Mustang herd grows with addition of local recruits

Mustangs add four London area commits to their 2017 commitment class.

They come from opposing schools, but now Noah Johns, a wide receiver from the London South Collegiate Institute, Peter Brown, an offensive lineman from Catholic Central Secondary School, Jack Hancock, an offensive lineman from Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School and Dawson Hitsman, a lineman from East Elgin Secondary School, will be university teammates after signing their letter of intent with the Mustangs on Oct. 25.

Noah Johns at the Western signing table. Courtesy of Noah Johns.

Noah Johns at the Western signing table. Courtesy of Noah Johns.

His career began at the age of seven, and now Johns will continue his life-long pursuit of football with the Mustangs. Already coming from London, Ontario, Johns will not have far to travel to reach his new school. “I have grown up in London and my family is here. I have been watching the Mustangs play since I was little. Everyone I talked to on the team says it’s a great atmosphere and just a great family in general,” he said.

It was not only the closeness he has with the team that has led the young, 6’0, 175lbs receiver to chose Western. The academics also played a role. He said that Western has great support and great academics and that is what he loves about the school. While he is interested in studying statistics, he said he hasn’t deceived on what program to enter.

While the academics and atmosphere helped draw Johns in, it was the coaches that made him stay. He has played under the receivers coach, Coach Josh Malekzadeh, over the summer. He said that he and Coach Malekzadeh have a really good relationship.

“Also, me and Coach Marcus have built a friendship over this past year and I know I can trust him with anything and he has helped me a lot make the right decisions,” Johns said of the man who helped recruit him to Western.

South standout Noah Johns has committed to Western Football.

A photo posted by South Football (@southfball) on

(Noah Johns and Coach Marcus).

In his long career, Johns has played with the Westminster Wolverines (London Minor Football Association) and the South Lions (Thames Valley Regional Athletics) from 2014 until the present. In 2015, he was a member of the Forest City Thunderbirds (Ontario Football Conference) and in 2016, he was on the London Junior Mustangs (Ontario Varsity Football League). In the same year, he played with Team Ontario in the Football Canada Cup.

Last year, he was on the TVRA all-star team after his final performance versus the Lucas Vikings (TVRA). During the game, he had 205 yards on nine catches. In four games in the 2016 season, he has had 17 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns. While Johns is mainly a receiver, he also has experience as a defensive back and kick returner. During a game versus Banting this season, he had a touchdown on a punt return.

With his football future secured for the next four years, Johns can now put his full attention towards his high school team. He said, “Now I can prove to the city that we can win an OFSSA Bowl and show out the heart and talent we have on this team.”

Peter Brown had a long way to go when he moved from the United States to Canada, but he won’t have to move again. The product of the Catholic Central Crusaders (Thames Valley Regional Athletics) will be staying in his town of London, Ontario for the next five years. The offensive lineman was originally a native of West Hartford, Connecticut, but he has lived in London for around five years or so.

“Having lived in London, I have really been exposed to the Western football team and its style of play,” Brown said. “The education is top notch with great facilities.”

He added that his older brother will be in his last year of university when he enters his first year. “I am coming into an extremely comfortable situation with someone to show me the ropes,” he said.

While Brown joked about Greg Marshall, the Mustang’s head coach, the young football player has nothing but respect for his new coaches, who he said are fantastic.

“First and foremost, there is Coach Marshall at the helm who has an extensive history coaching not only at the CIS level, but also at the CFCL level. Position wise, Coach Circelli is a fantastic coach who I’ve had the pleasure to be under in the past on the Junior Mustangs,” Brown told

Brown is looking into the medical sciences or integrated science program at Western. In his career, he has played with the Crusaders and the London Junior Mustangs (Ontario Varsity Football League). In 2015, he won an Ontario Federation of School Athletics Associations with the Crusaders.

Although graduation is still a couple of months away, Brown is ready for the next chapter in his football career. He said, “I’m excited to be a part of the 2017 Western Mustangs.”

Jack Hancock (#61) with the Jr. Mustangs. Courtesy of Jack Hancock.

Jack Hancock (#61) with the Jr. Mustangs. Courtesy of Jack Hancock.

Jack Hancock will be bolstering the Mustang’s offensive line alongside Brown and Hitsman. Coming from London, Ontario, he said he chose Western because it was his hometown university. He added that he already had a very good feeling for the campus and their facilities. Due to his time with the Junior Mustangs, he has also gotten to know some of Western’s coaching and some of the current players on the team.

Despite his familiarity, Hancock said the first and foremost reason he picked Western was for the academics. He said the university offers the programs he is most interested in, such as health science and medical science. “They really appealed to me and I thought they best suited me,” he added.

Hancock currently plays for the Sir Wilfred Laurier Rams (TVRA). He has played with the Junior Mustangs in both junior varsity and varsity for the past three years. He also played minor football with London Minor Football from 2008-2011.

Jack Hancock with Coach Marcus. Courtesy of Jack Hancock.

Jack Hancock with Coach Marcus. Courtesy of Jack Hancock.

During his time with the Junior Mustangs, he has been able to become familiar with Coach Circelli, the offensive line coach at Western, who was the head coach of the team. “He was also a major influence on making my decision to come to western since I know his coaching style and expectations,” Hancock said.

“I really respect and admire him. Throughout the recruiting process, I’ve gotten to know a lot of the other coaches at western and they’ve all made me feel welcome,” he added.

In the summer of 2014, he won an OVFL championship with the JV Junior Mustangs. In the fall of 2014, he helped his junior Rams team win the B Division City Championship. In his grade 11 year (2015), he was named to the TVRA all-star team as an offensive lineman. In February of 2016, he was awarded the offensive line MVP during the Top Prospects camp in Hamilton, Ontario.

Dawson Hitsman. Courtesy of the OVFL.

Dawson Hitsman. Courtesy of the OVFL.

Dawson Hitsman will have a bit of a commute to Western. His hometown is Aymer, Ontario, which is forty minutes out from London, Ontario. He plays for the East Elgin Eagles (TVRA) and the London Junior Mustangs. In 2016, he was a member of Team Ontario in the Football Canada Cup. The 6’1, 300lbs lineman was an OVFL junior varsity all-star in 2015.


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