The New England Free Jacks signed Nick Hryekewicz for the 2021 season. The 24-year-old hooker is 5’9″ and 230lbs and competed for the D1A Saint Mary’s College of California Gaels Rugby team.
Nick is from Sacramento, California, and attended Rio Americano High School. He played youth rugby with Land Park Rugby Club and later with the Sacramento Eagles in high school. He was also the latter Club’s Vice President in 2015. He played football in high school and had varied interests, including being the editor in chief of the school’s newspaper.
Following his graduation from high school, he attended Saint Mary’s College of California from 2015-2019 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology, Health, and Human Performance. He was a four-year first-team player and hooker and prop and started his final two seasons. While at St. Mary’s the Gaels advanced to the D1A quarterfinalists, semifinalists, and were national champions.
Nick also was honored in being named to the California Collegiate Conference team in 2020. In 2019 he was also selected for the Rugby Americas North combine in Glendale, CO where he trained with the talented emerging players in North and South America and played flanker for the academy side in the Aspen Ruggerfest.
New England Free Jacks Comments
“This is an amazing opportunity to improve my skills and contribute all I can to the Free Jacks,” commented Hryekewicz. “At Saint Mary’s, I had to fight every day in order to get to the top, and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”
“Nick exemplified true grit throughout his time at Saint Mary’s College, improving each year and eventually becoming the anchor of our scrum,” said SMC Assistant Coach, Brendan O’Meara. “ You won’t find a better teammate and selfless contributor to the goals of an organization.”
The “Bear” as referred to by his teammates, spent time at hooker, loose and tighthead prop, and adds immense versatility to the Free Jacks front-row stocks. His broad skill-set and lively style of play has proved invaluable to date and will be sure to make him a stand out for Free Jacks fans next year,
Join Nick and the Free Jacks for a virtual Town Hall “News and Brews,” on October 15. Grab a Free Jacks IPA, join the virtual gathering, and get to know the newest Free Jacks and the returning players. RSVP using the link here: https://www.freejacks.com/news-and-brews/.