© Matthew Gourlie
Moose Jaw's Levi Steinhauer lifts the Grey Cup following the Saskatchewan Roughriders' 45-23 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Sunday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
Levi Steinhauer will never forget 2013.
The Moose Jaw product went from being a fifth round draft pick to winning the Grey Cup in an amazing six month span.
Steinhauer was the unanimous choice as the Times-Herald’s Male Athlete of The Year after his great football season.
Beyond Steinhauer there wasn’t a lot of concensus amongst the voters as a number of male athletes put together strong season in a wide range of disciplines.
Bobsledder Ben Coakwell finished second in the vote just ahead of golfer Leighton Beachell and football player Nathan Fall who were tied for third. Another football player, Mike Stefanovic, was fifth in the voting.
The award was voted on by a four person panel that included Marc Smith from Golden West Radio, the voice of the Moose Jaw Warriors, James Gallo, along with Times-Herald sports reporters Katie Brickman and Matthew Gourlie.
Steinhauer turned heads as he battled his way onto a roster spot with the Riders while facing stiff competition at training camp. He made his CFL debut in the Riders’ 39-15 win over Edmonton and forced a pair of fumbles — one on special teams that led to a Riders touchdown and the other while playing defensive end.
Special teams was where he made his biggest mark. He was named the Riders’ rookie of the year after he collected 11 special teams tackles. In the stretch run of the season and in the playoffs he filled in as the Riders’ long snapper during their memorable title run.
If there’s a bigger spotlight than Grey Cup Sunday, Coakwell is ready to step into it. The former U of S football player will represent his country in the four-man bobsled at the Sochi Olympics in February.
Coakwell and his teamates — Chris Spring, Cody Sorensen, Jesse Lumsden and — finished 13th overall on the World Cup tour in 2012-13 and had one podium finish. So far this season they are ranked third on the World Cup tour following a pair of recent fourth-place finishes.
Bearchell won the Sask. Golf Association’s junior men’s championship at the Hillcrest and is also nominated to be the SGA’s male player of the year. He also won the Junior Men’s Order of Merit Tour nad won three of the five stops in the process.
He finished 11th at the Canada Games and is part of the Wayland Baptist University golf team that is ranked first in the NAIA.
Fall was unstoppable at times for the Peacock Tornadoes football team as they won a provincial title. He was named the Moose Jaw High School Football League’s MVP after he ran for 950 yards on 78 carries for a gaudy 12.2 yard average. He also had 19 touchdowns in six regular season games.
Fall ran for 186 yards in the provincial final and had 222 yards rushing in the city final.
Stefanovic also had a standout football season and was named a first-team Canada West all-star as a freshman linebacker. He led the University of Regina Rams in tackles with 44 which was good for fifth in Canada West. He also led the Rams in defensive points.
He led Canada West with eight tackles for losses. He also had three sacks and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 53 yards for a touchdown.
Pat Simmons came in sixth place in the vote after a strong season playing third for Kevin Koe. Their curling rink won the Canadian Open and reached the semifinal at the National and reaching the quarter-final at The Masters Grand Slam of Curling. They also earned one of the four spots at the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifiers. They currently sit third on the World Curling Tour’s money list.
In seventh spot was Aidan Saladana won a provincial high school title in volleball with the Central Cyclones and was also a provincial champion with the Element under-18 volleyball team. Saladana was also named the Sask. Volleyball Association’s under-18 male player of the year.
Rhett Gardner was eighth in the poll after a busy hockey season. Gardner competed at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the World Junior A Challenge. He finished the season by scoring 27 goals and finished with 48 points as he captained the Moose Jaw Generals. He has made the jump to junior and has 19 points in 30 games with Okotoks so far this season.
Jon Cotter and Keegan Arnyek finished tied for ninth spot to round out the top-10.
Cotter had a .292 batting average in his final baseball season with the Moose Jaw Miller Express and had a stunning. 994 fielding percentage at shortstop. He had a .283 batting average, with 22 RBI and a .973 fielding percentage with the University of Central Missouri.
Arnyek had a strong season with the University of Saskatchewan football team. He was strong in the return game and added 22 tackles, three interceptions and a fumble receovery as a starter in the Huskies secondary.
Also receiving votes were Peacock track and football player Kyle Arndt, Miller Express baseball player Dustin Caplette, golfer Mike Flegel, wrestler Devin Kiryk, University of Regina high jumper Connor MacDonald, hockey player Brock Montgomery, wrestler Ty Nordick, motorcyclist Derek Thomas and Central volleyball and basketball player Dax Whitehead.