With their top defensive player of the year getting five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries on the season, and their top offensive player of the year getting 249 yards rushing in their playoff game, it was an interesting choice the Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS) Elecs would have to see who would be named the team’s most valuable player.
On defence, defensive back/linebacker Jonah Bachorcik was solid in coverage and caused the opposing teams a lot of problems with his ability to strip the ball. On offence, receiver/running back Jonah Bachorcik caught or ran for the most touchdowns all year.
The coaches chose Jonah Bachorcik, a Grade 11 player for the Elecs who was one of several players honoured at the team’s banquet Monday night, as the team’s most valuable player.
“Just coming up to the team this year, I knew I wanted to play an important role on the team but I didn’t think this much,” said Bachorcik, who played nearly every down on the season. “I love my team so much for sticking with me through the year.”
Once, Bachorcik won both player of the year awards for both sides of the ball, it was a bit anticlimactic to walk up to the stage once again for the most valuable player.
“It means a lot to me being MVP for this year,” Bachorcik said. “My first year being a rookie on this team it’s amazing.”
The team was 1-5 on the season, their lone win coming in their second game of the season against Moose Jaw Vanier.
“Unfortunately, we experienced a number of serious injuries in those first few games and beyond, which meant that we were unable to have our team reasonably healthy throughout the rest of the season,” said Elecs head coach Mark Schott at the banquet. “However, we didn’t use those injuries as an excuse or allow them to alter our mentality as a team.”
The team continued to compete and practise to the best of their ability throughout the season, even after losing player after player to injury – including first year starting quarterback Kaleb Bechtold and last year’s defensive player of the year Triston Sorenson.
“Everyone on our team knew that the road ahead became more challenging,” Schott said. “But they also knew that complaining or pouting about it wouldn’t help the situation at all.”
Schott noticed the team was starting to come together in unity until their last game, a playoff loss in Swift Current.
“We had 23 players dressed, and we ended up losing two of those players to injury resulting in having 21 players available for most of the game,” Schott said. “The heart that those players played with, the way that they supported each other and the effort that they gave right till the end knowing that the odds are stacked against them was very impressive. And I’m extremely proud of how that group responded to the situation that they faced.”
Other award winners included a split of the rookie of the year award between Brennen Stubel and Bechtold, Colten Kolakowski winning special teams player of the year, Kolby Janssen winning lineman of the year, the Bryan Illerbrun award and the player’s choice award, and Brayden Weber won the Who Are We? award. Kade Bachorcik won the team’s ironman award.