Beaudry shining at quarterback in the Florida sun

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Mike Beaudry is a Florida-based quarterback with unlikely ties to Regina.

He grew up in the Queen City before moving to Orlando with his parents — Duane and Kimberley Beaudry — in 2004.

Fast forward to 2017 and the redshirt freshman is the starting quarterback with the University of West Florida Argonauts, who are to play the host Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks in Saturday’s NCAA Division II football national semi-final.


Regina product and University of West Florida quarterback Mike Beaudry with his mother, Kimberley Beaudry. Photo courtesy Duane Beaudry.

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“My teammates are always giving me crap about being Canadian, so it’s kind of funny,’’ Beaudry said recently from Pensacola. “They make fun of me or try to talk to me with an accent or something like that.’’

Beaudry’s parents grew up in Regina and still have family in the city. Despite those connections, Duane dreamed of living in a warmer climate.

“I had coming to Florida in mind when I was in elementary school,’’ Duane said. “I just needed some place where there were palm trees and no snow and that was always my goal. It finally happened 12 years ago when we were able to pull it together.’’

While in Regina, Mike Beaudry attended Argyle Elementary School and played with Regina Minor Football’s atom Kats. In Orlando, he originally focused on soccer, but was eventually drawn to football.

He would then go on to become UWF’s first-ever signee, as the Argonauts were embarking on their first season of NCAA football. A broken leg suffered by Beaudry in a spring game kept him on the sideline for the entire 2016 season.

He made up for it in UWF’s second season by being named the Gulf South Conference’s offensive freshman of the year after throwing for 2,811 yards and 26 touchdowns in 12 games.

The Argonauts are the first second-year NCAA team to reach the playoffs since the Division II post-season was established in 1973. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the Division II national championship, Dec. 16 in Kansas City.

“I’m so excited because I don’t know how you could have expected something like this to happen in our second year and my first year playing,’’ Mike said. “Just to be in the semi-finals is so cool.’’

Even though he lives in Florida, Mike remains a fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He watches all their games on ESPN3 and even took in some tryout camps in Florida and Alabama as a spectator.

“The Riders were in Alabama and there was no way that I couldn’t go see them,’’ Mike said.

Mike also used Instagram to reach out to Brandon Bridge when the Canadian-born quarterback, now with the Roughriders, was with the Montreal Alouettes. Bridge signed with the Riders in August of 2016 after being released by the Alouettes.

“He messaged me back and then I was so pumped when he went to the Riders,’’ Mike said.

Mike and Bridge share more than being Canadian quarterbacks. Both of them are 6-foot-5. At 240 pounds, Mike is 10 pounds heavier than Bridge.

“He’s a great playmaker and an awesome quarterback,’’ Mike said. “Whenever I watch him play, I try to mimic his game.’’

Mike’s initial goal is to play in the NFL after completing his studies at UWF. If not, the 20-year-old quarterback knows that the CFL is an option.

“It’s exciting for me because it’s such a good opportunity down the road,’’ Mike said. “Growing up in Regina, it was always my dream to play for the Roughriders and now I’m getting closer and closer to that being a reality. If I get a shot at the NFL, I would definitely take that.’’

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