Muskie football hands out awards

Dan Falloon

The Muskie football team announced winners for four awards last night at the Fort Frances Curling Club.
Lineman Chris Bobczynski, fresh off being named to the Currie Division’s all-conference team, captured MVP honours while Britton Green was named defensive player of the year.
Ian Grant captured the outstanding contribution award, with Braden Webb and Jamon Leonard sharing rookie of the year honours.
Head coach Chad Canfield said there were a handful of candidates for the MVP award but Bobczynski ultimately won out in part because coaches knew exactly what to expect.
“We had a lot of great performances from some of the guys like Tyler Abma, Colton Craig, and Tobijah Gerber,” Canfield noted.
“They were definitely in the conversation, as well, but week in, week out, it was Chris.
“Each practice, Chris was there,” Canfield continued. “I know he was nicked up a little bit, but still he went out every day in practice and throughout our games.
“That’s what really set him apart,” he reasoned.
Bobczynski played on both sides of the ball, with Canfield noting that because he “did so many different things for us,” he was one of the easy choices for the short list.
Meanwhile, Canfield said Green was a force in stalling opponents’ attacks this past season.
“Britt was the spark plug of the team,” he lauded. “You love coaching guys like Britt because he’s got such a great attitude and he’s always out there giving 100 percent.
“I think the rest of the guys feed off that.”
Like Bobczynski, Green filled a number of roles, also seeing time as the team’s punter, which was a tough task much of the time.
“I’ve been watching a lot of game film lately, and some of our blocking wasn’t always the best,” Canfield recalled.
“But we didn’t get a punt blocked all year, which was pretty amazing considering some of the struggles we had on our special teams.
“He [Green] always gave us an opportunity to get some good field position,” Canfield noted.
“That’s going to be a void that we’re going to have to fill next year.”
Green also was able to contribute offensively, gaining first downs on his three fake punt chances this season.
“Britt knew where the first down [marker] was, and he was boundin’ and determined to get there,” Canfield recalled.
Webb, a wide receiver and defensive back, and Leonard, a defensive lineman, both received praise from Canfield for their fine freshmen campaigns.
“Braden, he was a stand-out right from the get-go,” Canfield enthused. “Greg Allan identified him for us and we started watching him a little more closely.
“He’s a very good athlete,” Canfield continued. “He isn’t the biggest guy, but he plays big.
“He makes some good tackles and is very fundamentally sound.”
The Grade 9 student started every game for the Muskies and led the team in interceptions with four.
“He’s got a very good nose for the football,” Canfield remarked.
For his part, Leonard was a little more of a late bloomer as he got accustomed to the WHSFL, but was much improved by the end of the season.
“He came on strong as the year went on, and actually started games toward the end of the year,” Canfield said.
“He’s one of those guys who is just relentless. He goes at it 100 percent.
“He doesn’t shy away from contact.”
Lastly, Grant, a fullback and linebacker, was recognized for his dedication to the program throughout his Muskie career, which wrapped up this year.
“It’s more your contribution to the football program throughout your career,” Canfield explained.
“Ian Grant is pretty much the definition of it.
“You could ask Ian to do anything and he would go do it, from playing offence to playing defence to playing special teams to getting water.”
Canfield added when times were tough, Grant always was trying to rally the team together.
“Ian’s the kind of leader on your team that you need,” he stressed. “Hopefully someone else will step up.”