With two Yates Cups, a Vanier Cup ring, a Hec Crighton trophy nomination and a long list of OUA honors to his name, Michael DiCroce will now face a new journey ahead, one that will hopefully see him playing professional football in the Canadian Football League.

The 2011- 2012 football season for the McMaster Marauders football club was one of the best season’s the school has ever seen.

With doubt surrounding the Marauders, the team was able to secure a spot in the Vanier Cup game after taking down the Western Mustangs in the Yates Cup match and the Acadia Axeman in the Uteck Bowl.

The Marauders were then matched up with the reigning Vanier Cup champion Laval Rouge et Or squad. In what TSN dubbed “the best game ever”, Mac came out victorious, putting an end to a picture perfect season.

That season in particular was a special one for Michael DiCroce not only because the Marauders came out as champions or as the first place team in the nation, but because DiCroce was recognized for his efforts which included winning the 2011 OUA Most Valuable Player award and receiving a nomination for the coveted Hec Crighton trophy.

“Being a member of the football team has been pretty special,” DiCroce said.

“Knowing what we did in my third year here and what we did last year and this year, it’s been pretty special.”

Despite a picture perfect season for the Hamilton native, DiCroce would not always experience good luck throughout his career at McMaster.

After coming off a textbook 2011 season and into one of the most important years of his football career, DiCroce would suffer a devastating injury at the start of the 2012 season, which also happened to be the start of his draft year.

The second day of the 2012 season’s training camp would prove to be a day, which would begin the battle that was his fourth year.

A broken bone in his foot would make a developmental year one that would be a lot order viagra online harder to deal with.

“That injury set me back a lot and I didn’t play the whole regular season. I was in the physio clinic for those eight to nine weeks and I was in the walking boot for about nine weeks,” DiCroce said.

“It was hard because I had trained all year and all summer for that year hoping that it would be a special year for me going into the draft.”

After a frustrating blow to his season DiCroce would face another battle. One that meant proving his injury would not let his style of play or skill falter.

He wanted to prove that he had recovered from his injury and that CFL scouts would not be disappointed with his return.

DiCroce ended up receiving an invitation to the CFL combine where he impressed both coaches and scouts with his recovery, proving that he was playing better than ever.

With a light slowly beginning to show at the end of the tunnel, DiCroce would earn a CFL contract in his draft year as he was drafted 29th overall by the Winnipeg Bluebombers.

Opting to return to McMaster for a fifth year DiCroce wanted to ensure that school also remained an important priority for him.

“My decision to come back this year was so that I could finish up with my degree so that I had a back up plan if football didn’t work out,” said the fifth-year receiver.

“Coming back this year to finish off my last year was something I wanted to do. Winnipeg does have my [negotiation] rights so I will be reporting back to camp in June and that’s definitely something I am looking forward to.”

DiCroce has also proved that height is not a determining factor of how big you play.

At 5’11” he is one of the smaller receivers in the OUA, but his style of play says otherwise.

“There is one guy in the NFL who is my favorite receiver, his name is Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers. He’s the same height as me but he plays so big and he’s so fast and goes up and gets the ball when it’s in the air and he makes guys miss,” said DiCroce.

“That is always something I have tried to do myself because I am not the biggest receiver on the field so if you can believe in yourself to play big, then you will.”

When asked what DiCroce would miss most about being a Marauder his response would perfectly encompass what made the sport special to him.

“I think I’m going to miss my time with the guys on the field the most. That’s why we all came back to play the game this year, that’s why we love it so much is just to hang out with the guys and see the guys everyday,” he said.

Despite a long list of achievements that any university athlete would envy, DiCroce remains humble and understands the sacrifices that must be made in order to achieve success.

With a prosperous career in his midst it would be no surprise to see DiCroce’s athletic achievements only continue to grow.

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