The Super Bowl marks the end of the NFL season but for the London Junior Mustangs, another football season is quickly approaching. The 2017 version of the Jr. Mustangs will see some significant changes at the top of their 2 oldest teams. Long time Junior Varsity Head Coach Jean Paul Circelli will move to the Varsity level, looking to continue on 3 years of success. Taking his place as the Junior Varsity Head Coach is newcomer Matt Snyder.
Snyder is no stranger to football in London, having been involved in football at the high school and competitive levels for the past 10 seasons. In the fall, Snyder serves as the Offensive Coordinator at South Collegiate. In 2016, the South Lions finished 10-0 and won both the London City Championship and the OFSAA championship game.
"The Junior Mustangs are a program built for success" says Snyder, "one of the main reasons I came here was the strong leadership at the board level, the first class resources that the programs makes available to the players and coaches, and the commitment to developing players and building competitive teams."
Snyder moved quickly to bring some of the top local coaches on board, retaining David Martin as his defensive coordinator "Coach Martin has had success at every level he's coached at, he's a great motivator, he's committed to football and he brings a level of intensity that quite frankly, you need on the defensive side of the ball".
Snyder reached out to several of his previous colleagues to round out his coaching staff. "Joe Gregorio (RB) has been a loyal friend and colleague of mine for years. Sean Van Beers (FB's) and Shaun Timbeck (LB's) are both smart, motivated coach that I've worked alongside previously. Brock Thomson (OL), Mike Halfday (DL) and Tyson McClure (DB) are all energetic, hungry coaches who will bring excitement to the team. Kevin Smith (WR) is a coach I've never worked with before but I've played against his teams (Kevin is the Head Coach at Saunders Secondary) and I knew right away I wanted to bring him on board."
"The new Ontario Provincial 'AAA' league is basically the 12 best teams in Ontario battling each week. Every University coach in the province will be scouting these games week by week" commented Snyder, "If you're looking to be recruited, this is definitely the place to get noticed."
Tryouts for the 2017 Junior Mustangs will start in April. Snyder looks forward to getting back on the field with the players, "Recruiting has been going well but it's been a cold winter and I'm counting down the minutes until we can get on the field and start coaching the players towards a 2017 Ontario Provincial Championship."
"The Jr. Mustangs offer everything a high school player needs to have success. We practice and play at the top stadium in London. We have access to a University style film room, equipment and support staff. The tradition of excellence here is second to none and flows down from the Western Mustangs into our program. If you're looking to achieve greatness in football, the Junior Mustangs are definitely the place you want to play this summer."