By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
Official of the Year
Peter Manastyrsky – Soccer
Peter Manastyrsky is a National Assistant Soccer Referee. In 2019, he officiated for the Canadian Premier League. He worked Valour FC games in Winnipeg, but also travelled across Canada to officiate other matches. His top three assignments for 2019 included a Canadian championship game, an International Club Friendly match, and the Canadian Premier League final. Peter began his refereeing career in 1994 with the Manitoba Soccer Association, and he’s been officiating at the highest level in Canada for the past eight years. From soccer, Peter Manastyrsky.
Kurtis Cullen – Racquetball
2019 took racquetball official Kurtis Cullen all the way to Peru, where he was just one of two Canadian officials selected to work at the Pan Am Games. He was the head referee for the women’s singles semi-final and final, and worked as a line judge for the men’s doubles semi-final. Impressively, Kurtis is also Manitoba’s number one ranked player, and he uses his strong knowledge of the sport to conduct officiating clinics on behalf of Racquetball Manitoba. From racquetball, Kurtis Cullen.
Andrew Bestland – Boxing
Boxing official Andrew Bestland had a very busy 2019, highlighted by an international event here in Winnipeg called Melee at the Met, where Team Canada boxers go up against Team Philippines. He also worked the Boxing Canada Nationals, the Brampton Cup, the Canada Winter Games, and the Canadian Olympic Trials. After starting his officiating career in 2015, Andrew has progressed to the level of Provincial Chief Official and supervises other officials in the province while holding numerous training sessions. And he attends almost every fight card in Manitoba. From boxing, Andrew Bestland.
Amy Martin – Hockey
Hockey official Amy Martin attended two major national events in 2019 – first the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, and later the National Women’s Under- 18 Championship, where she was selected to officiate the Gold Medal Game. She also received her Level 5 certification from Hockey Canada, which is the highest level for female officials in the country. She started officiating when she was only 12 years old and has developed through the Manitoba system, working several tournaments and playoff competitions around the province. Amy hopes to one day officiate at the Winter Olympics. From hockey, Amy Martin.
Darek Mikita – Table Tennis
2019 started with a big pong for table tennis official Darek Mikita…at the International Table Tennis Federation World Tour Qatar Open in Doha. It was here where he was selected as one of 16 international blue badge umpires worldwide, which is the highest distinction. He then went on to officiate at the World Tour Grand Finals in China as one of only four blue badge umpires selected for that prestigious event. In fact, he’s one of only six blue badge umpires in Canada. Provincially, he’s been the president of the Manitoba Table Tennis Association for the past 15 years. And he’ll be heading to the World Championships in Korea this June. From table tennis, Darek Mikita.
And the winner is…Darek Mikita!
Outstanding Volunteer Award
Elaine Yamron – 10 Pin
2019 marked 40 years of service to the sport of 10-pin bowling for Elaine Yamron. Executive Director of the Manitoba Bowling Association, Director on the Manitoba Tenpin Federation Board, and the Vice-President of the Canadian Tenpin Federation are just a few of the positions Elaine has held over the years. Through her work she enables bowlers of all ages and skill levels to compete in a safe and welcoming environment, and always places the highest importance on what is best for the athletes and the sport. From 10-pin bowling, Elaine Yamron.
Christopher Chapman – Rugby
Chris Chapman has been an active volunteer with rugby since 1988. In 2019 he was the head coach of the under-18 provincial 7s team, and he also coached the varsity girls and boys teams at Dakota Collegiate. Chris has worked hard to develop grassroots programs at the local, provincial, and national level, and he’s a true believer in multi-sport athletes and coaches. To that end, he also coaches football, basketball, soccer, and track and field. From rugby, Christopher Chapman.
Tim Holland – Soccer
Tim Holland has been the manager of the Bonivital Flames for the past three years, helping lead the team to a Cambrian Cup victory and an appearance at the Canadian Nationals. He works tirelessly to organize team trips, including flights, hotels, food, and activities. Amazingly, Tim would often organize fundraisers for the families who did not have enough money to send their kids on the team trips, ensuring that every player had the same opportunity. From soccer, Tim Holland.
Karen Reynolds – Baton
Karen Reynolds has been involved with baton for over eight years after competing as a national baton twirler in her youth. She has served on the Manitoba Baton Twirling Sportive Association Board of Directors and is also heavily involved with the Greendell Baton and Dance Group. Her medical background also allows her to help athletes who are injured during practice or competition. Karen’s attention to detail is truly a gift and her energy is contagious. From baton, Karen Reynolds.
Peter Dueck – Hockey
Peter Dueck has shown incredible dedication to hockey, having been involved in the sport for more than four decades. Peter has won four provincial titles as a head coach, and he was a part of Hockey Manitoba’s Program of Excellence as a coach, manager, evaluator, and team leader. He is currently a coach mentor for Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada. And he teaches coaching clinics across our province, helping to develop the next generation of coaches. He volunteered over 700 hours of his time to sport in 2019. From hockey, Peter Dueck.
And the winner is…Christopher Chapman!
Outstanding Youth Volunteer
Jacob Morlock-Tellier – Hockey
Jacob Morlock-Tellier volunteered as student manager for the Boys Huskies hockey team during the 2019 season. Filling water bottles, organizing jerseys, carrying equipment, and cleaning the locker room were just a few of his tasks. During games you could find him shooting game footage, playing music, and helping the timekeepers. He was also busy during the holiday season.. delivering Christmas hampers to families in need. On top of all this, he still finds the time to pursue his own coaching credentials. From hockey, Jacob Morlock-Tellier.
MASRC Female Volunteer of the Year
This year’s MASRC female volunteer of the year is Emma Bear from Peguis First Nation.
Emma, an accomplished young athlete herself, has dedicated many hours to volunteering in her community with youth in the sports of wrestling, baseball and hockey. Emma wrestles for the Peguis Wolverines and always makes sure that she is helping the younger athletes around her with technique and positioning. Her dedication shines through, as she travels from Peguis to Winnipeg 4 times a week to participate in practices. As a volunteer, Emma referees, along with timekeeping and scorekeeping for many minor hockey and baseball games in Peguis. Emma has been recognized as one of the hardest working student athletes, maintaining a high GPA while volunteering and participating in sports. She displays the leadership and work ethic that every coach hopes for in their athletes and young volunteers.
MASRC Male Volunteer of the Year
This year’s MASRC male volunteer of the year is Mike Sutherland from Peguis First Nation.
In his 35+ years of volunteering with softball, Mike has proven himself to be a very determined volunteer with a great work ethic. This past year Mike was the Host Committee Chair of the 2019 Canadian Native Fastball Championship, a 70-team event with clubs from across Canada. For many years, Mike has coached the Peguis Senior A Redmen team, along with the Under 23 Redmen team. In 2019, Mike lead the Peguis Senior Redman to winning the Senior Men’s division at the Canadian National Fastball Championship. Over the past year, Mike’s Under 23 and Senior Men’s clubs both proudly represented Softball Manitoba at the National Amateur Fastball Association Championships in Las Vegas, the Fargo Memorial Tournament in North Dakota, and numerous ‘A’ and ‘AA’ championships throughout the United States. Aside from softball, Mike is a very dedicated family man who also shares his values at hockey venues and by introducing youth to land based outdoor education.
MASRC Female Athlete of the Year
This year’s MASRC female athlete of the year is Heaven Moneyas from Lake St. Martin First Nation.
In 2019, hockey goaltender Heaven Moneyas was selected to Team Manitoba for the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and played for the AA Titans where she was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. In the fall, Heaven made the transition to Pilot Mound Hockey Academy to follow her dream – to play hockey while excelling in academics. She has faced over 500 shots so far this year in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League and has stopped most of them! Heaven is described by her friends as a funny and very dedicated student athlete. Through her hard work and commitment, Heaven has done a great job representing herself, her family, as well as the program on and off the ice. Not only is she a hockey player, but Heaven is a Provincial level boxer, and is tackling the sport of wrestling. She was named to represent Manitoba at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games for wrestling.
MASRC Male Athlete of the Year
This year’s MASRC male athlete of the year is Conner Roulette from Misipawistik Cree Nation.
After competing in hockey for 12 years, Conner Roulette played his first Western Hockey League game with the Seattle Thunderbirds in January 2019, a big accomplishment for a 16-year-old. He represented Manitoba at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer in February and was awarded Impact Player of the Year at the annual Winnipeg AAA Hockey League awards night in April. In May, Conner played on Team Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Whitehorse where his team won Gold and he was named the Best Forward at the tournament. At the Under 16 World Junior Ball Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic, Conner was named team captain and lead his team to a Gold medal. Conner was awarded the Logan Schatz Memorial Award as the Top Junior Ball Hockey Player by the Canadian Ball Hockey Association. Conner was also selected by Hockey Canada to participate at the National Under-17 Development Camp and to end things off, he was chosen to play for Team Canada at the 2019 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge Tournament.
Female Coach of the Year
Danielle Daniels – Basketball
Danielle Daniels is one busy math teacher! In addition to her teaching, Danielle is also the Female Junior Varsity and Female Varsity Basketball coach for the Oscar Lathlin Collegiate Wolverines in Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN). Her teams attended several tournaments including the “AA” Zone 11 Senior Girls Basketball Championships, The Swan Valley Credit Union Invitational Varsity Girls Basketball Classic, and the St. Boniface Diocesan Centurion Classic. Outside of school, Danielle is the Head Coach for The Pas Thunder Under 16 Female Club team who attended the 2019 Manitoba Club Basketball Championship in Winnipeg. And to top off her year, Danielle was selected to be the Head Coach for Under 19 Female Basketball for Team Manitoba that will be heading to the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in July.
Krystle McDougall – Boxing
As a current coach at the Pan Am Boxing Club, Krystle encourages her boxers to engage in all the positive health benefits boxing provides. Be it physical or mental health, she uses her platform to empower women from diverse and various socio-economic backgrounds. Krystle is a consistent advocate for youth athletes facing barriers to participate. By being committed to providing a safe environment and sense of community for all participants, Krystle’s athletes all work towards a common goal. Not only does she teach the important fundamentals required for the sport, but athletes come away from their training with improved confidence and self-esteem.
Tanya Pilat – Figure Skating
Coaching for the East St. Paul Skating Club, Tanya Pilat has coached athletes competing regionally and nationally. As a driving force behind new programs and opportunities for Manitoba skaters, Tanya has booked ice time at various locations to ensure her athletes are getting the practice time they need to develop. Tanya is a mentor for other coaches and program assistants in the CanSkate programs to ensure they are operating smoothly and effectively. She makes herself approachable to answer any questions that athletes or coaches may have. Tanya is a dedicated coach who is passionate about the development of Manitoba’s figure skating athletes and coaches.
And the winner is…Tanya Pilat from figure skating!
Male Coach of the Year
Cole Grant – Waterski
Cole Grant works with athletes from Canada and all over the world. At the Under 21 World Water Ski Championships, one of Cole’s International athletes from England took home 3 golds and a silver. At the same games Team Canada placed 2nd overall. Another one of Cole’s International athletes from Australia won a silver and a bronze. Using his exercise science degree, Cole organizes and delivers National Team Sport Science Camps to Canadian athletes each year in Florida. Cole has such a passion for his sport and an incredible dedication to growing the athletes of tomorrow.
Garth Goodbrandson – Golf
In 2019 Garth Goodbrandson was a coach for the Western Canada Summer Games, Golf Manitoba’s Junior Development Teams, and the University of Manitoba Bison’s Men’s Golf Team. With athletes competing at the national level, Garth was a consistent developmental mentor for these athletes throughout the year. In addition to his work for Golf Manitoba, by facilitating coaching courses, Garth is a co-director for junior development golf tours to allow athletes more competition experience.
Curtis Nepinak – Multiple Sports
Curtis Nepinak has been coaching in Manitoba for the past 19 years! In 2019 alone, he coached Junior High and Junior Varsity Volleyball, Floor Hockey and Basketball at Skownan school, community Under 11 and Under 9 Baseball, and is currently coaching Initiation and Novice Hockey for Winnipegosis! Coach Nepinak makes it his responsibility for students to not only succeed on the court and ice but in life as well. He teaches his athletes to be leaders, how to be organized, and the importance of time management. He always encourages his students to persevere and to improve by practicing and taking the time to work on specific skills. Coach Nepinak has been an everyday role model, not only to his athletes but to his colleagues as well. Coach Nepinak often goes beyond his coaching responsibilities from buying his athletes dinner to finding equipment to working one on one with kids who need extra help, and showing up to every practice, game and team bonding activity. Many parents have seen the efforts Mr. Nepinak puts in and thank him for loving their children, teaching them, and encouraging them to remain positive during harder losses. He is known for being patient and kind, and giving everything he has to make the sport experience better for the kids.
And the winner is…Garth Goodbrandson from golf!
Male Junior Athlete of the Year
Lucas Smith – Biathlon
Lucas Smith wore our province’s colours proudly at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, where he was by far the top ranked Manitoban. He would then go on to win a gold and silver medal at the Canadian National Championships in Whistler. His competitive journey also took him as far as Slovakia, where he was part of Team Canada at the Youth Junior World Championships. To cap it all off, Lucas was awarded the Sport Manitoba Order of Sport Excellence in the silver medallion category. From biathlon, Lucas Smith.
Austin Taylor – Archery
Archer Austin Taylor was also an integral part of Team Manitoba at the Canada Winter Games. He won a gold and silver medal, and his stellar performance led to him being named the flag bearer for the closing ceremonies. Austin added to his medal collection at the Manitoba Indoor Championships, where he won gold in the junior compound category, followed by another gold at the Canadian Indoor Championships. Austin was also the top Canadian compound athlete at the 2019 World Archery Championships in the Netherlands. From archery, Austin Taylor.
Kyle Steeves – Rugby
Rugby standout Kyle Steeves helped lead Team Manitoba to a fourth place finish at the Men’s Rugby Under-18 7s Nationals in Edmonton.. as one of the co-captains of the team. Kyle was also a part of the Prairie Blizzard Under 19 team at the 2019 Canadian Rugby Challenge, where he was voted the top player on his team. His strong performance also led to a training camp invite from the National Under-20 program, which he attended. From rugby, Kyle Steeves.
Yonatan Orlov – Baton
Baton twirler Yonatan Orlov’s very successful 2019 season took him as far as France. But it began here in Manitoba, where he won four gold medals at the provincial championships. From there, he captured four more medals at the nationals, achieving the highest score in the men’s solo category. He then competed at the 2019 International Cup in Limoge, France, placing 5th in two categories. Yonatan was also the Canadian Baton Twirling Federation Male Athlete of the Year for 2019. From baton, Yonatan Orlov.
Justice Harborne – Boxing
Justice Harborne was king of the ring for Manitoba boxers in 2019. The 18-year-old parlayed a silver medal at the Canada Winter Games and a gold medal at the national championships into a Team Canada training camp invite. He was selected to the junior team and won a bronze medal at the junior international tournament in Hungary. Justice has also been named the High School Athlete of the Year for three years in a row. From boxing, Justice Harborne.
Isaiah Klassen – Artistic Gymnastics (Trampoline & Tumbling)
Trampoline and tumbling athlete Isaiah Klassen reached new heights in 2019. Case in point- a first place finish in the double mini category at an Elite Canada event, where he was among 250 participants. Isaiah also placed second in synchro trampoline at the Canada Winter Games, followed by a 4th and 5th place finish at the Canadian Championships. He wrapped up his year by representing Canada at the World Age Group Championships in Tokyo. From Artistic Gymnastics, Isaiah Klassen.
Conner Roulette – Hockey
Winnipegger Connor Roulette achieved great success on the ice in 2019 while wearing our province’s colours. After being a top player with Team Manitoba at the Canada Winter Games, Connor led Team Toba to a gold medal at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, scoring a hat trick in the gold medal game. The now 16-year-old also won the MMHL Rookie of the Year Award after leading the Winnipeg Thrashers in scoring, and he was captain of Team Canada at the 2019 World Ball Hockey Championships, winning gold there as well. From hockey, Conner Roulette.
John de Leon – 10-Pin Bowling
Winnipeg bowler John de Leon knocked down a lot of pins in 2019. John won two provincial championships, one at the youth level and the other at the regular tenpin level. He would go on to finish third at both national events. He also placed first in a doubles event at nationals and hit a personal best score of 250 in one of his games. John’s accomplishments in his sport are particularly noteworthy given that he lives with Attention Deficit Disorder, and he has managed to overcome this barrier. From 10-pin bowling, John de Leon.
And the winner is…Austin Taylor from archery!
Female Junior Athlete of the Year
Marissa Naylor – Tenpin Bowling
Let’s start on the bowling alley. Marissa Naylor was dominant at the provincial level during the 2018-2019 season, winning six different provincial titles. At nationals she took gold in the singles event and came home from Quebec as a National Champion. She also received the Carl Malcomson Scholarship for the highest average among female bowlers at nationals. And she maintained an average of 220 through out her entire season. From tenpin bowling, Marissa Naylor.
Alexa Scott – Speed Skating
Speed skater Alexa Scott had a phenomenal season in 2019. She won gold in the 500, 1000, 1500, and 3000-metre races at the Canadian Junior Championships, and she was also a star for Team Manitoba at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, winning three more gold medals in Red Deer and setting two Canada Games records. The 18-year-old from Clandeboye also skated personal bests in three separate distances through out the season. From speed skating, Alexa Scott.
Sarah Ekosky – Judo
Speaking of the Canada Winter Games, our next nominee Sarah Ekosky won a bronze medal for Team Manitoba in Red Deer. She also won five gold medals throughout her 2019 season, including a provincial championship, an under-16 national championship, and she also won an under-16 international event in Edmonton. Sarah was also selected to compete at the under-18 Elite 8 Nationals event in January, where she won a gold medal in the under-57 kilogram category. From judo, Sarah Ekosky.
Samantha Pfeil – Rhythmic Gymnastics
Rhythmic gymnast Samantha Pfeil was also a provincial champion in 2019, going undefeated across five competitions and attaining the highest score in the province despite still being a junior athlete. She went on to compete as part of the Canadian national team, placing fifth in the Junior High-Performance category, which was the highest placement for any Manitoban in the junior category in the last decade. Samantha also received the Zlatica Stauder Trophy for the second consecutive year. From rhythmic gymnastics, Samantha Pfeil.
Mia West – Swimming
Mia West’s stellar swimming season began in the Pan Am Pool last July, where she won four gold medals at the Manitoba-Saskatchewan provincial championship, breaking 13 provincial records in the 11-12 category in the process. From there, she won three more medals at the Canadian Junior Championships in Calgary before collecting an astounding NINE medals, including seven golds, at the Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current. From swimming, Mia West.
Laura Tymchyshyn – Baton
Laura Tymchyshyn’s success in baton during the 2019 season took her all the way to France. It was there where she won two silver medals at the International Cup. This after winning two gold medals in the International Cup Qualifier, four medals at the National Baton Twirling Championships, and six medals at the Manitoba provincial championships. From baton, Laura Tymchyshyn.
Jordan McLeod – Rugby
Rugby standout Jordan McLeod had a very busy 2019. Jordan was a member of two under 18 provincial teams, her high school team the Minnedosa Chancellors won the league and provincial championship for the third straight year—losing only one game all season, and she was also short-listed for the Canadian Women’s Under 18 team. The Brandon native then committed to the University of British Columbia, where she helped the Thunderbirds win their first ever Canada West women’s rugby title last fall. From rugby, Jordan McLeod.
And the winner is…Alexa Scott from speed skating!
Female Open Athlete of the Year
Heather McLean – Speed Skating
In 2019, Heather McLean added her name to the long list of Manitoba speed skaters who have had success on the world stage. Heather won gold at the Canadian Trials in both the 500 and 1000-metre race, and went on to compete in multiple international events around the globe, including a ninth place finish at the Japan World Cup in Nagano, and an 8th place finish in the 500-metre World Cup Final race, where she set a new personal best time which was also the fastest ever for a Manitoba female. All this while moving across the country to train with a new coach. From speed skating, Heather McLean.
Rhonda Orr – Golf
Golfer Rhonda Orr extended an impressive streak in 2019, winning the Manitoba Women’s Seniors Championship for a fourth straight year. She also finished 11th out of 118 players at the Canadian Women’s Seniors Championship, and she also qualified for the United States Women’s Seniors Championship for the second straight year, playing in the round of 32 and winning her first match while competing against golfers from all over the world. From golf, Rhonda Orr.
Kyla Roy – Triathlon
Kyla Roy made waves south of the border last year when she became the NCAA Division 1 National Champion in Triathlon. She also enjoyed great success at the Canadian National Championships, placing first in the under-23 competition and second in the elite female category. The 21-year-old is currently in her junior year at the University of Arizona and is among the top 200 female triathletes in the world. From triathlon, Kyla Roy.
Jennifer Saunders – Racquetball
In her final full season of top-level competition, Jen Saunders continued her racquetball dominance, winning gold in both the singles and doubles competition at the Canadian Championships. It was her 11th national singles title, by far the most ever by a female in Canada. Combine that with 13 doubles titles and the 43-year-old from Thompson now has 24 national championships to her name, also a Canadian record. She announced her retirement last December. From racquetball, Jen Saunders.
Kelsey Wog – Swimming
Swimmer Kelsey Wog made some big splashes in 2019. The Winnipegger broke 10 provincial records in various distances, including the 50 and 100-metre event. She would go on to capture four gold medals at the USPORTS Nationals in Vancouver, competing for the University of Manitoba. She also won three silver medals at the Canadian Swimming Trials in Edmonton. Her success led to being drafted by the Cali Condors of the new International Swimming League, which brings together the best swimmers from around the world. From swimming, Kelsey Wog.
Kristen Campbell – Hockey
Returning to the ice, Brandon’s Kristen Campbell has been a standout goaltender for the University of Wisconsin Badgers for the past three seasons. In 2018-2019, Kristen appeared in all 41 games, leading the NCAA in goals-against-average, wins, and shutouts. She led the Badgers to a National Championship after shutting out each opponent she faced in the playoffs, a first-ever feat for a female goaltender in Frozen Four history. She capped off her season by being named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship game. From hockey, Kristen Campbell.
And the winner is…Kristen Campbell from hockey!
Male Open Athlete of the Year
Tyson Langelaar – Speed Skating
2019 was an exceptional year for speed skater Tyson Langelaar. It started in February at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, where Tyson won four gold medals plus a silver medal, making him the talk of Team Manitoba. He would go on to earn a bronze medal at the Canadian championships, followed by two-second place finishes and a fifth-place finish at World Cup events. Setting a new provincial record in the 1500-metre race and achieving a personal best time in the 1000-metre race was the icing on the cake. From speed skating, Tyson Langelaar.
Colwyn Abgrall – Golf
Niverville’s own Colwyn Abgrall is putting the tiny Manitoba town on the map. The 23-year-old golfer had several highlights in 2019, none more noteworthy than winning the Nott Autocorp Manitoba Amateur Championship. He was also a member of the Manitoba Men’s Provincial Amateur Team, and his success even took him south of the border, where he qualified for and competed in the United States Amateur Championship in North Carolina. From golf, Colwyn Abgrall.
Jesse Bachinsky – Cross-Country Skiing
Kenora, Ontario native Jesse Bachinsky was very busy in 2019. The para-nordic skier won a gold medal at the Manitoba provincials, picked up a gold and bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games, received the Fastest Overall Male Award on his way to winning another gold medal at the U.S. Nationals, and he also competed in the World Para Championships in Prince George. On top of all that, Jesse also participated in multiple races with able-bodied skiers. From cross-country skiing, Jesse Bachinsky.
Tyler Mislawchuk – Triathlon
25-year-old triathlete Tyler Mislawchuk’s 2019 highlight happened far, far away from his hometown of Oak Bluff. Tyler finished first at the World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in Tokyo, regarded as the most difficult event of the season to win. Tyler spends over 11 months a year outside of Canada, relentlessly pursuing excellence in his sport, and he’s also developed into a terrific role model for young athletes through his work in promoting drug-free sport. From triathlon, Tyler Mislawchuk.
And the winner is…Tyler Mislawchuk from triathlon!
Calm Air Junior Team of the Year
Team Ryan – Curling
It was a historic season for the curling team skipped by JT Ryan in 2019, as Ryan became the first curler ever to skip his team to three straight Manitoba Junior Men’s titles. The team would go on to finish second at the junior nationals, losing a tight game to British Columbia in the final. Third Jacques Gauthier and second Jordan Peters were both named 2nd-team all-stars, and skip JT Ryan was honoured twice for sportsmanship, receiving the Ken Watson Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row, as well as the Fair Play Award, selected by the officials. From curling, Team Ryan.
Valour Peewee – Football
The Valour Patriots Peewee football team had a perfect season in 2019. The team went undefeated through the regular season and playoffs, winning the first ever championship for the football club in its 11-year history. This came after the team won just one game the previous season. Many of the team’s players grow up in foster homes and are exposed to violence and gangs, and the program strives to make football a safe place for the kids. From football, the Valour Patriots.
Grant Park Pirates – Football
Speaking of undefeated teams, the Grant Park Pirates junior varsity team also did not lose a game on their way to a Winnipeg High School Football League title in 2019. Remarkably the team never trailed in a single game along the way, and never allowed more than 9 points against in a game. This was the first junior varsity championship for Grant Park High School, and it came just two years after the program did not win a single game. From football, the Grant Park Pirates.
Minnedosa Chancellors – Rugby
Let’s stay on the field for our next nominee. The Minnedosa Chancellors girl’s rugby team were crowned Provincial High School Champions in 2019. It was their third straight year of accomplishing that feat. The team lost only one game all season, while scoring 529 points and allowing only 109 points against. The team was made up of girls from four different high schools across the region, and they played against much larger Winnipeg schools at provincials. From rugby, the Minnedosa Chancellors.
Team Toba – Baton
Team Toba Baton twirled their way to a provincial championship in 2019. They then went on to finish second at the nationals in Regina, followed by a sixth place finish at the International Cup in France. The team reached these achievements despite its members often having to practice by themselves on their own time, with only two hours of practice time a week available to them at the University of Manitoba. This tight-knit group of athletes was also involved in several fundraising efforts through out the season. From baton, Team Toba.
Falcons Football Club – Football
The Falcons Football Club also went undefeated last season on their way to winning the Manitoba Minor Football Association Bantam Provincial Championship. It was the best record in the club’s history and also its first ever provincial title. Quarterback Cam Morgan led the way with 19 passing touchdowns and 24 majors on the ground. From football, the Falcons Football Club.
Shock – Volleyball (Girls)
It was a golden year in 2019 for Shock Volleyball Club. This group of young women won gold at the under 16 Manitoba Provincial Championship, and followed that up with another gold medal at the Division 1 National Championship in Regina. Two of its players were named all-stars at each event. The team only lost two games all season, and they overcame some major adversity when their head coach contracted a life-threatening illness at one of their tournaments. From volleyball, the 16U Shock Volleyball Club
Team Manitoba (NAHC) – Hockey
Let’s return to the ice for our final nominee for this award. Our province was well represented at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon last year. Team Manitoba won gold, despite only having eight practices together before the competition began. Conner Roulette was named the top forward while Bryden Sinclair was named the top defenseman. From hockey, Team Manitoba.
And the winner is…the SHOCK Volleyball Club!
Open Team of the Year
Team Kurz – Curling
Team Kurz was a mixed curling champion in Manitoba, a mixed curling champion in Canada, and yes, this group of young curlers also won gold at the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship in Scotland, going undefeated. This was the first time a Manitoba-based rink has won a mixed curling title in either the four-player or mixed doubles category. From curling, Team Kurz.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Football
What more needs to be said? The Grey Cup returned to Manitoba for the first time in 29 years last fall. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup Game in Calgary. This after tough playoff wins on the road against the Calgary Stampeders and rival Saskatchewan Roughriders. The blue and gold were led by Winnipegger Andrew Harris, who was named the Most Outstanding Player, and Most Outstanding Canadian in the championship game. From football, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Brandon Bobcats – Men’s Volleyball
The Brandon University Bobcats men’s volleyball team enjoyed their most successful season in program history in 2019. The team finished the regular season with a 20-2 record and went on to capture the Canada West Championship. The team was ranked number one in the nation for most of the year, and capped off the season with a silver medal at nationals. Individually, head coach Grant Wilson was named the U Sports Coach of the Year, while star power hitter Elliott Viles was the U Sports Player of the Year. From volleyball, the Brandon Bobcats.
And the winner is…the Winnipeg Blue Bombers!
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!