Fantuz Courage Awards: Jason Preece overcame tragedy with the help of football

In both life and football, a person must overcome adversity and tough challenges to succeed and go far. Few stories echo this sentiment more than the journey of young Jason Preece, a London Minor Football player who made it through one of the most difficult times imaginable and is still moving forward.

Preece was playing in his second year for the LMFA Atom Wolverines last season when he and his family were faced with an enormous tragedy after his father, Jeff, passed away. While many would understandably want to quit in such a trying situation, Preece chose to honour his father by suiting up and playing in his football game that week.

For Preece, playing in the game was something he knew deep down that he wanted to do.

“I never had to make a decision; I never thought of not playing,” Preece said. “My dad loved football and would not have wanted me to miss the game. My mom supported me on this too.”

Preece’s mother, Lisa, has been a huge pillar of strength in his life.

She knew that his father would have encouraged him to participate that week.

“His father would have wanted him to play in the game,” Lisa Preece said. “His father loved football.  Life still goes on!”

Not only did Preece join his team on the field during that tragic week, but in what was a special moment to remember, the young player reached the end zone.

“Scoring the touchdown felt great,” Preece said. “My dad would have been proud.”

In a fitting tribute, Preece’s Wolverine teammates dedicated the game to him and his father. Preece said it meant a lot to him to receive that dedication, and his mother watched on with joy during that emotional moment.

“I was very proud,” Lisa Preece said. “I was so impressed with the way his team supported him.  It still brings tears to my eyes.”

Lisa Preece was not surprised that her son was able to stay so mentally strong during this extremely hard time in his young life.

It does not take long to realize that Preece is mature beyond his years.

“Jason is a very smart, strong, independent kid,” Lisa Preece said. “He loves playing his sports. It keeps him strong and focused.”

Part of Preece’s mental strength does indeed come from the sports he loves to play, along with all the caring people he has in his life to be there for him when things get tough.

“Football has been very helpful for Jason,” Lisa Preece said. “He had a great support system of family, friends, coaches, teammates and teachers to get him through a difficult time.  Jason loves all the sports he plays including football, soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, golf and bowling. His sports keep him active and focused.”

In recognition of his tremendous display of character and strong spirit, Preece was recently honoured by CFL receiver Andy Fantuz along with a group of other young players in London Minor Football. Preece got to meet Fantuz and attend a Hamilton Tiger-Cats game with him, while also receiving some new football gear from Xenith.

“It was extremely fun to meet Andy and receive the new gear,” Preece said. “Andy was really nice and we had a great chat about all the other activities we enjoy, like bowling. The football gear is awesome and so comfortable. I can’t wait to wear it this season.”

Preece wants to continue playing the game he loves for as long as he can. He said he really enjoys playing team sports because he gets to make new friends and have fun with them. Always a team player, Preece has lined up as a running back, safety and kicker for the Wolverines.

“I love playing football and plan to play in the future,” Preece said. “My mom has already talked to me about picking a high school that has a great football program.”

Having made it through the hardest personal adversity one can go through, Preece is continuing to move forward with a smile on his face. His advice for other kids going through the same thing is all about staying positive and making the most out of life.

“My advice is be strong and do what you enjoy in life!” Preece said.



Andy Fantuz will be honoring minor football athletes who have demonstrated outstanding character by overcoming adversity. The nominees will receive free Xenith helmets and shoulder pads courtesy of Andy Fantuz and Fulton Financial.

To nominate a player, please email us at CLICK HERE for more details.



About Xenith

Developed in Detroit, Xenith is driven by a relentless pursuit to protect athletes everywhere through groundbreaking innovations and product superiority. Xenith is the industry leader in football helmet technology and the company’s mission is to develop and distribute the best equipment in the world. Founded in 2006 by a former Harvard University quarterback and Columbia University physician, all Xenith helmets feature Adaptive Head Protection, a system of patented technologies designed to mitigate rotational and linear forces featuring the Shock Bonnet® Suspension System, Fit Seeker System and Shock Absorbers.

For more information, please visit or engage with us on Twitter @XenithFootball and Facebook.

About Fulton Financial

Developed in Based in London, ON, Fulton Financial provides a full suite of financial services products. 

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply

Loading cart ...