2009 Ironwood Ridge grad honored as UA student-athlete - The Explorer: Sports

2009 Ironwood Ridge grad honored as UA student-athlete

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Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 10:16 am, Fri Jul 27, 2012.

When University of Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer isn’t on the field sacking quarterbacks or tackling running backs, the 2009 Ironwood Ridge graduate might be found off the field diving into community service.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Wildcats’ linebacker was recently nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of college football’s most prestigious off-the-field honors, for his involvement in making a difference in his community.

Fischer, a junior on the field and senior in the classroom,  said he is honored to be nominated for the award, and couldn’t help but include his teammates in the recognition.

“I love our team because somebody is always looking to set something up in the community, and we all help each other out” he said. “We are blessed with this exposure, and we are blessed to be here. Giving back to the community is something we will continue to do.”

Some of Fischer’s community service accomplishments include: assisting with Special Olympics competitions, completing yard work for elderly low-income residents, working at the Community Food Bank, buffelgrass cleanup, and visiting sick children in local hospitals.

Fischer said the team is soon planning another trip to the University of Arizona’s Diamond Children’s Hospital, where they meet and greet patients, and give away Wildcats souvenirs and gear.

“The kids really seem to enjoy it,” he said. “Some of them will come up and give us hugs, which is pretty cool. The school always gives us more to give away than there are rooms to visit, so kids are able to get a lot of cool stuff. It’s really an awesome experience.”

Kathy Mabe, president of Allstate’s west regions’ and a member of the 2012 Good Works Team voting panel, said this year’s nominees have gone above and beyond years past.

“The nominees have some of the most impressive community service resumes in the program’s 21-year history,” she said. “These young men continue to raise the bar for the impact that student athletes can have on others, and are an inspiration to Allstate, our agents, and our employees.”

Of the 117 nominees for the award, a selection panel will choose two 11-player Good Works Teams to be announced in September. The two teams will be divided into Division IA, and the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and NAIA. Sports information directors nominate student athletes across the nation on behalf of their schools.

Molly O’Mara, associate director of communication services for University of Arizona athletics, said Fischer is representative of what every student-athlete should be.

“From the field, to the classroom, to the community, he has such a great impact,” she said. “He is great with people, with media, with professors, with kids. It’s encouraging to see, and he is such a great example for his teammates.”

Fischer said making the final selection would be a unique experience, but added that his desire to give back to the community isn’t merely to win an award.

“I’m not competing with others just to see who can go out and do the most community service,” he said. “I grew up here, and I love doing what I can to give back to the place I grew up. The kids and our community come first. If everyone could give back, it would make our community that much better.”

Past recipients of the Allstate Good Works Team include Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning.

Fischer is expected to return to the field this year after suffering a spring ball knee injury in 2011. In 2010, Fischer finished the season with 58 tackles, two sacks, and a fumble recovery in 13 games.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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