Huge week for Western Mustangs and London Jr. Mustangs

In a week when the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship found a home far away from London, Ont. and Waterloo and the London Knights season came to a dramatic end in overtime in Game 7 against Kitchener, the local football world has offered up a whole lot of happy stories.

The Western Mustang football team was named Ontario University Athletics men’s team of the year and four Western Mustang players and one London Jr. Mustangs graduate were selected in the 2022 CFL Draft.

Sage Doxtator, another former Jr. Mustang signed with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.

Read more: Western Mustangs win the 113th Yates Cup

The Mustang football team captured their second Vanier Cup championship since 2017 when they defeated the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in December of 2021.

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Western lost just once during the season and produced the OUA Rookie of the Year in quarterback Evan Hillock and Deionte Knight who was given the J.P. Metras Award as OUA lineman of the year.

Read more: Kitchener Rangers knock off London Knights in Game 7 thriller

Knight’s week got even better on two other occasions.

The Ajax, Ont., native went to the Toronto Argonauts with the first pick in the second round of the May 3 CFL Draft.

Knight also received an invite to two NFL rookie camps. He will get to showcase his talents along the defensive line in front of the Washington Commanders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Six picks after Knights was selected by the Argos, the Saskatchewan Roughriders called the name of London, Ont.’s Zack Fry. Fry was a pillar on Western’s offensive line in 2021.

Read more: Western Mustangs football head coach Greg Marshall reflects on Dr. Darwin Semotiuk

Mustang defensive back Daniel Valente went to the Ottawa Redblacks in round four. The London, Ont. native is also a graduate of the Jr. Mustangs program.

Linebacker Zach Lindley of Chatham, Ont., was taken in the 8th round by the Montreal Alouettes. Lindley had 39.5 tackles, one sack and two interceptions for Western this year.

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An injury kept Doxtator out of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl but the Saints handed the offensive lineman from Oneida Nation of the Thames a contract. Doxtator has been playing at the University of New Mexico and has started 48 games at left tackle.

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