November 9, 2017

Receiver Rewarded

Marken Michel catches a ball during a game against Hamilton on July 29, 2017 (Photo by David Moll)

Marken Michel is getting some much-deserved recognition for his tremendous season.

He was named the top rookie in the West Division this week after racking up 41 receptions, 780 yards, and three touchdowns in just 13 games.

While thrilled about the award, Michel wants to be more than just best in the West.

“It definitely feels good,” he admitted. “But it’ll feel better if I win the league award.”

The talented receiver is going up against the Toronto Argonauts’ James Wilder Jr., who is the finalist from the East.

Michel had a breakout performance in Week 6, when he put up 190 yards and a touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium.

After that outing, he became a staple in the Stampeders passing attack.

“It did kind of come as a shock,” Michel said of his consistent role in the offence as a first-year player. “But as the season went on and coach gave me opportunities to make plays, it showed the hard work that I put in and the patience that I had to get to where I’m at.”

With receivers falling to injuries all season, Marken was an extremely valuable weapon for Bo Levi Mitchell.

Unfortunately, his rookie run hit a bump when he injured his hamstring against Saskatchewan in the team’s second last regular-season home game.

“It was rough, honestly,” said Michel. “It’s one of those things where you try not to get too down on yourself and get too negative. I talked to family a lot and prayed on it and I just kept my faith high and kept pushing.”

Regardless of the missed time, coach Dave Dickenson was confident his young star would bring home the hardware.

“I thought Marken would win the West,” said Dickenson. “Certainly if he could have played in the last few games, he could have put a few more numbers up there.”

While his regular season may have been cut short, thankfully his rookie campaign’s not over.

He’ll be available for the Western Final on Nov. 19 when either the Winnipeg Blue Bombers or the Edmonton Eskimos come to town.

“I feel great,” said Michel. “I got a couple reps in today and I felt real good, but I’m taking it one day at a time.”

“Now I get a chance to finish my season off strong.”