Linebacker Kunaszyk named NorCal League Defensive Player of the Year


ARC linebacker Jordan Kunasyzk tackles SDJC tight end Johhny Weirnicki during the Gridiron Classic Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. ARC lost 24-17 in overtime. (Photo by Jordan Schauberger)

Matthew Peirson

American River College football linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 for the NorCal League by the California Community College Athletics Association, the second consecutive year the award has gone to an ARC player.

Kunaszyk finished the season with 118 tackles and three sacks, averaging 10.7 tackles per game.

Kunaszyk is close friends with former ARC defensive lineman Jordan Carrell, who won the award in 2014 and now plays at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“I actually think it’s cool (because) my buddy won the award last year and he actually went to my high school, so it’s good to keep the award at AR and in Roseville,” Kunaszyk said.

Kunaszyk said he and Carrell have been good friends since middle school.

“I still talk to him all the time, in fact I talked to him today,” Kunaszyk said.

Kunaszyk and Carrell played together at Roseville High School, with Carrell being a year older. Kunaszyk was a medical redshirt for ARC in 2014, making 2015 his freshman playing season.

Carrell said he was pleased to learn Kunaszyk had received the award for 2015.

“It’s a big award, I’m glad ARC was able to represent it,” Carrell said. “I was excited when I heard my boy got the award.”

Carrell said discipline is a key factor in everything that Kunaszyk does.

“On and off the field,” Carrell said. “He’s disciplined in the classroom, and I think that carries to the football field with studying film. And he’s a leader.”

Lou Baiz, ARC’s defensive coordinator, coached both players in their respective award-winning seasons and said it was a “great accomplishment” for Kunaszyk’s work on the field to be recognized.

“He wasn’t even playing middle linebacker to start the season, we had to move him in there (because of injuries),” Baiz said. “He’s very instinctive and he plays with a great motor.”

Kunaszyk would be eligible to play at ARC in 2016 due to his redshirt season in 2014, but said that it “depends on how recruiting goes.”

He currently has one offer from UNLV, and is likely to receive more offers in the coming weeks.

Regardless of what the next move is, he said he will appreciate the time spent at ARC when he does move on.

“There’s no junior college I’d rather be at than American River College,” Kunaszyk said.