Today, CFC shines the spotlight on Class 2009 star offensive lineman and recent University of Manitoba commit, John-Mark Welsh. John was born in Durban, South Africa.
Offensive Line (Guard, Tackle)
6’4, 315 lbs
Langley Rams (junior: BCFC/CJFL)
Simon Fraser Clan (NCAA)
North Langley Bears/Langley City (minor)
White Rock (community)
Commitment to University of Manitoba
John-Mark moved from his native homeland of South Africa to Canada in 1997. He started his gridiron career in White Rock, British Columbia when he was eight years old. After playing on different community teams, the offensive lineman suited up for the North Langley Bears (Langley City) until he was ready to make the move into the university ranks.
Subsequently after being red-shirted for one season with the NCAA’s Simon Fraser Clan, John-Mark decided to play for the Langley Rams of the British Columbia Football Conference (BCFC) of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL).
“My most memorable experience in football would have to be during my last year before university when I had the chance to be a linebacker/quarterback for a few plays,” reflects John-Mark on his career. “Also, my first year at Simon Fraser University playing in the NCAA was another memorable experience.”
For his continual excellence on the field, John-Mark has been honoured with several outstanding offensive lineman award sduring his career. Moreover, the standout was offensive line MVP at the Simon Fraser University’s Western all-star camp.
The next gridiron chapter for John-Mark is set to take place at University of Manitoba. Recently, he committed to the school based on several factors.
“Before being approached by the head coach, Brian Dobie, Langley Rams head coach Jeff Alamolhoda (former Bisons linebackersc oach) spoke highly of Manitoba, as he spent his prime there,” says the future Bisons player. “After being contacted by Coach Dobie, I was invited to their camp and due to my performance at camp, I was asked to join the team.”
“I enjoy the culture of the team and another factor was the team’s dominance in the West.”
Throughout his life, John-Mark has been fortunate to have some key individuals who’ve played a significant role in shaping him into the player and person he is today.
“In football, the most influential person is my midget coach, Ken Helps, who pushed me to be the best that I could be,” explains the offensive lineman. “The most influential people in my life are my parents.”
“They have taught me that hard work and perseverance is the key to success.”
While one of his future goals is to play in the Canadian Football League (CFL), John-Mark has additional ones he would like to achieve. Academically, he would like to complete his degree in criminology at the University of Manitoba so he can pursue a future career in law enforcement.
As a result of playing football, John-Mark has learned one key thing which has yielded him successes in all aspects of life.
“Football, like life, throws adversity at you, in all shapes and forms, but with commitment and dedication, nothing is untouchable,” comments John-Mark. “Football has taught me that hard work and perseverance will allow you to succeed.”