Mind of McCabe: Life in the CJFL, and why you should care

He was a Metro Bowl champion with the Markham District Marauders, and there were plenty of universities knocking on the door prepared to deliver their picture perfect pitch about why he should join their program. There was an issue however, this star athlete didn’t have much interest in the whole university side of things.

Rather than going through the protocol of choosing an U Sports institution to carve out his path to the pros, he was set on learning the family trade in order to work for his father’s electrical business. University was essentially useless to him when he took a big picture view, so it was the Hamilton Hurricanes of the Canadian Junior Football League who stepped up to fill the football void while he was working on a totally different craft off the field.

This is the story of wide receiver Matt Coates, who is currently attending training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after spending the first three years of his career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Coates’ story is just one of the many littered throughout the CJFL, which is a league where players can pursue their football dreams outside of the university system.


Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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