Ward and Sinopoli Take Home CFL Award Honours
Photo credit: Johany Jutras
Current Ottawa Redblacks and former University of Ottawa Gee-Gees filled their trophy cases at the 2018 Shaw CFL Awards.
Kicker Lewis Ward won both the Rookie of the Year and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year awards, while receiver Brad Sinopoli won his second career Most Outstanding Canadian award.
Ward beat out B.C.’s kicker/punter Ty Long for the special teams award and Saskatchewan’s Jordan Williams-Lambert for top rookie. Sinopoli bettered Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris for top Canadian honours.
The other time Sinopoli won the award was 2015, his first with the Redblacks. Sinopoli set a new all-time Canadian receiver record with his CFL-leading 116 receptions this season. He also finished third in receiving yards with over 1300, a career best. The former Gee-Gee quarterback has been one of the league’s top weapons since making the switch to receiver in the pros. The 30-year-old Sinopoli will be looking for his third Grey Cup ring this Sunday. He won in 2014 with the Stampeders and 2016 with the Redblacks.
Meanwhile, Lewis Ward became the first kicker in CFL history to win Rookie of the Year. Also voted the league’s top special teamer, Ward set a Pro Football record (CFL and NFL) with 48 straight field goal makes. The regular season mark is still alive and will carry into the 2019 season.
Ward finished with only one field goal miss the entire season and a field goal percentage of 98.1%. He made the second most total field goals in the CFL with 51. Ward is a part of one of the league’s best special teams units, alongside punter Richie Leone, return-man Diontae Spencer and gunner Nigel Romick.
Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell was up for the Coach of the Year award for his second time in Ottawa but Roughrider coach Chris Jones was given the nod.
Ward and Sinopoli will need to be key contributors in this Sunday’s Grey Cup game against the high-powered Calgary Stampeders. Their quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell, was selected as the 2018 Most Outstanding Player, given to the league’s top (or most valuable) performer.