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Josh O'Brien/the Gauntlet

Athlete profile: Andrew Buckley

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His accomplishments include back-to-back MVP seasons at Rundle College and making the Canadian Intercollegiate Sport semi-finals with the Dinos, which he says were the best football memories of his life. His dad has been the most influential person in his life, from throwing the football in the backyard to coaching him up until university. Academically, he is a third-year kinesiology student who intends on going to medical school once he finishes his degree.

And now, after an injury to starter Eric Dzwilewski, Andrew Buckley is the new starting quarterback for the Dinos football team.

Buckley has seen first-hand what it takes to be a quarterback at the CIS level after backing up Dzwilewski for the past two seasons. Buckley has taken note of what Dzwilewski has accomplished incase he would have to carry the team should something happen to the starter.

“I’ve learned lots from him,” said Buckley, noting Dzwilewski’s ability to read the opposition’s defence and make adjustments accordingly. “He is very proficient at his own read and just watching him the last couple of years doing his own read has helped me immensely.”

In the Dinos’s first game of the 2013 CIS season against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, Dzwilewski went down with a season-ending broken foot. Now Buckley has been thrown into the fire.

The Calgarian has taken on the role of starting quarterback for a youthful Dinos squad, who are a respectable 3–0 early in the season. He is embracing the opportunity that has been given to him.

“It’s a good feeling to be in this spot,” said Buckley. “I have worked hard for it the last couple of years, so I feel prepared mentally and physically. As a team they are really responding to me being in there.”

Having been the back-up quarterback for the last couple of seasons, Buckley is going to take what he learned from Dzwilewski and implement it into his execution on the field.

“Basically I look at my job as managing the field — whether it’s getting the first downs when we need to or getting the mindset in the huddle right and keep the ball moving,” said Buckley.

When he’s not on the football field, Buckley is inclined to enjoy the outdoors. Buckley likes spending time outside, either camping or hiking. He took this passion for adventure a step further in 2011, when he was involved in a humanitarian trip to Guatemala. The experience of going to Guatemala was a highlight of Buckley’s personal life so far.

“We built stoves for people who had fire pits in their houses, which created terrible pollution for their lungs,” said Buckley. “We just wanted to provide cleaner air, and as an experience it was an unbelievable time with 12 of my best friends from high school.”

Buckley realizes that carrying this young team deep into the season and into the playoffs will be a challenge. However he is confident that taking over as starting quarterback will be a seamless transition.

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