Winnipeg – Record breaking Winnipeg Blue Bomber kicker Justin Medlock and B.C. Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian put at least a small dent in the Calgary Stampeders domination of the Shaw CFL awards that were handed out Thursday night at the Grey Cup in Toronto.
The Stampeders won five of the 7 individual awards, none more decisive than Bo Levi Mitchell’s selection as the CFL’s most outstanding player. Mitchell received all 73 votes from the CFL head coaches and the football reports of Canada to shutout his opponent, Ottawa receiver Ernest Jackson. And Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson’s win in the Coach of the Year category was nearly as decisive, Dickenson getting 72 votes to 1 for Ottawa’s Rick Campbell. Calgary running back Jerome Messam was named top Canadian, Derek Dennis of the Stamps captured best offensive lineman honors and Calgary receiver DaVaris Daniels received the most outstanding rookie award.
Elimimian beat out Montreal linebacker Bear Woods as the top defensive player while the Bombers Justin Medlock won the best special teams player award by a vote of 61-12 over Brandon Banks of Hamilton. Medlock thanked his wife, Blue Bomber CEO Wade Miller, GM Kyle Walters, Head Coach Mike O’Shea, special teams coach Paul Boudreau and his long snapper and holders, Chad Rempel, Matt Nichols and Weston Dressler. Medlock forgot to thank his Mother but said she’s in Europe so it’s alright.
Rempel was in attendance at the awards ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Medlock said that was neat. “He’s awesome, I’m glad he could make it here, too bad we couldn’t get the other guys here. Hopefully we will all be up here another year and have the whole group of guys. Kind of cool to see how the whole Calgary Stampeders and Ottawa RedBlacks were all cheering for their guys, right, so it would be cool to see that happen” said Medlock.
The 32-year old Medlock says the award was a product of a lot of hard work. “It was a goal to win this but I would rather win a Grey Cup. That would be my next really icing on the cake.” Regarding what he can do for an encore in 2017 Medlock said “Not miss at all, that’s kind of my goal. I think I did too many misses this year, in the beginning of the year especially. Once we got in the groove we really locked in, and it was good.”
A long career that has had it’s share of ups and downs reached a pinnacle for Justin Medlock on Thursday night. Ahead, he hopes, is a Grey Cup championship. For now he looks forward to becoming a father. Medlock and his wife are expecting their first child in February.