JV’s eyeing playoffs

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The players’ ability to buy into the team’s philosophy of battling every day has carried the London Junior Mustangs’ Junior Varsity (U17) squad to some strong play on the field during the 2018 summer season.

“I’m really happy with the mindset our team has adopted this season,” said Matt Snyder, the head coach of the Junior Varsity squad. “We strive to build competitive attitudes and a strong desire to achieve greatness within our players.”

Those skills have been on display this summer, and the team got off to a quick 4-1 start. The JV team, which plays in the Ontario Provincial Football League (West Division), is led by its veteran quarterback, Ethan Chambers, as well as a strong running game and an outstanding defense.

“We returned four starters to our secondary from last season and added several experienced players this offseason,” said Snyder, who is in his second year as head coach. “Our linebacking core of Matthew Henderson, Rudy Bukich and Timo Scheele is as dominant as any I’ve seen. Ethan Chambers is our team leader on offense, and we returned three offensive linemen from last year.”

The Junior Mustangs, who practice and play their home games at TD Stadium at Western University, will be looking to close out the regular season in strong fashion and make a successful playoff push. In the meantime, the players will all be continuing their own development on the gridiron.

“It’s my hope not only to have success on the field, but also to improve player skills and send productive players up to our Varsity level as they graduate from the JV age range,” Snyder said.

And the players are in good hands, Snyder says, thanks to top-notch coaching throughout the London Junior Mustangs program.

“Our coaching staff really is the strength of our program,” he said. “We currently have coaches from seven high schools represented at the JV level, as well as one current Western Mustang, two former professional players, and winners of four Vanier Cup rings and three OFSAA Championships.”

Contributions by Matt Snyder and photo by Wendy Csinos