George McDougall Mustangs hand out year-end awards
Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 06:00 am
The George McDougall Mustangs football team handed out some hardware Dec. 7, recognizing the efforts of its group of players who showed tenacity and put their high school back on the map in 2017.
A total of 14 awards were doled out to players ranging from first-year rookies to senior veterans playing their final year for the Mustangs’ black and silver en route to an impressive 2017 campaign in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA).
“Expectations are always high, we expect to win…that’s our goal every year,” said co-head coach Chris Glass. “Our expectation is for people who took a big step last year to continue taking steps and improving.
“The neat thing about this year is we thought this was going to be a rebuilding year because of the age of our kids. We were much further ahead than we thought we would be at the start of the season.”
The awards were spread out among all the grades with Glass saying he and the rest of the coaching staff didn’t take age into consideration when selecting recipients, instead they were awarded on merit of performances throughout the season.
One senior who walked away with the evening’s top honour was offensive and defensive lineman Geoffrey Zanzerl who was named the team’s Mustang of the Year, recognizing the Grade 12’s effort during the course of his three seasons with the Mustangs and just how important a part of the team he is on and off the field.
In addition to being named Mustang of the Year, Zanzerl was awarded the Defensive Lineman of the Year Award by the RVSA.
“A kid like Gibby (Zanzerl) is going to make us very sad when he leaves,” Glass said. “It’s sad to see him graduate in the way that he was such a big part in what we were trying to accomplish and a part of our identity too.
“He played almost every play for us – special teams, offence, defence – never once complained and set the tone for our guys in the locker room in how to act on and off the field.”
Another player who was recognized for his dedication to the team was lineman Chris Wipf who was presented the Black and Silver/Heart Award.
As a heart and soul guy in the dressing room, Wipf initially wasn’t planning to return to the team in his final year of high school but decided to come back, taking on a role on the dominant offensive line. That role helped rookie running back Wyatt Anderson enjoy a breakout season, including Rookie of the Year honours from the Mustangs and Best Running Back honours from the RVSA.
Another young player recognized by the Mustangs was Grade 11 receiver Rhett Mitschke, who was named Offensive Player of the Year in just his second season with the Mustangs.
Mitschke’s clutch catches and key contributions throughout the season made him a strong candidate for the award, and the league recognized his efforts naming him an RVSA All-Star.
“Rhett was making catches he had no business making and bailing our offence out when we absolutely needed a play,” Glass said.
In addition to Mitschke, kicker Sean Forrest, linebackers Enoch Angbongy and Cade Yakiwchuk, and Wipf were also named All-Stars.
Other award winners included Yakiwchuk (Defensive Player of the Year), Angbongy (Man of Steel Award), Chazz Shullman (Defensive Lineman), Forrest (Special Team), Alex Suntjens (Most Improved Player), Tristan David Ouellette (Defensive Back), Max Longchamps (Offensive Back), Josh Seaman (Coaches Award) and Andrew Halipchuk and Scarlett Yakiwchuk (Forever a Mustang).