February 4, 2022 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

It’s the ultimate reward for a dedicated student-athlete: getting a degree and a chance to compete on a national sports stage after graduation. For Zach Zynomirski, his dream of making it to the Canadian Football League (CFL) is one step closer. The fourth-year Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) student and former Western Mustang has been signed by the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Zynomirski was contacted by Calgary immediately after Western’s 27-21 victory over Saskatchewan in the 2021 Vanier Cup.

As with all our student-athletes, King’s was very supportive of Zynomirski. He says the support allowed him to successfully manage his time and prioritize things that mattered most. “In terms of commitment, being a Mustang football player demands a full work week at the stadium,” he explains.

He had put much of his life except football on hold as the Mustangs competed for the national championship. After the Vanier Cup win, Zynomirski become “ultra-focused” on his studies and working towards completing his degree in BMOS Honours Specialization in Finance and Administration during the Winter 2022 term.

Taking BMOS at King’s has been “amazing,” says Zynomirski. He says the professors in the program did “a fantastic job” of providing “valuable insights to prepare me for life after school.”

Then came the call from the Stampeders.

“This was a bit of a life-changing call. I was very excited to find out that I was being offered an opportunity to play football professionally. I have put so much time and effort into football throughout the years and seeing all the hard work pay off has been very satisfying. I look forward to joining the Stampeders and with this comes the responsibility of continued training and practise to ensure success,” says Zynomirski.

While Zynomirski says he is taking everything one day at a time, he wants to one day combine what he has learned on the playing field and in the King’s classroom. “This amazing professional sports experience will help me in the business world one day,” he says, adding that “constantly balancing my academics and football has allowed me to improve my time management skills and help me develop my strong work ethic.”

The stint in Calgary is also bittersweet. It will be the first time he will not be playing alongside his twin brother, Jacob. They started together in London minor football and played high school and summer league football with the Jr. Mustangs.  Zach and Jacob have not just played football together, they have also studied together. They are both completing the BMOS Honours Specialization in Finance and Administration program with a plan to complete their degrees this term.

“He (Jacob) is always there to help me with schoolwork and push me to excel with my academics. Jacob has also helped me become the football player I am. He is always there to give me support and practice with me. We’ve pushed each other in both our academic and athletic endeavours,” Zach says of his twin.

Zach Zynomirski played four seasons with the Mustangs, serving as their long snapper - a special teams player who snaps the ball to the punter and holder. Zynomirski had become a long snapper while playing for the Saunders Secondary School Sabres in Grade 10. Being a Mustang runs in the family. In addition to having a brother as a Mustang, their father, Ed, played defensive end for the team from 1983 to 1986.

Zach recorded nine tackles during his four seasons including two tackles during Western’s 2021 Vanier Cup victory.

He says his two favourite memories of playing with the Mustangs were of the Vanier Cup victories in 2017 (a 39-17 victory against Laval) and the 2021 win. However, after the loss in the 2018 Vanier Cup to Laval, Zynomirski says he realized “a loss is a learning experience that you must reflect upon and use to never lose the lesson.”

The 2021 victory was extra special as it followed the season shut down in 2020 and the uncertainty of the 2021 season.

“To share the 2021 season with such an amazing group of guys, coaches, and the entire Mustang family was amazing. I will never forget the feeling right after we won the Vanier in Quebec and the snow started falling,” says Zynomirski.

London Free Press coverage of Zynomirski signing: https://lfpress.com/sports/local-sports/long-shot-londoner-who-started-as-fill-in-snapper-in-grade-10-off-to-cfl

Photo courtesy of Zachary Zynomirski - Zachary (#47) is on the left, his brother Jacob (#46) is on the right.