Surla, John


Player Name
Surla, John
2001 - Present
Inducted January 2016
John Surla started his football career in the Niagara Regional Minor Football Association and easily became a community standout. During his time at Saint Michael Catholic High School, he was named team captain and defensive player of the year. The attention did not stop with the local community; he was also selected to play for both Team Ontario and Team Canada.
While playing for Team Canada, John helped the team to gold with a victory over the United States to win the 2007 NFL Global Junior Championship. With this high level of success, Surla was heavily recruited to play in the collegiate ranks. Ultimately, he stayed a Mustang, and the University of Western Ontario (UWO) Mustangs surged to the pinnacle of Ontario University Athletics (OUA) football.
The Western Mustangs were Yates Cup (Provincial) Champions in 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2008 they went on to win the Mitchell Bowl and a berth to the Vanier Cup, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Football finals. Surla started all four years of his university career and contributed vastly to his team’s success. He was also the UWO Rookie of the Year, two-time UWO Defensive Player of the Year, OUA Defensive Player of the Year, three-time OUA All Star, two-time CIS second team All Star and a CIS first team All Star.
With all this collegiate success, professional teams were leery of John’s capabilities at the professional level due to his size. However, in 2010, John signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and then the Montreal Alouettes as a free agent. John is an excellent role model for not only football prospects but for the next generation of athletes.
Niagara Falls Virtual Sports Wall of Fame
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Surla, John