Mac linebacker nails down OUA rookie of the year award

McMaster Marauders’ linebacker Ryan Chmielewski is this year’s winner of the Norm Marshall Trophy for Ontario University Athletics Rookie of the Year.

Chmielewski, a true McMaster freshman out of St. Francis High School in St. Catharines, completed his first season of Canadian Interuniversity Sports football as middle linebacker for the Marauders. Playing in all eight regular season games, he was a top defender on a McMaster squad which had 503 total tackles (third in the OUA) and 394 solo tackles (second in the OUA).

Chmielewski’s 35 solo tackles was third best among all-time Marauders. He led McMaster with 50 total tackles (tied for 13th in the OUA), had 10 assists, and three sacks. He continued to perform in the Marauders’ only playoff game, accumulating another six solo tackles including a sack.

He made his debut with a game high seven solo tackles in the Marauders’ season opener against Wilfrid Laurier. In one monster game alone he accumulated a career high nine tackles, two assisted tackles, two sacks, and two fumble recoveries against Toronto.

While playing for the Niagara Spears Varsity Club in 2006, Chmielewski led the team with 24 solo tackles, including four sacks, and was second in total tackles with 34.

In other OUA awards announced on Thursday (Nov. 7), fourth-year quarterback Joshua Sacobie (Fredericton, NB) from the Ottawa Gee-Gees took home Most Valuable Player honours. As a result, the record breaking quarterback is the OUA’s nominee for the Hec Crighton award for the most outstanding player in Canada.

From the Queen’s Golden Gaels, Pat Sheahan picked up his second OUA Coach of the Year award. The eight-year head coach led the Golden Gaels to a 6-2 record, improving on their 4-4 record from 2006. Fourth-year offensive tackle from the Laurier Golden Hawks, Scott Evans (Cambridge) received the J.P. Metras award for OUA Lineman of the Year, while fellow teammate Anthony Maggiacomo took home the Standup Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The University of Toronto Varsity Blues, Mike Goncalves, is the OUA nominee for the CIS Russ Jackson Award, which combines athletics, academics and community involvement. In his fifth and final season, Goncalves has been a three-year captain, team leader and outstanding individual with the Varsity Blues Football program. He was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2007, and returned to the Varsity Blues for his final year.

All award recipients move on as the OUA nominees for their respective awards at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level. The All-Canadians Awards Ceremony, where individual national awards will be named, takes place Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.