Football is a labour of love for KJ Kenemy, who has been coaching and running leagues since he was 15 years old. For the last three years, he’s been coaching and on the executive of London’s Jr. Mustangs. Now, he’s director of football operations for the club, and also serves as head coach of the Mustangs’ Bantam squad.
In his current coaching role, Kenemy is focused on skill development with his Bantam athletes, who have enjoyed a good start to the 2016 season.
“We have some second year players who went through some adversity last year and became stronger because of it, and they’re now leading our team this season,” said Kenemy. “Overall, we’ve got 46 kids who are dedicated to improving.”
Under new president Mike Circelli, the Mustangs are committed to following the mandate of limiting two-way players. The result so far has been fewer injuries compared to the 2015 season, when the Jr. Stangs’ year went awry after nine key players were felled by injury. This year, though, the team started off healthy and jumped out to a 3-1 start.
Some of the team’s key players are Chris Weber (centre), Raeshawn Blake (wide receive & safety), Ethan Chambers (quarterback), Luke Styles (defense), and Oliver Griffiths (special teams).
The Bantam Jr. Mustangs also have a strong coaching staff. Under Kenemy, the team boasts an aggressive defense coordinator, Chris Taylor, and a highly effective linebacker & special teams coach, Jamike Njoku. Jeremy O’Neil, a second-year player on the Western Mustangs, is serving as offensive line coach. The Bantams’ equipment, team & assistant team managers are Sharon and Stewart Braid and Jennifer Griffiths, while Jeff Eaves is the parent representative. Brett Stiles is the team’s ‘eye in the sky.’
Kenemy, who also coaches at CCH, says his Bantam squad can only practice twice per week, so it’s important to prioritize what the team works on.
“Our focus is on 10 key plays, and then we have wrinkles off each play,” the coach said. “As coaches, we try to put the kids in successful positions and realistic game schemes.”
Story By SportsXpress Team, contributions by Jason Kenemy and photo by Picture Day Photography