By: Director of Athletic Communications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio -- Baldwin Wallace University Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference offensive lineman Andrew Sierawski (Delaware/ Rutherford B. Hayes) has been selected as a 2017-2018 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award-winner. He will be recognized at the NFF's Northeast Ohio Annual Banquet on March 6 at LaCentre in Wesatlake, Ohio.
On the Football Field
Sierawski, a mathematics and education major with a 3.54 grade point average, was a four-year varsity contributor and three-year starter in football who three times received Academic All-OAC accolades. He also wrestled for three seasons, earned three letters and twice was both Academic All-OAC and a NWCA (National Wrestling Coaches Association) Scholar All-American.
During his four seasons on the varsity, Sierawski helped BW compile a 21-19 record and averaged nearly 30 points and 400 yards of total offense per game. For his efforts this fall, Sierawski was named as the Dick Van Almen Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman at the team's annual awards banquet on Jan. 14.
More important than his play on the field was his leadership in the revival of the gridiron program at BW. As a senior, BW finished 6-4 overall under new Head Coach Jim Hilvert and set the tone for future success. He was a leader in the locker room.
"We are extremely pleased to have Andrew representing the Baldwin Wallace University football and athletics program at the annual National Football Foundation dinner," said first-year Head Coach Jim Hilvert. "Andrew is an outstanding student, athlete and team-leader."
On the Wrestling Mat
On the wrestling mat, Sierawski battled his first two seasons for mat time and compiled marks of 15-9 and 17-7 before having a 23-7 slate with 14 pins and an individual title at the Manchester (Ind.) University Spartan Mat Classic a year ago. In addition to his 55-23 career record with 26 pins, he helped the Yellow Jackets compile a three-year record of 57-16 with a pair of OAC titles, two second place finishes at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Tournament and strong showings at the 2016 and 2017 NCAA Div. III National Championships.
The Scholar-Athlete on Campus
In addition to being an outstanding football player and wrestler and student-athlete, Sierawski is a Dean's List student, a Jacket Scholar and a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletics and Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics) honor societies.
"I am grateful to Baldwin Wallace and the National Football Foundation for this honor," said Sierawski, who intends to return to the Columbus area where he grew up and teach and coach football and wrestling. "I don't intend on going to grad school right away, but plan to do so after I establish myself as a teacher and coach."
He Hopes to Dispel the Misconception of Linemen and Heavyweights
"I believe that being an offensive lineman and a heavyweight wrestler, people don't really see your impact as much as the quarterback or running back in football or the lighter weight wrestler," said Sierawski. "So, I think my impact on my teammates, coaches, and the program outweighed anything I could have done on the field.
"I hoped to show people that it's possible to get good grades and play a collegiate sport, and it's even possible to play two and get good grades," continued Sierawski. "I also think that I showed people that hard work and determination are key attributes to have on the field, in the classroom, and in the workplace. You can do anything you set your mind to."
Playing Two Sports
"Contributing to two teams allowed me to have twice the amount of experiences that normal student-athletes have," said Sierawski. "I was introduced to more people, from different backgrounds and cultures. The relationships I formed while on both the football and wrestling teams have allowed me to learn more and allowed others to know about me. These are friendships that will last a lifetime."
This story was edited by KR on January 30, 2018