Athletes (2003)Dan Servetnyk made a major impact in two sports, starring with Evan Hardy Souls and the Saskatoon Hilltops on football fields and winning three Canada West championships and two CIAU medals in wrestling. His versatility contributed to his award as Saskatoon Kinsmen athlete of the year in 1981. Dan was born in Saskatoon but grew up on a farm in the St. Denis area. He became a three-sport athlete at Evan Hardy Collegiate, playing two years as a running back with the football team, wrestling for four years, and anchoring the track team, which had a provincial record in the 4x100 metre relay. Dan scored two touchdowns in the first half to give the Souls a 36-14 win over Aden Bowman in the 1977 city final and rushed for 101 yards and caught seven passes in their provincial final victory over Regina Campbell Tartans. The Souls, coached by Blaine Knoll, had a number of players who eventually went into the Canadian Football League. In high school wrestling, he was the city and provincial champion in his weight class in both 1977 and 1978. He jumped into Saskatoon Hilltop ranks in the fall of 1978 and wearing No. 15, he played his first game against the Regina Rams. He was voted rookie of the year with both the Hilltops and within the Prairie Junior Football League. There was a good measure of team success, too, when Hilltops won the Canadian championship with a 24-4 victory over the Ottawa Sooners. The 1981 season was one Danny would never forget. He led the Prairie junior league in scoring, punt returns and kickoff returns, set a record with 20 touchdowns and the longest run from scrimmage, 108 yards against Regina Rams. Capping it off, he was presented with the Schenley trophy as the most outstanding offensive player in junior football. He continued his wrestling career at the University of Saskatchewan, winning a Canada West championship at 65 kg during the 1980, 1981 and 1982 seasons. At the Canadian Interuniversity championships, he was a silver medallist in 1980, a bronze medallist in 1981 and a silver medallist in 1982. His passion for football continued into touch football with the Toads, Prairie Machine and Orangemen. He was on provincial open-age championship teams four times, 1983, 1986, 1989 and 1990. The 1987 team finished as high as fifth at the nationals but Dan made a special mark individually, being voted a game most valuable player on eight occasions, including four games during 1986. He credits much of his inspiration in sports to his mother, Adele and his late father, Orest.