On the heels of their most successful season to date, Estevan Minor Football (EMF) held their annual awards night last Friday at the Beefeater Plaza.
It was a joyous occasion for those in attendance, as each of the bantam Steelers, peewee Chargers and atom Miners had positive seasons to reflect upon. EMF president Brian Senchuk said it was great because the board was able to shift their focus to the kids and playing football this season, as opposed to the first two years where it was more about building facilities, and organization.
"I'd like to think we succeeded, and it's a nice feeling," said Senchuk. "I really can't wait until next year because that's all it's going to be is football, football, football."
With EMF into their third year of existence, each of the teams was able to get some wins and really show that they can compete with other teams in the Regina Minor Football league that have been around for much longer. Senchuk says a lot of that success is owed to members of the board, and countless volunteers.
"The wins came, and you can tell they don't want to be done," said Senchuk of the players and coaches. "I can really sense that there are a lot of people that would like to play another game or two, and that's encouraging. I think as we win, we'll get more people talking about football, especially younger people, and I'm hoping that's going to translate into people wanting to come out and want to join."
Having more people join is an issue the board plans on tackling before next season.
They saw the number of registrations down this past year, and the focus in the off-season will be to attract more players, especially in the younger divisions.
As part of the recruitment process, EMF is looking at putting together some sort of spring league in order to get people thinking about football before the main season starts again next summer.
"Right now it's all just talk, but over the winter we're really going to try to promote something, whether it's spring league or a flag football league. We have to find ways to get young people out. You could see the graduating class from the Steelers this year; you could see their growth, and we need to have more people experience that," said Senchuk.
Help is also needed off the field. They're always looking for more volunteers to help the league run smoothly, and with three board members stepping down, the hunt will be on for their replacements. A new president will also likely be needed; Senchuk plans on vacating the position at EMF's annual general meeting in November.
"I just think that it's time for some new blood to come in with a new vision," he said. " I'm not stepping down from the league or the board at all. I just think there needs to be a new voice, some change and some better leadership into the player aspect of it. I think I fielded the role fairly decent as far as the building was concerned, and we have to switch that now and look beyond."
Here is a list of the individual player awards handed out by the coaches:
Most Improved: Tristan Kindlein
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Dawson Nobiss
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Colton Reed
Most Sportsmanlike: Colein Poole
MVP: Donny Mortenson
Most Improved: The whole team
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Kaleb Memory
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Noah Kocoy
Most Sportsmanlike: Kristen Skjonsby
MVP: Evan Stabenow
Most Improved: Aaron Wakely
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Nolan Tide
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Isaac Elder
Most Sportsmanlike: Keagan Fieber
MVP: Kolby Fleury