Dauphin's Mason Rody has been on quite the football ride for the past few years, and that ride is not stopping anytime soon.
As a part of the Dauphin Clippers football team, the 18-year-old was a part of three straight League Championships, and now the grade 12 is set to play his football in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL).
On June 7, Rody signed a contract with the Winnipeg Rifles, that will extend his football career and see him play against some of the best football players in Canada at the Jr. level.
"It's a really big honour," said Rody. "I've been wanting to continue my football career for the past couple years. I always made sure I went to practice, so I could get to the level I'm at right now."
"I've been working on my speed a ton," he added. "I'm flat-footed, so that's a problem, but I've been working on it. Last spring I went to Winnipeg once or twice a week for Team Manitoba tryouts and other camps. I'm working my hardest, and it's awesome to sign with the Rifles."
Making the Rifles is extra special for Mason. Because he's from Dauphin, it's harder to make a major city team because of the skill that comes from the big city, but obviously, that didn't stop Rody from making a great impression which led to the signing.
"It feels really good," said Rody. "They're 80 guys on the team, and they signed just five guys from outside of Winnipeg, and that includes players from out of the province as well. I'm the only guy from Rural Manitoba, so it feels amazing."
For now, Mason will continue to work on his strength and conditioning in town, before moving to Winnipeg in mid-July, where he'll meet his billets and get ready to get to the grind with the team.
"I'm really looking forward to meeting new people, and having new experiences," he added. "I love being in the city and seeing all the lights. It's a stress reliever for me."
Rody know's it won't be an easy transition to the league, but he's had past experiences that he believes will help him.
"I definitely think winning those Championships will help me succeed," said Rody. "It won't be easy, but I love being in the big game and having more pressure on me. It pushes me to be better. It'll be a fun experience."
"I don't think it'll take me too long to get used to the pace and style of play," he added. "Realistically, I'm thinking a few games at most."
When Mason takes a look back at when he knew he wanted to play football, he's got a pretty cool story to tell.
"When I was about nine-months-old I was in a shopping cart with my mom, and she tossed a ball at me and I caught it," said Rody. "Ever since then, my parents would grow up throwing balls at me, and I always loved it."
Rody and the Rifles play their first game on August 18 against the Edmonton Wildcats at Investors Group Field.
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