DB Jayden the ‘Rammer’ Ramjohn

River East Kodiaks’ Jayden Ramjohn has learnt a lot from football and would be a great mentor for youth.

Jayden Ramjohn first stepped onto the football field when he was ten years old for the St.James Rods (Manitoba Minor Football Association). Jayden mentioned, “It was my first experience with football and although it was tough, it immediately started teaching me discipline and the value of teamwork.”

When Jayden was 12 he received an award for the best defensive back for the Rods. While with the Rods, Jayden was exposed to running back and safety, but he found his spot as a defensive back with the River East Kodiaks (Winnipeg High School Football League) his first year of high school in grade 10.

In his final season with the Kodiaks, Jayden was presented the Lettermans award. The Lettermans award is given to players that stayed committed to the team throughout all years in high school. Jayden was also given the John Potter Award which is handed out to a player who demonstrates leadership and commitment, he added, “I also received the John Potter Award which was a surprise but meant the world to me. It is true, I bleed blue.”

This season the Kodiaks made it to the semi-finals, but lost to the Kelvin Clippers. “It was great to play in the semi- finals,” said Jayden.

The best accomplishment from the 2016 season was when Jayden and the Kodiaks defeated Vincent Massey Brandon. Massey had previously ripped them apart and was unstoppable. Jayden explained, “We learned a lot about our team that day and I truly believe we wouldn’t have played as well as we did against Kelvin if it wasn’t for that game.”

Jayden enjoys his position because he has to stop the opponents. He said, “You can have a great offensive side that can score points, but if we can’t hold them, then your other side is working for nothing,” The defense also has the opportunity to intercept and score, which the Kodiaks did several times this year.

There are so many great players in the CFL and NFL, but Jayden hasn’t modeled his game after any of them. Jayden said, “Great players bring great value through great uniqueness.” The most important thing for Jayden is not how well he played, but knowing that he tried his best. “I have had games where I knew I could have tried just a little bit harder and I beat myself, but you have to learn from this and not want to do it again,” commented Ramjohn.

Once he’s done high school, Jayden wants to continue his studies and take some criminology courses in college with hopes of getting into law enforcement.

At this time there haven’t been any recruitment opportunities for Jayden. If the opportunity does not present itself, Jayden plans on volunteering his time and helping out with coaching because he can see how important the sport is for building character and integrity in young men.

Jayden has played hockey in the past but he thinks football is the true team sport of the two. “In hockey warm ups, the team was told to skate around the rink and it was a race,” said Jayden “However, in football warm ups when we were told to run around the field, if you finished first, you went back out and ran in with the team members that weren’t quite finished. You never left a man behind.”

“I will forever hear the words of Coach Robin Mead “Integrity boys, Integrity!” exclaimed Jayden. During the offseason, Jayden plans on keeping his cardio strong and he hopes to add some mass to his size, but endurance is key.

“Football means a lot, it’s like a family.” The players are your brothers and the coaches are your parents. They care about each other, they accept each other, and help each other no matter what. Coach Gino Guarino told them that it doesn’t matter how good you are, if the other 11 people on the field don’t have your back, you are alone and football is not a sport where you can be alone. Jayden thinks that life is like that. It’s much easier to have people who have your back and you never feel alone. He started to play football because sports kind of came easy to him and if he tried something, he could do it well.

“My mom thought that football might add some challenge to that and she was right. I remember my first practice, half way thru I was puking by a tree,” said Jayden. “I stopped drinking pop after that!”

In his first football game, Jayden was puking from nerves. He was scared to take that hit. He was small when he was young, and he was the scrawny kid. Jayden said, “Then it happened, I got hit. I got up, I didn’t die!” Jayden realized that it keeps you going and the equipment takes a lot off of you. Jayden then made his first great tackle. He explained, “I felt like I was huge, like I was a machine. My fear was gone. I sort of turned into a beast. They started calling Rammer because of my last name. I love the confidence that football gave me.”

The most influential people in Jayden’s life are his parents. Jayden’s parents divorced when he was in elementary, but have both remained actively involved in his and his brother’s lives. “They are not the typical divorced parents, they get along. They raise us and have never shown any conflict in front of us,” said Ramjohn. People always tell Jayden that it’s weird how well they get along, but he knows that it’s because they were mature enough to do what was right for him and his brother. Jayden added, “I never want to disappoint them because I know how much they sacrifice for us.”

In football, Jayden’s honored to have been influenced by some great men. Gino Guarino treated Jayden like a son of his from the very first year. Jayden mentioned, “I didn’t want to ever disappoint him”. Robin Mead is the definition of integrity. When Jayden was injured, Coach Mead would show up to make sure he was okay. “He wasn’t there to see if I would be able to play the next game, he was there because he cares for each and every one of us,” explained Ramjohn.

Sean Oleksewycz gave Jayden a hard time in his first year. The second year, Sean was a little easier on Jayden. By the third year, Jayden started to understand why. Oleksewycz was preparing them and wanted them to know that nothing would come easy. “He is like a big brother,” said Jayden of Oleksewycz. Al Oleksewycz was the guy that the team never wanted to disappoint. Al hugged Jayden on the field at the start of their last game. Jayden added, “It’s who he was, always showing the boys love and admiration.”

In life, like football you need a game plan. You need to figure out how you will come on top when you are feeling defeated. More importantly, you have to remember that it’s not all about you. Be aware of other’s feelings and who might need you. Every move you make results in an outcome, so you need to make wise choices. Overcome your fears, believe in yourself and believe that you have that support around you. “Don’t think that anything is impossible”. Nothing comes easy that is worth something. “You can’t show up to half of the practices and expect to be an all-star,” mentioned Jayden. “It takes hard work and dedication, but if you want something bad enough, you can accomplish it.”

On game day Jayden enjoys anything that is loaded with carbs. He has learnt during his young years that you can’t over-do it before the game. “A big bowl of fettuccine hits the spot, and takes better with a side of victory,” said Ramjohn.

Without football, Jayden would not have the confidence that he has. He’d probably be spending too much time playing video games or getting into trouble. Jayden said, “Football keeps you busy during the off-season, but it also instills good values.”

This season, Jayden was injured and the first thing he asked the doctor was if he could play in the next game. The doctor said “Yes, I think that football is crazy, but yes”. Personally Jayden thinks that there a lot of things out there that kids could be doing that are crazier and more dangerous. He explained, “We expect to get hit but that’s why you train and practice, you learn proper techniques so that serious injuries don’t occur.”

If it wasn’t for football Jayden would probably expect things to come easy, but the sport has taught him responsibility. You don’t get someone to carry your equipment, you carry it yourself with pride. You don’t leave the equipment on the field to get picked up, it’s your equipment, you all collect it. You don’t get mad because the other team beat you, because you beat yourself. Jayden concluded, “You make wise choices because you want your family on the field and in your home to be proud of you.”


Jayden Ramjohn
Defensive back
6’0,158 lbs

Teams: River East Kodiaks (High school: WHSFL), St. James Rods (Minor: MMFA)
Commitment: none
Official Visits: none
Considerations: open
Class: 2017


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