Back on November 21, Zach Androschuk received the CIS’s Russ Jackson Award. It is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the attributes of academic achievement, football skill, and citizenship. I made mention of it here but wasn’t able to give it the attention that it and Androschuk deserved at the time. It was only one of many honours Androschuk received in 2012.
All Guelph alumni, his teammates and coaches, and fans of the Gryphon football program should be proud of Zach’s accomplishments and the positive attention he has brought the program, in addition to his contributions on the field.
From the OUA’s announcement that it was nominating Androschuk for the award:
On the field, the 6-foot-1, 195lb defensive back is a two-year captain of the special teams unit and a four-year starter who won the ‘Kyle Walters Trophy’ last year for being the ‘best-prepared’ player. This year during the Gryphons magical 2012 turn-around season, the veteran helped lead his team to a 7-1 regular season record. He was a crucial member of the special teams unit and finished the season with 30.5 total tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
During his five years with the team, the Sarnia, Ont. native has consistently been one of the Gryphons top performers in the classroom. He was named to the Dean’s Honour Roll every year and is a four-time Academic All-Canadian. In 2011 he held an 84.6% GPA while majoring in Biomedical Studies and was named the University of Guelph’s President’s Award winner for excellence in the classroom and on the field. He graduated with distinction from Biomedical Sciences in April of 2012 and was accepted to the University of Western Ontario Medical School for September 2012. After much consideration, the talented student-athlete decided to defer his Medical School acceptance for one year and return for his last season on the Gryphons football team. He is currently completing a Neuroscience Minor at Guelph that will be completed this December.
Androschuk also believes in being active in his community and has been instrumental in organizing the first “Guelph Wheels in Action”, a spinal cord injury fundraiser held at the University of Guelph. He’s also volunteered as a Brain Day Director, which is an outreach initiative where university students present to grades 4-6 on brain and spinal cord anatomy. This was a nationwide event that Androschuk helped bring to Guelph in 2011. Other volunteer work includes volunteering with St. Joseph’s Hospital spinal rehabilitation, acting as the Gryphon captain for the Big Brothers Bowl for Kids Sake fundraiser and working as a Believe to Achieve Motivational speaker traveling to local high schools to discuss the life and challenges of a varsity athlete.
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Some of the other honours Zach Androschuk received this season:
University of Guelph nominee for a Rhodes Scholarship
TheScore TV’s Player of the Game in the semi-final win over Queen’s
CIS Defensive Player of the Week
Pioneer Energy OUA Athlete of the Week
OUA Defensive Player of the Week
Gryphon Male Athlete of the Week
Gryphon Defensive Player of the Game (twice)