#CFCOVFL: Andrews key to Spears defence

Jack Andrews began playing for the Niagara Spears of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) at the age of 13.

In his first year, he was selected to the OVFL Bantam All-Star team.  Recently, he participated in the Ontario Prospect Challenge (OPC) representing Team West.

Andrews is currently a starting linebacker for the Varsity Spears squad.  He leads the team in defensive points with 27 assisted tackles, 15 solo tackles, a solo sack, batted ball, interception and a touchdown.

The 6’0 190 pound linebacker has accomplished success the past two seasons but has done so playing through multiple injuries.

During Week 1 of the 2014 OVFL season against the Essex Ravens, Andrews broke his left hand. He played through the injury for the remainder of the season, finishing second on the team’s defensive statistics sheet with 49 tackles, eight sacks, a batted ball and a fumble recovery.

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One year later, his left hand has completely healed.  In the first practice after the season opener, Andrews unfortunately suffered another injury, this time breaking his right hand. The linebacker sat out the following three weeks (the first week was the Spears’ bye).

In Week 5, he returned back in the lineup to play against the Cambridge Lions sporting a ‘club’ to cover up his casted hand. He registered a team leading 17 tackles and a batted ball.

“These injuries haven’t held me back at all, but rather made me a better football player, fundamentally,” he said.  “They have forced me to get to the ball quicker and better utilize my tackling skills.”

 

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The young athlete attributes a lot of the Spears’ current success to the people he is constantly surrounded by on the field.

“A big part of our success comes from the outstanding coaching staff.” he said. “We also have incredibly talented individuals on the team.”

Andrews considers this season with the Spears to be the highlight of his entire career.
“Being only sixteen years old and starting for the varsity team has really shown me the all of my hard work is paying off,” said the linebacker.

The standout plays for the Dennis Morris Redmen of the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association (NRHSAA).  He will be heading into his senior year this fall.

He has been recruited by several CIS schools  including McMaster, Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier but is not in a rush to make a decision.

“I will probably return for a victory lap, but I think I’ll make my decision on a university by the end of grade 12,” said Andrews, who is planning on studying Sociology in university and then to pursue law soon after.

Jack’s family has played a very large role in his development as a player and person.

“They push me each and every day to be my best on and off the field as a student and an athlete,” he explained. “I would also like to think I get some inner strength from my nana, who has been battling cancer and winning for several years now.”

Jack hopes to play a role in the Spears’ quest to achieving their goal of making a championship appearance in the coming weeks.

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