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Kingston’s Aaron Gazendam is Ontario nominee for Russ Jackson Award

November 7, 2013

Aaron Gazendam of the Queen’s Golden Gaels is the Ontario University Athletics nominee for the Russ Jackson Award, one of the major individual honours in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football.

The award is presented annually to the player who best demonstrates athletic skill, academic achievement and citizenship. Each of the nation’s four conferences puts forward a nominee and the winner will be named later this month among the events leading up to the Vanier Cup game in Quebec City.

Gazendam had a career year with 162 yards receiving, from nine catches, as the Gaels finished second in the conference with a 7-1 record. His most memorable play came in overtime against Laurier, when, as holder for a field-goal attempt that was blocked, he alertly grabbed the ball, punted it into the end zone and, when when he saw it didn’t go through for a single point, dashed after it and smothered it for a game-winning touchdown.

A graduate of Holy Cross Secondary School in his fourth year of kinesiology studies, Gazendam has been an academic all-Canadian the last two years.

The grandson of former Gael Bill Huntley, Gazendam works to foster literacy and healthy lifestyles for elementary school students, volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club and is a peer tutor at Queen’s, where he’s also served on several leadership committees.

Among them, Gazendam has worked to end hazing at the university, and he was part of the Queen’s delegation — the only Canadian delegation — to attend a conference of the Novak Institute for the Prevention of Hazing at the University of Kentucky in June.

Gazendam joins a lengthy list of Queen’s players nominated for the Jackson award. Charlie Galunic was the first winner of the national honour in 1986. He was followed by Jock Climie in 1989 and Curtis McLellan in 2003.

Others from Queen’s nominated by their conference were T.J. Leeper (2009), Michael Douglas (2002) and Mark Robinson (1993).

The other OUA award winners announced Thursday in Hamilton are Western Mustangs quarterback Will Finch (most valuable player), Pawel Kruba of Western (top defensive player), Ettore Lattanzio of Ottawa (lineman of the year), Daniel Vandervoort of McMaster (rookie of the year), Greg Marshall of Western (coach of the year) and Western’s Paul Gleason (volunteer assistant coach of the year).

One Comment
  1. Mary Jane Huntley permalink

    Claude …Very nice article about Aaron. Thanks so much…he is a fine young man and we are very proud of him. Your articles are always well written and informative and we enjoy reading them.

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