Volume 92, Issue 89
Wednesday, March 18, 1999
St. John still a 'Stang at heart
John Sokolowski/Argo file photo
By Sean Maraj
Once upon a time, the Western Mustang football team went undefeated through an entire season, culminating in a national championship. Leading this charge towards perfection was an offensive lineman by the name of Jude St. John.
Time moves along and the storybook team with the undefeated season has been left behind in the memory of 1994. St. John has also moved on, currently a starting offensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts.
The London native graduated from Western with a degree in kinesiology and in 1995 completed a masters in education. After finishing his schooling, St. John was drafted in the second round by Hamilton. He played three years in the Canadian Football League before landing a starting position with the Argos. Four years have passed since St. John dominated the playing field at J.W. Little Stadium, but coach Larry Haylor still remembers his former captain fondly.
"Any football team would have coveted him for his athletic ability. When he came in first year we challenged him to be a good player. He was one of our best," Haylor said.
Haylor's praise is not an exaggeration. In 1994 St. John didn't give up a sack against the opposition. He was quick on his feet and in many respects proved to be better athletically than many of the smaller defensive players, Haylor said.
The trait of any good captain is to be able to get along with the other members of the team. Greg Marshall, Western's offensive line coach in 1994, remembered St. John as a great captain and friend.
"Jude was everyone's friend and was well liked," Marshall reflected. "He was a great guy with a great personality. He made going to practice a lot of fun. He was probably the best guy I ever coached."
Marshall shareed Haylor's sentiment on St. John's playing ability.
"He was an outstanding player," he said. "He was a great leader and a great team guy. He was a positive leader who made everyone feel comfortable. I am really proud of him. He is in the pros and that shows his ability. Like I said before, he is probably the best guy that I ever coached."
Although now in the big leagues, St. John still looks back fondly of his days at Western.
"In 1994 the national championship and the undefeated season was definitely a highlight," he said, when asked for his most memorable moment.
"Being at Western was fun. I still have friends that I keep in touch with and it is where I started dating my wife."
Western is now behind the former Mustang captain and a new season with the Argos awaits. Although he begins the season as a starter with high expectations, he understands the rigors of the pro game. He has already begun planning for the time when his professional football days are behind him.
"I've been supply teaching in London. When I'm done playing, I plan to go into teaching as a career. My roots are here in London and when I'm done playing I'll probably be living and teaching in London."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999