October 18, 2006

Bombers’ good guy gets his due

Bombers long-snapper Chris Cvetkovic has been named the recipient of the Ed Kotowich Good Guy Award for the 2006 season. The award is presented annually to the Bomber player who best demonstrates football ability, team camaraderie and extraordinary effort in the community. Cvetkovic, 29, is in his fourth season with the Blue Bombers. He originally joined the team late in 2003 and hasn’t missed a regular season game since. His solid play helped punter Jon Ryan become a CFL All-Star last season and set a CFL record for highest punting average in a single season (50.6 yards). He is also one of the team’s top special teams tacklers on an annual basis.

Cvetkovic, who recently made Winnipeg his off-season home, has been one of the most active Bombers in the community. He was been active with a number of local charities including CancerCare Manitoba, Child Find Manitoba, Winnipeg Children’s Hospital Foundation, Raise-A-Reader, Christmas Cheerboard, Winnipeg Harvest and the Blue Bombers’ Stay-In-School Program.

The affable Bomber veteran also volunteers as a coach for the Churchill High School football program and the Winnipeg Rifles junior football team.

Cvetkovic has also managed to find time to speak at a number of local youth sports banquets and has visited a number of local Cub Scouts groups about the benefits of healthy living.

In addition to his job with the Blue Bombers, Cvetkovic works with MacDonald Youth Services and is responsible for assessing troubled youth and scheduling activities for them. He and longtime friend Phil Gibson also recently launched a football camp for youngsters in Burlington, Ont.

The Good Guy Award is named after the late Ed Kotowich, who was a valuable member of Winnipeg’s offensive line from 1955 to 1961.

Kotowich and fellow O-lineman Cornel Piper were known as the pulling guards on the Bombers offensive line that paved the way for running backs like Leo Lewis. Kotowich played on three Grey Cup championship teams (1958, 1959 and 1961).

Kotowich was active in the community. He served two terms as a city councilor, coached amateur football, was a member of the Knights of Columbus and was a strong supporter of the development of the Boni-Vital Swimming Pool.