1. Broncos rebuild
A year after the April 6, 2018 devastating Broncos bus crash that claimed 16 lives, injured 13, and impacted the lives of countless people, the event, and items tied to it, was arguably the biggest sport story of 2019. Off the ice, there were important stories such as the sentencing of the truck driver involved in the crash, survivor Ryan Straschnitzki taking his first steps since being paralyzed from the chest down, fellow survivor Tyler Smith speaking publicly about mental health, Sports Illustrated chronicling the Logan Boulet Effect, and more. On the ice, assistant coach Scott Barney took over the squad just after Christmas and guided it to a playoff spot and a number of players earned the opportunity to play at post-secondary institutions. This season Barney and his staff have built a young, entertaining team that is led by captain and crash survivor Graysen Cameron.
2. Tia Zimmerman
The Englefeld Grade 12 student was named the Special Olympics Canada Female Athlete of the Year as well as the Special Olympics Saskatchewan Female Athlete of the Year. At the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in the United Arab Emirates, the standout swimmer won gold in the 4x50 metre freestyle relay and bronze in the 800-metre freestyle.
3. Logan Hofmann
The Muenster product was chosen by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. The pitcher was the only Saskatchewan player chosen and one of 25 Canadians tabbed in the draft. Hofmann was a Third Team All-American pitcher in the junior college ranks for Colby (Kan.) Community College, where he racked up numerous honours. After playing in the high-level Cape Cod collegiate summer league, Hofmann is playing and studying at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. In other baseball news, this past summer his hometown’s former senior baseball rivals, the Marysburg Royals, competed in their 101st season.
4. Paige Crozon and Team Canada
The Humboldt product helped Canada’s women’s 3x3 team win four tournaments, go 27-7, and post a 19-1 recorded from August onward. But due to a complicated points system and a rule that says only one national team per gender can get into the Olympic qualification tournament – with some exceptions, the 2020 Olympics unfortunately do not appear to be on the agenda for Crozon and her teammates.
5. Brayden Klimosko
As the rookie head coach of the Battlefords North Stars, the Humboldt product and former Broncos player and assistant coach guided his team to the 2019 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League championship. The squad posted the second-best regular season record – 35-13-5-5 – during the regular season. The North Stars started the 2019-2020 season with a 22-1 record.
6. Muenster baseball
The Red Sox had yet another outstanding summer on the diamond. The community’s 11U, 13U and 15U teams all won provincial titles. All three championships came at the AA Tier 1 level.
7. Horizon Central Athletic Association
The local school athletic association was successful in a variety of sports. Already in the 2019-2020 school year, teams and individuals have earned 17 provincial medals. This is on top of the 44 medals claimed during the previous school year. One of the many impressive accomplishments was Middle Lake Avengers repeating as provincial champs in cross-country and girls basketball.
8. Saskatoon Hilltops
The junior football squad won its sixth straight national Canadian Bowl championship. In all, the Hilltops have won a record 22 national championships. The squad included former Humboldt Collegiate Institute players such as Jared Giddings, Jordan Seipp, Ethan Pasloski, Dawson Hering, and Tristan Hering.
9. Samantha Fisher
The Humboldt Special Olympics brought some great souvenirs home from the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games in Swift Current. She won five medals: two gold, two silver, and a bronze in six races.
10. Gaudreau rink
The Humboldt Curling Club rink of Aaron Gaudreau, vice-skip Jason Schlachter, second Tom Johnson, and lead Joel McDonald held its own at the Canadian Curling Club Championships in Leduc. The team went 3-3 in pool play and won its first game in the double knockout round. The rink earned a spot in the national event by winning provincials.