involved in six games beginning Saturday August 12th.
The Winnipeg Rifles head east to face the Ottawa Sooners in the Nation’s Capital while the Edmonton Huskies travel to Windsor to face the AKO Fratmen. This will be the first time these franchises will face one another and part of an exciting opening weekend for both the PFC and OFC Conferences.
A couple of weeks later another pair of Interconference games will are scheduled, both with Canadian Bowl history attached.
The Regina Thunder will meet the reigning OFC champion Hamilton Hurricanes on Saturday August 26th for the first time in 25 years. The last time they met was the 1993 Canadian Bowl in Regina, that the then Rams won 23-11. These two also met in the 1975 Armadale Cup (now Canadian Bowl) in which the Rams were victorious 38-19. Rewinding this all-time series even further the Hurricanes defeated Regina in the 1972 Leader Post Trophy game (now Canadian Bowl) 33-8.
The second match-up that day features the defending national champion Saskatoon Hilltops hosting the Ottawa Sooners in a rematch of the 1991 Canadian Bowl. It was a title game that the Hilltops won 41-27 on their home field in Saskatoon.
The final pair of CJFL Interconference games this season will fall the weekend of September 23-24. The Hurricanes travel west to meet the Edmonton Wildcats for the first time in exactly 40 years. Back in the 1977 Armadale Cup the Wildcats shutout the Hurricanes 28-0 in their only other meeting to win the national title.
Then Sunday the 24th the Calgary Colts will host the London Beefeaters for the first time in CJFL history.
Each of the six games will offer historical significance and will no doubt create a buzz of excitement not only within those communities, but also across the entire CJFL.
The full schedule featuring all three Conferences will be release tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00am EST/7:00am PST.