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Twice As Nice: Mitchell most outstanding once again

EDMONTON — Bo Levi Mitchell may soon need a bigger trophy case.

The Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback won the second Most Outstanding Player award of his career on Thursday, taking the league’s top honour at the 2018 Shaw CFL Awards at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre.

“I think the first one, people are rooting for you, in your corner,” Mitchell told members of the media after accepting his award. “Everybody wants to see change and new faces. When guys are repeat winners it becomes that much harder to win and that much harder to get somebody to vote. The second one is amazing and hopefully there’s more to come.”

At just 28 years old, Mitchell has also won a Grey Cup and Grey Cup MVP through five seasons as a starting quarterback and seven years in all. He’ll start his fourth Grey Cup on Sunday night against the Ottawa REDBLACKS in the 106th Grey Cup presented by Shaw.

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With the second MOP honour of his career, Mitchell continues his hall of fame calibre career trajectory. He remains the CFL’s all-time win percentage leader as a starting quarterback, and has thrown 150 touchdowns to just 49 interceptions for a ratio slightly better than 3:1.

Two years after winning the award in 2016, Mitchell was back on top of his game this season, leading the Stampeders to a 13-5 record and first place in the West Division. He finished his season with 35 touchdowns and 14 interception, averaging 8.8 yards per attempt — the second-highest since he became a starter.

“What makes it sweeter, it’s the guys I have in the locker-room,” Mitchell said. “We’re such a tight-knit group. Everyone talks about the injuries instead of the body of work we’ve put in together. I want to raise those guys up and say they’re the best receiving core in the league, and no one can tell me differently. This goes out to them.”

Mitchell got the nod over Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who had a big year representing the East.