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Off-Season Forecast: London Beefeaters

07/10/2019, 10:00pm PDT
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)

The Beefs begin a new era under a new head coach

Photo courtesy of the London Beefeaters

Last season the London Beefeaters had a solid campaign finishing third with a 5-3 record and amassed three shutouts in the Ontario Conference.

Quarterback Clarke McCallum showed tremendous growth completing 91 passes for 1275 yards and seven touchdowns.   His top two targets were Cody Young and Spencer Foster who combined for 43 receptions 545 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Due to the Beefeaters success head coach Chris Marshall has been given an opportunity to coach at Western University in U-Sports.  The move opens the door for a number of other opportunities and the Beefs are hoping they pay off.

What’s Changing?

Following the departure of Coach Marshall, London native Jesse Maddox becomes the new head coach.  For the past 11 years Maddox has been coaching football in Alberta and has just recently moved back to Ontario.   In Alberta he coached the Fort McMurray Monarchs to their second Canadian Major Football League title in 2018.  He also coached the Fort McMurray Ravens midget team, and was guest coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and at a number of high school camps.

This season the Beefeaters will wear red jerseys, adding a strong bold clean cut and clear statement of how they would like to look on the field.

They are also changing the culture and vision.  They will showcase a strong attention to on and off the field environments and the direction of the Board and Coach Maddox.  They are looking to create a fun and very competitive environment for their players on and off the field to be successful in the pursuit of their goals/aspirations of school, work and football.

Key Grads:

LB Oscar Reddecop was the Beeefeaters best defender last season and was named an Ontario Conference All-Star.  He tallied at team high 28 solo tackles and was a nuisance in the opposition’s backfield adding pressure more often than not and recorded a pair of sacks, had a blocked kick and recovered a fumble.

DL Brendan Hepburn was named an Ontario Conference All-Star following an outstanding season.  He led the Beefeaters with four sacks to complement his 14 tackles, one blocked kick and two forced fumbles.

OL Austin Lowe was a rock on the offensive line and was named an Ontario Conference All-Star.   He was one of the main reasons for the success of quarterback Clarke McCallum

What They Need:

The Beefeaters need to bulk up their defensive ends.  Players with experience at this position are hard to come by much like on the offensive line.  Currently they have a great crop of players but time will tell where they stand making the jump from high school to the CJFL.

Counting On:

QBs Clarke McCallum and Jake Pow: McCallum returns for his third season while Pow enters his first in the CJFL after earning a roster spot with the Western Mustangs for the previous two seasons.  They are super excited to have two starting calibre leaders under center coming into the year and are looking forward to seeing what both can do starting against the Niagara Regional Raiders in their opener on August 18th.

OL Matt Bettencourt started on the offensive line at Western in 2017 and won a Vanier Cup.  He is a big, strong, nasty and someone every team wants protecting their quarterback.  The Beefeaters believe he is the best offensive lineman in the country at this level, and are excited to have him be a leader up front.

DB Jacob Mandel has come to London via the GTA Grizzlies last year.  He was named an Ontario Conference All-Star after leading the Grizz with 29 tackles, while adding two knockdowns, two forced fumbles and three interceptions.

As the Beefeaters prepare for the 2019 season they have had a huge influx of new players in the last 2-3 months seeing 50-60 new players on top of 30 plus veterans returning.  They are very much looking forward to changing this program around and too hit the ground running. Underdog mentality!

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