In most walks of life, awards aren’t handed out to those who terrorize others on a regular basis.
But on the football field, Steven Doege’s penchant for hunting down opposing quarterbacks and running backs continues to draw rave reviews from teammates, coaches and opponents alike.
After turning in his most dominant season of football yet, the Okanagan Sun defensive lineman has been named the Canadian Junior Football League’s defensive player of the year.
The 20-year-old Rutland grad was also named a CJFL all-Canadian at the Canadian Bowl festivities over the weekend in Hamilton.
In his third season with the Sun, Doege led the country in sacks with 11 and established a new BCFC career mark in the process with 31.5 sacks overall.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound lineman also recorded 31 tackles and 14 assists in 2011 to compliment his three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Sun head coach Jason Casey said players of Doege’s ilk and talent are few and far between.
“He is a one man wrecking-crew, both against the run and the pass,” said Casey. “As a defensive end, he is extremely fast and physical. Not only can he blow by an offensive tackle with his speed and quick hands, but he can use his strength to simply put you on your ass with his powerful bull-rush.
“Steven is one of the most complete football players I have ever had the honour of being around.”
On top of his skill, speed and physicality, Casey rates Doege’s unpredictability as another key attribute.
“You just don’t know what he is going to use against you on any given play, therefore he is difficult to stop. His stats over the past three seasons reflect that, and the recognition he recieved this past weekend proves he is getting national acknowledgement as one of the best playing the game today.”
In addition to his impressive stats on defense and his intimidating presence to his opponents, Casey said Doege also emerged in 2011 as a bona fide leader on the Sun.
“Steven has really come out of his shell, as well this year,” said Casey. “He was much more of a vocal presence to his teammates, expecting the kind of dedication and hard work from them that he has displayed over his career thus far.”
While his play on the other side of the ball was limited, Doege still managed to contribute on offense with four carries and three touchdowns.
The CJFL honour caps an award-filled 2011 season for Doege. He was also the BCFC’s most outstanding defensive player, the most outstanding lineman, a conference all-star, and the Sun’s team MVP.