Jonathan Boissoneault-Glaou is thriving.
The defensive lineman is a mechanical engineering student out of École polytechnique de Montréal, a two-time recipient of the RSEQ defensive player of the year award, and co-captain of the Université de Montreal Carabins. Yet, as is often the case, not everything is as nice as it seems. It is no secret that an increasing number of children and students are diagnosed with neuropsychological disorders. Boissoneault-Glaou, diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADD), manages living with his condition every day.
Boissoneault-Glaou began experiencing significant challenges in elementary school. When it was time to register him for high school, his mother, wanting to help with her son’s academic career as much as possible, decided that private school would be the better option. His mother’s wish, coupled with Boissoneault-Glaou’s desire to study in a school with a football program, prompted him to leave the Outaouais region and continue his schooling at Séminaire Saint-Joseph de Trois-Rivières.
Unfortunately for Boissoneault-Glaou, his educational challenges did not stop there. The requirement that student athletes maintain a certain level of academic standing derailed his student-athlete status. According to Boissoneault-Glaou, simply listening in class was one of the main challenges he had to face.
When Boissoneault-Glaou was diagnosed with ADD, things began to turn around. He admitted that it was easier to receive help and support since the root of his challenges were known.
I consider ADD to be a part of me and I’ve learned to live with it, There are many tools we can use to improve the situation just by being aware of our condition and our difference between others.
An exceptional athlete
Boissoneault-Glaou always knew that ADD would not stop him from doing what he loved, and without him, the Carabins would likely not have been as successful.
“He’s one of our best players, that’s for sure! He’s a dominant player,” says Carabins head coach Danny Maciocia. “He’s one of our leaders and team captains. He works very, very hard during the offseason and when he’s on the field, he’s a player that can make a difference.”
The former head coach of the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos also had nothing but praise for Boissoneault-Glaou, as a person and student.
He’s a worker! In school, football – anything he undertakes, he always gives 100 per cent. He always seeks to improve himself
Danny Maciocia - Carabins Head Coach
Fortunate to have been well-surrounded
Interestingly enough, while Boissoneault-Glaou had been named the RSEQ defensive player of the year the last two seasons, Carabins players Byron Archambault and Antoine Pruneau had also captured the honour the previous two years. Boissoneault-Glaou had the chance to rub shoulders with Archambault both as a teammate and today as the special teams coordinator and linebacker coach.
“It’s true that knowing them helped me greatly. Byron helped me adapt to university during my first year and still does today,” says Boissoneault-Glaou, who feels that individual success is just a reflection of collective success.
The key: never give up
Boissoneault-Glaou is an excellent role model for student-athletes experiencing difficulty in school. His message to them: “Persevere, keep going, and never give up!”
His coach echoes the young star player’s sentiment saying, “He’s far from handicapped. Today we have experts in place who can help.”
Boissoneault-Glaou, in his fourth year of university, will soon see his journey with the Carabins come to a close. Nevertheless, he prefers to live in the moment and focus on what he can control.
It’s not up to me what happens next. I’ll do the best I can and we’ll see what comes after the season, Now I’m concentrating on the season and trying as hard as possible to make the most of my last moments in university
VANIER CUP FACT:
Only two coaches in history have won both a Vanier Cup and a Grey Cup. Danny Maciocia first led the Edmonton Eskimos to the 2005 Grey Cup before being hired by the Université de Montréal Carabins football program, leading them to their first Vanier Cup in 2014.
Sportsnet and TVA Sports are once again the official broadcasters of the U SPORTS football semifinals and final in 2017... The Mitchell Bowl (RSEQ at Canada West, 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT) and Uteck Bowl (OUA at AUS, 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT) are set for Saturday, Nov. 18, while the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup follows on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton... For all the information on the 53rd Vanier Cup (including tickets) visit vaniercup.com.
Mathieu is a fourth-year communications student at the Université de Sherbrooke. He has contributed to the university’s campus newspaper, Le Collectif, and was an intern at Hockey Québec. Mathieu’s passion for sports and his ease with words motivated him to work in the field of sports communications.