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A long journey to Winnipeg: Lineman finds a home with the Manitoba Bisons
Published Saturday, September 21, 2019 3:14PM CST
The Manitoba Bisons football team is made up of players from across the country; from the lower mainland in British Columbia, all the way to the Maritimes.
There’s only one member of the roster from outside of Canada, and that’s Bojan Stevanovic (pronounced “boy-an”, though his teammates call him “Bo”). His journey to Winnipeg started because of the Yugoslav Wars.
"The war was happening in Yugoslavia, it kind of split up and stuff,” he said. His parents left their home of Banovici, Bosnia bound for Croatia, where Bojan was born in March of 1998.
“We were living with them for I think half a year or something like that. And then we applied for immigration to come here to Canada, and we got accepted."
Because of his hulking frame, 6 foot two and 290 pounds, Stevanovic switched from soccer to football in the grade 10, and hasn’t looked back.
"The weight room is a big part of his game,” said his head coach Brian Dobie. “You know he's powerful and he's strong, and he accents that part of the game. You know, he needs to play like a beast."
Stevanovic has maintained his heritage, taking an active role within the Serbian community in Winnipeg.
"I danced for about 13-years with Folklorama,” he said of Winnipeg’s annual multicultural festival. “I was ambassador there, I kind of stayed in the community as much as possible, we don't have a huge one here in Winnipeg."
The 21-year-old admits, all that fancy footwork has translated to the defensive line.
“Definitely, it definitely does. We still have a running joke, I always do a couple moves in the hotel rooms on game days."
The Manitoba Bisons football team plays in their homecoming game against the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday September 21st.