#CFCOVFL: John’s “Warrior” instincts on offence

Kevin John’s gridiron experience started south of the border playing flag football in Florida. While playing flag football, John played both the quarterback and running back positions, which helped mould him into a mobile quarterback.

As well, John has also played at both the wide receiver and free safety positions.

Since he started to play tackle football for local teams in Mississauga in 2009, he has garnered interest and awards for his play.

John has been able to win St Joan of Arc MVP, Mississauga Renegades MVP and was a member of Team Ontario that won gold in 2014.

Although John has played several positions throughout his career, it’s the quarterback position he has really taken a shine to the most. In fact, John really embraces the responsibility the position brings.

“Some of the things that drew me to the position are the difficulty and the challenges quarterbacks need to take on,” said John. “Also, I like being in control of the offense and having the ball in my hands.”

John has come up through the Mississauga Warriors program starting four years ago in the OMFL (Ontario Minor Football League). However, John cites how playing in the league did not help much with his progress early on as a player.

“The OMFL I didn’t like too much, due the fact that there’s not as much competition as the OVFL,” added John.  “When I came to Junior Varsity, that’s when I started to improve as a player, make some noise and gain the attention of scouts.”

Because of the lack of competition within the OMFL, Kevin suggests to young players looking to improve their skills that they start at the junior varsity level.

 

Kevin John War2

 

When John played junior varsity for the Warriors, he did not start at the quarterback position immediately, which gave the opportunity to play other positions. However, John did not see that as a detriment to his progress as a quarterback. In fact, he believes it has helped gain a better understanding of how to play and approach the position.

“Last year I was all over the place,” said John.  “I was a scrambler, defensive back, wide receiver. It was pretty interesting to learn those positions, cause you get to see what happens outside of being a quarterback.”

“For example, before I make a pass to a receiver, I see things through their perspective and have a better understanding of what they have to go through.”

This season with the Warriors has been an interesting one. The team has had their ups and downs but now focus on trying to bring home the OVFL Championship.

Some key and memorable moments for John this season have been some of the touchdowns he has thrown, particularily, the long pass he made in a game against Essex Ravens early this season.

But most importantly, the wins the Warriors have garnered this season are the moments Kevin really enjoys.

“The wins definitely stick out to me cause they were crucial wins for the season and they helped us advance as the season continued,”

Throughout the season, John has been goal oriented as he has been able to set goals that he wants to meet personally as well as goals the team wants to meet.

“This team wants to win a championship, that’s the ultimate goal,” added John.  “It should be the goal for every team.”

“As well, you got to have confidence in yourself and your chances heading into the playoffs. I know it’s going to be a tough journey considering we’re going to be the number six seed. But I believe we can do it and complete the job. For my personal goals, I don’t want to commit any more turnovers. No more fumbles or interceptions for the rest of the season.”

During the season, John believes he has been the beneficiary of some good coaching that have helped improve his game.

“The coaches really implement the importance of attention to detail,” said the Warriors quarterback.  “These coaches have coached me in the past and have a strong understanding of what I need to look for and work on.”

“This season, the coaches really tried to focus on my mechanics. Little things like getting my arm above my shoulder when I throw, keeping my base wide, staying balanced are just some aspects the coaches have pointed out to me in order to get better. In the end, these things have really helped in terms of improving my accuracy as a passer.”

For his part, John is a very respectful and grounded young man. This has come from his parents implementing strong fundamentals to Kevin on and off the gridiron.

“My mom and my dad have been a great influence to me,” said John.  “They are usually the most influential people in anyone’s life.”

“My parents are hard on me sometimes, but I definitely take advice from them because they want success for me and they want me to be the best I can be.”

When it comes to the gridiron, John’s father is there once again providing the essentials and support that he needs to be successful.

“My father, in particular, has been a real strong influence in my life,” said John.  “He told me to be tough, stand strong, focus on one thing and pursue it.”

“My father always tells me he wants me to bring in the big bucks. But I know that if I don’t make it to that level, he would not be disappointed in me because he just wants to make sure I’m successful in a positive manner.”

In terms of training, John makes sure he works out three to four times a week, utilizes footwork training, throws the ball around and tries to keep himself as limber as possible.

Once the Warriors standout finishes school, he plans on playing at the professional level. Although he believes he has the skill set to make and succeed at the next level, he realizes not everything works out exactly how you planned and has made sure he has a backup plan. If his pro football endeavors do not work out, Kevin has a great interest in the business sector and has high aspirations to being successful in that line of work.

“You always got to have a backup plan in case things don’t work out,” added John.  “Personally, I’m looking into a business role, hopefully, accounting or economics, something along those lines.”

“If that works out, hopefully, I’ll make to Wall Street.”

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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