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sportslife 2019 | Volume 6 | Issue 3

Manitoba’s Three Universities Celebrate Athletes of the Year

Team Canada Volleyball Star Eric Loeppky Excited About 2019 NORCECA Championship in Winnipeg www.SportsLife.life

Winnipeg Edition

Basketball Hall of Fame Welcomes its 2019 Inductees Bannon Named Commissioner of WHSFL Manitoba Finds Success at Dodgeball Nationals Seven Bisons Selected in CFL Draft

2019 Senior Bowl Page 16


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Contents 4 sports sportslife life

26

Manitoba reached podium at nationals

06 the starting line-up

Hottest News Stories in Manitoba Sports

10 international volleyball

Team Canada’s Eric Loeppky – 2019 NORCECA

12 basketball manitoba

News and Announcements

14 mb basketball hall of fame

Class of 2019 inductees

16 high school football

WHSFL’s New Commissioner 2019 WHSFL Senior Bowl Roster

18 Ringette

NWRA Stars Storybook Season

20 University sports

Wesmen Athletes of the Year

22 play other sports

Coaches and Youth Sports Organizers Say to Play Something Else in the Off-Season

24 Manitoba Sports Hall of fame

Spring Class of 2019

26 dodgeball

Manitoba Reached Podium at Nationals

31 Community Billboard

Support Your Local Community


SportsLife is Manitoba’s amateur sports magazine. This is where sports fans will meet the Olympians of tomorrow and the medalists of today and they all compete right here in Manitoba. We exist to pay tribute to those who make sport so important to this province. Published by SportsLife Publications, it is edited by Scott Taylor and is designed and developed by Scott Taylor, Debbie Dunmall and OV Suvajac. SportsLife Magazine is printed by Quantum Graphics. Any opinions expressed belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily express the views of the magazine, or of the publishers. All published work is edited for accuracy, style, and clarity. We do accept unsolicited material as long as it refers to athletes, coaches, or volunteers involved in sport in Manitoba. For all information and advertising rates, we can be reached at 204-996-4146 or 204-296-GOAL (4625). PUBLISHER OV Suvajac publisher@sportslife.life Box 66050, Winnipeg Manitoba R3K 2G0 204-996-4146 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Scott Taylor sdtaylor2@shaw.ca ART DIRECTOR Debbie Dunmall ddunmall@gmail.com COVER PHOTO Courtesy Volleyball Canada CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS James Carey Lauder, Jeff Miller, Sports Canada, Trevor Hagan/University of Manitoba, Rich Lam/UBC, Sports Manitoba, Jordy Grossman, Winnipeg Ringette League, Dodgeball Manitoba, Volleyball Canada, Scott Stewart/TWU Spartans, Milana Paddock, Kelly Morton/University of Winnipeg, River City Photography, Mel Reimer/Ringette Manitoba CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Scott Taylor, Resby Coutts, Johnston Hall, David Larkins, Olivia Baldwin

A new season For the most part we’re back outside. Sure, the spring basketball, volleyball and hockey players are still inside their gyms and rinks, but baseball, softball, soccer, ultimate, golf and, of course, beach volleyball competitors are back outside, taking advantage of a Winnipeg summer – the best summer there is anywhere on the planet. So, in this, the May/June Edition of SportsLife Magazine, we pay homage to both the indoor and outdoor stars of Manitoba sports. In this edition, we’ll introduce you to Eric Loeppky, the young man from Steinbach, who just might be the next big thing in Canadian volleyball. We certainly expect he’ll be wearing the uniform of Team Canada when our nation takes on the best volleyball teams in the region at the 2019 NORCECA Men’s Championship right in Winnipeg from Sept. 2-7. We also honor Manitoba’s university athletes of the year – Nikala Majewski (volleyball) and Seth Friesen (volleyball) at Brandon University; Narcisse Ambanza (basketball) and Shae-Lynn Dodds (soccer) at the University of Winnipeg; and Kelsey Wog (swimming) and Simon Berube (track) at the University of Manitoba. We’ll also introduce you to the brand-new commissioner of the Winnipeg High School Football League, a guy who is certainly well-known in the football community, the Nomads’ Jeffrey Bannon. As well, we have a tribute to the newest inductees into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame and the spring inductees of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, plus a look at competitive Dodge Ball, the 2019 Skate Canada Manitoba award winners, the upcoming Assiniboia Downs season and the newest soccer recruits at the University of Winnipeg. It’s another jam-packed issue of SportsLife. So sit back, relax and meet some of new best friends.

– SCOTT TAYLOR Editor-in-Chief SportsLife is published at least six times a year by SportsLife Publications. All sales are managed by SportsLife Publications. All design and layout is provided by Debbie Dunmall and SportsLife is printed by Quantum Graphics.

www.SportsLife.life sportslife 5


the

Starting

Line-Up

Kelsey Wog

Compiled by Scott Taylor, Photos by James Carey Lauder, Jeff Miller, Sport Canada, Basketball Manitoba, Trevor Hagan/University of Manitoba, Milana Paddock, Sport Canada and Rich Lam SportsLife Magazine brings you the hottest news stories in Manitoba sports. Once again, we’ll catch up with a number of the star athletes who were sensational in 2018 and continue to be great this year. Here’s the latest in Manitoba sport…

WOG QUALIFIES FOR FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS It’s certainly worth the discussion, but University of Manitoba swimming sensation, Kelsey Wog, just might be the best athlete in Manitoba. Last month, at the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto, Wog qualified for a spot with Team Canada at the 2019 FINA World Championships, finishing in a time of 2:22.82 in the 200-metre breaststroke final. Wog won silver in the event, narrowly beaten by Sydney Pickrem who finished in 2:22.63. Both times were below the 2019 FINA A standard of 2:25.91 and both young women will represent Canada in Gwangiu, Korea from July 21-28. This will be the second time that Wog has competed with Team Canada at the Senior A Level. She appeared with our national team at the Pan Pacific Championships last summer.

FIGURE SKATING HONORS ITS BEST At its annual Awards Gala last month, Skate Canada Manitoba celebrated the best and brightest from the 2018-19 season. This is the time of the year when our organization gathers to recognize the successes of our skaters, coaches and officials and to thank our many dedicated volunteers,” said Donna Yee, Chair of Skate Canada Manitoba. The recipients were selected from nominations throughout the province in skater, coach and volunteer categories: Skate Canada Manitoba CanSkate Athlete Award – HaSkate Canada’s Canada Wiunter Games Team and their recognition awards: leigh Cuvelier from Skate Brandon From left to right: Julia Patenaude, Emma King, Chanel Cabak, Ceci Howes, Annika Duguay, Skate Canada Manitoba STARSkate Athlete Award – Breken Brezden, Jade Pilat, Emmet Dewar, Tammy Mckay and Laurie Bertholet. Missing: Kevin Dawe & Yonathan Elizarov. Melissa Kerik from Skate Brandon Skate Canada Manitoba CompetitiveSkate Athlete Award – Annika Duguay from the Carberry Figure Skating Club Skate Canada Manitoba Program Assistant Award – Cassidy Miller from Skate Brandon Skate Canada Manitoba Volunteer Award – Marlow Gwynne from Skate Brandon Skate Canada Manitoba Volunteer Coach Award – Cynthia Chartrand from the Carberry Figure Skating Club Skate Canada Manitoba Volunteer Award of Excellence – Don Brown from the East St. Paul Figure Skating Club   Ian Carmichael Memorial Award – Andrea Laskovic from Skate Winnipeg Dodie Wardle Memorial Award – Sadie Graetz from Skate Winnipeg Manitoba Open Junior Artistic Award – Ava Kemp from Skate Winnipeg Manitoba Open Senior Artistic Award – Olivia Sawatsky from the Morden Figure Skating Club Manitoba Open Bursaries awarded to Sloane Walker from Skate Winnipeg, Ava Kemp from Skate Winnipeg, Jade Pilat from the East St. Paul Figure Skating Club, David Howes from Skate Winnipeg, Emmet Dewar from the East St. Paul Figure Skating Club and Marius Peter-Joyal from Skate Winnipeg

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WOG, BERUBE NAMED BISONS ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Kelsey Wog

Swimmer Kelsey Wog and track star Simon Berubé were named the 2018-19 University of Manitoba Bison Sports Female and Male Athletes of the Year. Track and field and cross country head coach Claude Berubé was selected as the Coach of the Year, while Markus Rurangirwa (track and field) and Nicole Davis (women’s soccer) picked up the Rookie of the Year awards. The seventh annual Pat Gill Legacy Award was presented to track and field speed and power coach Alex Gardiner. Track and field assistant coach Mingpu Wu was named the Assistant Coach of the Year. The Leadership and Community Development Awards went to football’s Jayden McKoy on the men’s side, while Naomi Kirshenblatt from swimming and Amanda Wong from soccer shared the honours on the women’s side. Along with the major awards, Bison Sports recognized an MVP from each team for the season. Women’s Basketball – Claire Harvey Men’s Basketball – Rashawn Browne Women’s Cross Country – Janine Zajac Men’s Cross Country – Daniel Heschuk Football – Dylan Schrot Men’s Golf – Devon Schade Women’s Golf – Marissa Naylor Women’s Hockey – Erica Rieder

Men’s Hockey – Byron Spriggs Women’s Soccer – Madison Wilford Women’s Swimming – Kelsey Wog Men’s Swimming – Anthony Iliouchetchev Women’s Track and Field – Tegan Turner Men’s Track and Field – Simon Berube Women’s Volleyball – Cassie Bujan Men’s Volleyball – Dustin Spiring

Simon Berube

AMBANZA, OGUNGBEMI-JACKSON, PRYCE ALLEYN CHOSEN IN FIRST CEBL DRAFT University of Winnipeg Wesmen guard Narcisse Ambanza will have a chance to play pro basketball in an upstart Canadian league this summer. Ambanza, a third-year guard from Toronto, was selected by the Edmonton Stingers in the first round, fifth overall of the U Sports rounds in the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Ambanza was one of 37 current or former U Sports players picked in the draft for the CEBL, which will begin play in May in six cities. The Stingers will be coached by current Alberta Golden Bears head coach, and former Wesmen assistant, Jarred Barnaby Craddock. Former Wesmen forward Jelane Pryce Ogungbemi-Jackson was also selected Saturday, going to the Saskatchewan Rattlers in the second round and ninth overall of the Regional Rounds. Meanwhile, with the second pick in Round 3 of the Regional Draft, the Stingers also selected Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson from Winnipeg, who attends the University of Calgary, while the Saskatchewan Rattlers chose Winnipeg’s Justus Alleyn from the University of Manitoba with the third pick of Round 3. Justus Alleyn

SAUNDERS WINS BRONZE AT PAM-AMS

Jennifer Saunders

Winnipeg’s Jennifer Saunders has won another international racquetball medal, this time from the Pan American Racquetball Championships in Barranquia, Colombia last month. Saunders and her partner, Danielle Drury of Saskatoon were seeded 11th in the elimination draw and yet came very close to advancing to the final. Sadly, they suffered a tough loss in their semi-final against second seeded Christina Amaya and Christina Riveros of Colombia, 8-15, 15-9, 11-8. However, the Canadian duo played superbly in the bronze medal match and joined the silver-medal winning Canadian Men’s Doubles team on the podium. Amazingly, this was Saunders’ 13th international medal with Team Canada.

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2019 BISON FOOTBALL SCHEDULE RELEASED U of M Bisons quarterback Des Catellier

The University of Manitoba Bisons football team, a group that just had seven players selected in the CFL draft, will open the 2019 season at home against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Of note, the Bisons will play the annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 2 p.m. against the UBC Thunderbirds. For the seventh season, the Bisons will play all of their home games at Investors Group Field on the campus of the U of M. Conference playoffs will begin Saturday, November 2. The 83rd Hardy Cup takes place on Saturday, Nov. 9. This season, a Canada West team will play host to the Mitchell Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 16. The 2019 Vanier Cup will be played at Laval on Saturday, Nov. 23.

2019 Bison Football Schedule (all times CT)

Saturday, September 28 vs. Regina (2 p.m.)

Friday, August 30 vs. Saskatchewan (7 p.m.)

Friday, October 4 at Saskatchewan (8 p.m.)

Friday, September 6 at Calgary (6:30 p.m.)

Conference Bye – October 12, 13

Friday, September 13 at Alberta (8 p.m.)

Saturday, October 19 vs. Calgary (2 p.m.)

Saturday, Sept. 21 vs. UBC (2 p.m. – Homecoming Game)

Friday, October 25 at Regina (8 p.m.)

Jackson Tachinski Basketball

TACHINSKI TO JOIN THE BISONS

The third great athlete from one of Winnipeg’s greatest athletic families, is about to join the University of Manitoba Bisons. And he intends to play two varsity sports. Jackson Tachinski from Winnipeg’s Vincent Massey Trojans is a 6-foot-4 quarterback who led the Trojans to the 2018 ANAVETS Bowl championship in November and then, as the point guard, led Massey to the 2019 MHSAA Provincial basketball title in March. Jackson’s older sister Victoria runs track at Penn State University while his brother Xander plays football at McMaster University. Jackson also has Team Manitoba experience in both sports, having played for the U18 football team in 2018 and the U17 basketball team in 2018.

Jackson Tachinski Football

SEVEN BISONS SELECTED IN CFL DRAFT Seven Manitoba Bisons were selected in the 2019 Canadian Football League Draft back on May 2. Tied for the second-most (2002) in a single year in program history. Offensive lineman Zack Williams (Murdoch McKay) went first, chosen 28th overall in the third round by the Calgary Stampeders. Receiver Shai Ross (Dakota) was picked 40th overall in the fifth round by the Edmonton Eskimos. Four Bison defensive linemen were selected in the sixth and seventh rounds, with Tariq LaChance (Massey) selected 52nd overall by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Chris Larsen selected 54th by the Ottawa Redblacks, Derek Dufault (Dakota) selected 58th overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Samson Abbott (St. Paul’s) selected 63rd overall by the Redblacks. In the eighth round, running back Jamel Lyles was selected 69th overall by the B.C. Lions.

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Zack Williams (61) of the Bisons


MAJEWSKI, FRIESEN NAMED BOBCATS TOP ATHLETES A pair of volleyball stars, Nikala Majewski and Seth Friesen have been named the 2018-19 Brandon University athletes of the year. “It means so much. I just love BU so much and to be in the history books now is something that will never be taken from me, and I’m just so happy to be here,” said Majewski. “I really haven’t stopped smiling since my name was called. I worked really hard and I’m so glad it paid off. I’m just really happy right now.” Majewski is a 5-foot11 left side player who attended Westwood Collegiate in Winnipeg. Friesen is a 6-foot-8 left side player who led the Bobcats to the national volleyball final.

Nikala Majewski and Seth Friesen

HGI WINS PEMBINA TRAILS HOOPS TITLE

HGI Wolves, Pembina Trails Basketball Champions, Back row from left: Laurel Otegbade, Teagan Penner, Coach Arnold Garcia, Lauryn Wilson, Kendra Jo’Sai. Middle Row left to right: Paige Schatkowsky, Alyssa Doneza, Memphis Garcia, Kelly George. Front row left to right: Leigh Turner and Ksusha Milusheva.

Coach Arnold Garcia, his captains Memphis Garcia and Alyssa Doneza and the Grade 7/8 Girls Basketball team at Henry G. Izatt Middle School had a pretty sensational season. The HGI Wolves beat Linden Woods 66-36 to claim the Pembina Trails Athletic Association’s championship and then they beat Stanley Knowles School 68-51 in the Basketball Manitoba Provincial Championship game. In the final, Garcia, Doneza, Teagan Penner, Ksusha Milusheva and Lauryn Wilson were keys to the championship game victory. The Wolves finished the season with a record of 23-0 and the margin of victory was never less than 15 points. The core group of girls on the team have been playing basketball competitively for four years and are also excellent students. “This dynamic team maintained an impressive undefeated status throughout the school year,” said Coach Garcia. “They went on to become back-to-back 2018-19 Junior Girls PTAA Divisional Champions and most importantly, back-to-back Provincial Champions. “As their coach, I feel pretty lucky to have witnessed the growth with this team.”

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Ready to Have a Blast By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy Volleyball Canada and Scott Stewart/Trinity Western University Spartans Steinbach’s Eric Loeppky figures it “would be a blast,” to wear Team Canada’s colors at the 2019 NORCECA men’s Continental Volleyball Championship. After all, the tournament takes place in Winnipeg from Sept. 2-7, at the University of Winnipeg’s Dr. David F. Anderson Gymnasium and with all the friends and familiar faces in the crowd, it just might be the most fun that Canada’s best 20-year-old volleyball player could possibly have. “Yeah, I think it would be a blast,” said Loeppky, who is so good he made Canada’s A team last year as a 19-year-old university player. “I know how special it would be. The older guys (on the national team) tell me how great it feels to wear the Team Canada uniform on Canadian soil because we don’t get to do it very often. “If I’m with the national team this fall, I’m going to make it a point to take it all in. It’s going to be a very exciting event and while I get to play in Winnipeg a couple of times every year with my university team, playing for Canada in Winnipeg would be pretty exciting.” There is no reason why Loepkky shouldn’t be with the National A team this fall. After all, the 6-foot-5 outside hitter not only made the nation’s highly-rated top national team last year, but he just spent the winter leading Trinity Western University to its third USPORT national championship in four years and in the process, was named TWU’s male athlete of the year. He’s already in Ottawa, working out with six other members of the national A team and practicing with some of the guys on the national B team who are in the nation’s capital for tryouts. Loeppky is ready to compete for a spot. “I’m pretty involved with the national team program,” Loeppky conceded. “I played on the junior national team for two summers and then travelled with the national A team last summer. And with NORCECA coming up in Winnipeg this fall, I’m excited for what the national team could do this year.” The NORCECA Championship is the official competition for senior men’s national teams of the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation. Results from the tournament will contribute to continental points and the Top 4 ranked teams from the event will advance to the 2020 Olympic Games Continental qualifier in January 2020. The teams that have qualified this year for the NORCECA Championship are the USA, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago. Canada finished third at this tournament in 2017 and won gold in 2015. For Loeppky, whose father Greg coaches the Steinbach Regional Secondary School Sabres varsity volleyball team, is well-aware of the importance of the tournament and what it will mean to volleyball fans in Manitoba.

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“Winnipeg has a great volleyball community,” Eric said. “You know there will be a lot of people watching. I imagine the Canada-USA match could probably be held at a larger venue. We know the crowds will be pretty big when Canada plays.” Loeppky grew up in Steinbach and volleyball was always a big part of his life. Although his dad was a basketball player at Providence College, Greg has spent much of his adult life playing and coaching volleyball in both the gym and on the beach. Eric’s mom, Sandra, was a volleyball player, as well. “Growing up, both my parents were volleyball players so I got a bit of a head start,” Eric said. “We had a group in Grade 6 or 7 that stayed together right through high school and was pretty successful.” After leading SRSS to the AAAA Manitoba High School championship, Loeppky packed up and headed to Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. There he won a USPORTS championship in his first year, finished second in his second year and won again this past season. Along the way, he made the national A team, a rare accomplishment for any athlete, but almost unheard of for a teenager still playing university ball.


“We’ve had guys on the extended roster while still in university,” TWU Spartans head coach Ben Josephson told varsityletters.ca. “But nothing like this, nothing like being 30 minutes away from going to the world championship.” Of course, making the national team also opened up another can of worms. He’s been offered a number of contracts to play professionally all over the world. However, he wants to finish his degree first. Still, he knows that playing professionally will only last so long. So does he play professionally now and go back to school later or should he finish university before turning pro? “It’s a really tough decision,” he said. “I love Trinity Western. I love the school, my teammates, my coaches. I met my girlfriend there (Spartans soccer player Brooklyn Tidder).

“I’m in education, so it takes a little longer to graduate. And it’s not something I can do on-line. Education is a hands-on profession so I’d need to be at school. I think I’m going to go back this year for my fourth year and I’ll be really close to finishing my undergraduate degree. At that point, I’ll try to make a decision about playing pro.” In the meantime, there is a good chance he could be wearing Team Canada’s uniform and playing in front of family and friends in the NORCECA championship in Winnipeg this September. “I think my grandparents have already bought tickets,” he said. “They’re big volleyball fans, too. My whole family will be there. It’s going to be sweet.” Event passes and group packages are now on sale, with individual day tickets being available in early June. Event and ticket information can be found at: https:// volleyballmanitoba. ca/2019-norceca/ l

Men’s Continental Volleyball Championship September 2-7, 2019 University of Winnipeg

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Team Canada to Host Nigeria ROAD TO THE WORLD CUP Exhibition Basketball Game Fri Aug 9 in Winnipeg The Senior Men’s National Team will face Nigeria at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Friday, August 9 at 7:00 p.m. CT, on the road to the World Cup. This game will be an important match-up for both teams as they prepare for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China (August 31-September 5, 2019). It has been 20 years since Winnipeg has hosted an international competition featuring the Senior Men’s National Team, and Canada Basketball is proud to partner with True North Sports + Entertainment to bring the team back to the city. For additional information on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, visit http://www.fiba.basketball/ basketballworldcup/2019

Manitoba Provincial Team Basketball Age 15U, 16U & 17U Tryouts Manitoba Provincial Team Basketball Age 15U, 16U & 17U Tryouts are Set for May 24-26, 2019 at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre (400 Spence Street in Winnipeg, MB). The summer of 2019 will see a total of 6 Provincial Teams formed at the male and female 17U, 16U and 15U age levels. All six Provincial Teams will compete in warm-up events in Canada and the USA prior to heading to their respective National Championships or Western Canada Games later this summer. You can find more information, including the tryout schedule here; www.basketballmanitoba.ca/2019/03/ manitoba-provincial-team-basketball-age.html

team at the WCSG. The 16U team will hold its final round of tryouts for selected athletes in early June. More information on the 2019 WCSG can be found at http://2019wcsg.ca/ sports/basketball/ The initial plans for the summer of 2019 include (this will be updated as the summer approaches) • 15U, 16U, & 17U Female Teams: Prairie Cup Challenge vs Team Sask (Brandon) July 7 • 15U, 16U, & 17U Male Teams: Game / Tournament TBA • 15U, 16U, & 17U Male Teams: July USA Tournament: Location TBA • 15U & 17U Female Teams: North Tartan Meltdown (Minneapolis, MN) July 19-22 • 15U & 17U Male Teams: Canada Basketball National Championships (Fredericton, NB) Aug 4-11 • 15U & 17U Female: Canada Basketball National Championships (Victoria, BC) Aug 4-11 • 16U Male & Female: Western Canada Summer Games (Swift Current, SK) Aug 9-13 * NCAA Sanctioned For information on the program including time lines and fees please go to the Manitoba Provincial Team page. basketballmanitoba.ca/search/label/ProvincialTeam

This summer the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games will be in Swift Current, SK. Manitoba will send a male and female 16U basketball team to attend. Selected players born in 2003 or later who are not selected to the 15U and 17U teams will be given the opportunity to join the 16U

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Danny Green Basketball Skills Clinic for Ages 8-16 Coming to Winnipeg July 2-3, 2019 at Canada Games Centre Dates: July 2 & 3, 2019 (Tues & Wed) Times: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (check-in begins at 9:30 am) Location: Canada Games Sport for Life Centre, 145 Pacific Ave. Map and parking options below Ages: Boys and girls ages 8-16 (born 2003 to 2011) Each camper will receive: • An exclusive PUMA Danny Green Camp Shirt • Camp Photo with Danny Green • An autograph from Danny Green (item provided) Cost: $199.99 Canadian plus taxes ($225.99 total) Group rates are available for your team, school, or group of friends! For more information, please contact goldlevelse@ gmail.com Register at: goldlevelse.com/ dannygreencamp sportslife 13


Basketball’s Newest Class By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy Basketball Manitoba One was perhaps the finest shotblocker of the 70s and 80s. Another was a pure scorer. And yet another was both a great coach and an outstanding official. In April, the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2019 and the inductees were led by former University of Winnipeg star Belaineh Deguefe, former Brandon University gunner Mike Vaira and the brilliant coach and official Bill Moody. In total, there were four players, five builders and two teams. Thanks to Basketball Manitoba’s executive director, Adam Wedlake, let’s meet the new class: PLAYERS: Belaineh Deguefe – A graduate of Kelvin High School and the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, Deguefe was a 1978-82; Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) all-star all four years he played at Winnipeg from 1978 to 1982. He was GPAC Player-ofthe-Year, CIAU/CIS All-Canadian and Wesmen Athlete-of-the-Year in 1981.

Mike Vaira – The late (2018), great Mike Vaira came to Brandon from his native Oregon and played for the Bobcats from 1970-75. In 1973-74, he led the nation in scoring, averaging 26.5 pts. per game and became the first Bobcat to be named an All-Canadian. He was a two-time GPAC All-Star and the Brandon University Male Athleteof-the-Year in 1974.

BUILDERS: Irv Hanec – The late Irv Hanec (2017) coached for 45 years at all levels – high school (Elmwood, Daniel McIntyre, St. John’s, Dakota and College Jean Sauve), senior men’s, national and international with St. Andrews Super Saints. He was the Mike Spack Award winner in 1996 and the Basketball Manitoba Coach-of-the-Year in 2006 when he led CJS to the provincial ‘AAAA’ championship. He also officiated for many years and was the Basketball Manitoba Executive Director in 2005-2006. Coach Bill Moody

Mike Vaira with the layup in 1974

Margaret Mulder – A product of the high school programs in Barrie, Ont., Mulder was a University of Winnipeg Wesmen star from 1986-89. She was a two-time GPAC All-Star, twice named CIAU/CIS player-of-the-week and an All-Canadian in 1988. She was also a member of Canada’s National Team in 1988. Isabel (Duncan) Thomson – The late Isabel Thomson (2007) was a true pioneer in women’s basketball for 25 years in the 1930s and 1940s. She played 17 years of junior and senior basketball with the Altomahs and the Winnipeg Pegs and represented Manitoba six times in the Western Canadian championships. She was the Altomahs captain and was an all-star on numerous occasions.

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Belaineh Deguefe with the block


Larry McDougall – The late Larry McDougall (2017) coached for 32 years at Dauphin Regional Secondary School where he won three MHSAA ‘AAA’ Provincial Championships with the Varsity Boys team in 1975, 1976 and 1980 and with the Varsity Girls in 1987. He had a reputation for patience and for building relationships with his players. Bill Moody – A brilliant coach and official in Brandon for more than 40 years, Moody coached at Neelin, Killarney and Crocus Plains High Schools where he led teams to a number of championships. He also coached the BU Bobcats women’s team for five years and was a two-time GPAC Coach-of-the-Year. A long-time official at all levels, he also presented at many coaching clinics in the Westman Region. Isabel (Duncan) Thomson – Thomson, who died in 2007, will be inducted both as a player and a builder. She was President of the Greater Women’s Senior Women’s Basketball league for many years and Vice President of the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association (now Canada Basketball). Dennis Wilson – A long-time coach and administrator, Wilson coached The Ross Gray Raiders from Sprague

The Raiders today the Glenlawn High School Varsity Boys team from 1961-70, and that included the 1967 ‘AAAA’ provincial champions. He was the commissioner of the Manitoba Super League from 1976-78 and was the first president of the Manitoba Basketball Coaches’ Association. As a school administrator, he supported and helped develop quality programs at many schools. He alsocoached in the WMBA, at the International Peace Gardens and in the inner city BeeBall program. TEAMS: Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School Clippers – The Clippers’ Varsity Boys were the 1974-

75, 1975-76 and 1979-80, MHSAA Provincial ‘AAA’ Champions. Ross L. Gray School Raiders (Sprague) – The Raiders Varsity Girls were the 1973-74, 1974-75, 1977-78, 198081,1981-82, 1982-83, 1985-86 and 198889, MHSAA Provincial Champions The official induction of this year’s class will take place on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg. l

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TEAM sangster

2019 WHSFL Senior Bowl, Sunday, May 26 Investors Group Field, 5:30 p.m. Team Name Position Maples Danten Santos DB Steinbach Cade Penner DB Grant Park Alex Minor DB Garden City Eli Rivera DB Garden City Reese Francey DB St. Pauls Vince DeRosa DB St. Pauls Kyle Chorney DB Dakota Josh Yanchishyn DB Dakota Madison Spewak DB River East Samuel Hezekiah DB River East Jo Jo Funk Clements DB Churchill Samuel Okoyealor DL Garden City Mateo Presingular DL River East Owen Rerick DL DMCI Rayden Hastings DL Gran Park Blade Thickfoot DL Gran Park Joel Pasche DL Kildonan East Hayden Jones DL Garden City Josh Patterson LB Kildonan East Trevor Parrish LB Dakota Raffaele Caligiuri LB Crocus Dominic Einarsson LB Crocus Miguel Dominguez LB Crocus Logan Sedgwick LB Grant Park Josh Sosiak OL Grant Park Liam Orchard OL Garden City Skyler Kemash OL Garden City Nathaniel Opinga OL St. Pauls Matteo Vaccaro OL Dakota Vincent Marsh OL Elmwood Colton Blais OL Kildonan East Alex Bater OL Kildonan East Nick Davis OL Daniel Mac Kieran Benson QB St. Pauls Brody Lawson QB Garden City Jarret Alcaraz QB St. Pauls Nick Moore RB Crocus Rory Nicol RB DMCI Nathaniel King-Wilson RB Elmwood Evyn Melville-Toth RB Kildonan East Josh Beaucage RB Grant Park Wyatt Barber WR Grant Park Jacob Sanchez WR Garden City Payton Yakimishyn WR Garden City Everrett Findley WR St. Pauls Tristen Hutter WR St. Pauls Thane Tomlinson WR Dakota Aidan Campbell WR DMCI Ethan Schnerch WR Head Coach Dennis Radlinsky H Coach

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‘Goose B

By Scott Taylor, Photo co

Jeffrey Bannon has spent a huge part of his life as a football volunteer. He coached the Nomads seven-year-olds and eventually became president of the club. Now comes the biggest challenge of his football life. Although, to be honest, he’s looking at it more as an honour than a challenge. Bannon, the former Director of Marketing/Retail and Community Relations with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (from 2005-2014) has taken over the position of Commissioner of the Winnipeg High School Football League from the retiring Rick Henkewich. It was Henkewich who recruited Bannon for the job. And Bannon knows he has big shoes to fill. Henkewich took a competitive and enthusiastic loop of high schools and turned them into a polished machine, producing some of the finest athletes in Canada. Not only did Henkewich grow the league, but despite being in a small province with some very small schools, the WHSFL is now considered one of the top high school football leagues in the country. In fact, seven WHSFL graduates were selected in the 2019 CFL draft – Zack Williams (Murdoch MacKay), Derek Dufault (Dakota), Samson Abbott (St. Paul’s), Shai Ross (Dakota), Tariq LaChance (Winnipeg Massey), Cody Cranston (St. Paul’s) and Brady Oliveira (Oak Park). Henkewich is also proud of the fact the he helped open up the game of football to more young people in Manitoba. “We have so many new Canadians playing the game it’s impressive, but we also have a large number of original Canadians playing as well,” said Henkewich. “We have an almost entirely Aboriginal team playing at St. John’s. While football participation is getting smaller in many Canadian communities, the WHSFL has grown and welcomed more young people into the fold and we now have one of the most diverse groups playing the sport anywhere in Canada. Because of accomplishments like that, we are now recognized as one of the best football leagues in the entire country.” Bannon is well-aware that he’s taking over something that has become a big deal. “I look at this as a huge honour, but I also know it’s a big deal,” said Bannon, who is the general manager of four local Tim Horton’s franchises. “I actually have goose


Bumps’

ourtesy Jeffrey Bannon

bumps about it. This is the job you want to have. It’s such a great league with outstanding coaches and because. Of those coaches, the players are just getting better and better. “The opportunity to help the next generation of football players and the real leaders of tomorrow is an honour, more than it is a challenge.” Bannon has signed on for two years although if he does the job everyone expects, his term will likely last much longer. Henkewich, in his mid 60s held the post for six years. “I recommended Jeffrey Bannon because I know he will do an outstanding job,” Henkewich said. “He has a marketing background, a coaching background and real social media savvy. He’s also at least 20 years younger.” Bannon believes there are four things he needs to do, as he takes over the WHSFL: 1. “We have to really work hard on social media. For these kids, social media is huge and how we relate to these athletes through social media is No. 1 for us.” 2. “We have to promote the league as best we can. These athletes and coaches should get all the respect and recognition they deserve.” 3. “We have to make sure all the players and coaches get the resources they need.” 4. “And then there will be some times when I’ll need to just stay out of the way and let one of the best football leagues in Canada go about its business.” It’s unlikely there was a man available to become the commissioner of the WHSFL who knew the league better than Bannon. After all, he coming off two successful seasons at Garden City Collegiate, where he helped inaugurate the school’s nine-man junior varsity program. He also volunteers at the U-18 level and is now entering his fourth year as the program’s general manager. As Henkewich is quick to admit, “Jeffrey Bannon and the WHSFL is a match made in heaven.” “I value the game of football. What it teaches our leaders of tomorrow is more important than the score to me,” Bannon said. “It’s about the friendships and life lessons you make along the way and that includes the incredible work our coaches, administrators, volunteers and especially our athletes. Hopefully, one day, I can inspire someone else to become the next commissioner or the next coach and give back to the community, and that’s extremely important to me.” l

TEAM BRESCH

2019 WHSFL Senior Bowl, Sunday, May 26 Investors Group Field, 5:30 p.m. Team Name Position Mrudoch Phoneix Loewen DB WKC Justin Petrishen DB St. Norbert Dawson Proskurnik DB VMC-WPG Brandon Kamenz DB Oak Park Ben Hilton DB VMC-WPG Keyshawn Gaskin DB Stugeon Brett Lindsay DB Miles Mac Denroy Johnson DB Oak Park Luc Lauron DB Kelvin Isaiah Letander DL VMC-WPG Jack Shaffer DL Oak Park Jordan Andrade DL WKC Nick Birch DL VMC-WPG Kyler Filewich DL Kelvin Dylan Hess DL Sturgeon Easton DeGroot DL Kelvin Treyshaun Bollers DL Oak Park James Bruin LB Murdoch Luc Jeanson LB Miles Mac Andrew Glenn LB Sisler Jayden Boudreau LB Sturgeon Carter Wiwchar LB Dryden Gus Brosseau LB Kelvin Sam Payne OL VMC-WPG Mark Rauhaus OL VMC-WPG Josiah Bradbury OL Tec Voc Damen Ruiter OL Murdoch Liam Sobering OL Miles Mac Lucas Correia OL WKC Joel Truthwaite OL Murdoch Matt Roy OL VMC-WPG Jackson Tachinski QB WKC Devon Machum QB Sisler Austin Balan RB VMC-WPG Breydon Stubbs RB Murdoch Preston Kull RB Sturgeon Campbell McKinnon RB WKC Russell Listmayer RB Sturgeon Daniel Adam WR Kelvin Brock Gates WR VMC-WPG Ben Harrington WR WKC Ashton Rolland WR St. Johns Asher Wood WR Oak Park Tyson Wood WR WKC Zach Shrupka WR VMC-WPG Matt Kennedy ST Miles Mac Darnell Udoh ST Tec Voc Chase Sinclair INJ Head Coach Geordie Wilson H Coach

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Stars on Ice: The Rise of the 2018/19 North Winnipeg Ringette’s U10 Stars By Olivia Baldwin, Photo courtesy River City Photography and Mel Reimer Ringette Manitoba They could have been any group of school-aged girls. Laughing and giggling as they hung from the ropes of a rock-climbing wall, their celebratory yells echoed through the gym. Some cheered as they reached the top and others shouted encouragement from below. But these weren’t any group of school girls. These were my girls, the 2018/19 U10 North Winnipeg Ringette Association (NWRA) Stars. And this is their story. Six months earlier, these 11 eight and nine year old girls stepped on the ice together for the very first time. With varied skating skills and minimal experience (only one of the 11 had played ringette before), the players picked up a ringette stick, introduced themselves with excitement and fear, and began the 2018/19 ringette season as the NWRA Stars. The initial practices and games were difficult as the girls learned the basics; how to hold a stick, pass and check. Ringette drills were interspersed with elements of power skating. Practices left the girls sweaty but smiling. Practice plans were just as important for the parents, most of them knew little about ringette but were committed to their daughters’ development.

Left: Manitoba Ringette 2019 ar Coach of the Ye m fro in w ld Ba ia iv Ol g North Winnipete Ringet Right: Manitoba or of Ringette Direct and Games – Tournaments od Jocelyn MacLe

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Playbooks grew dog-eared as parents took on coaching roles and players devoted off-ice time to their new on-ice pursuit. Over the months that followed, these girls grew in skill, confidence and friendship. They became team-mates, relying on and encouraging each other. But most importantly, they became friends, while embracing the fastest sport on ice. By November, the wins were coming. Just before the Christmas, a big test in the form of a rematch against the team we had played in our very first game. A pivotal moment in our season, that game demonstrated the girls’ grit and commitment. Leaders emerged as players talked strategy and called plays, our goalie showed immense skill and composure, and our fans demonstrated their true vocal abilities! A win against the team on top of our division! The New Year brought more skill development and more wins. When it came time for playoff rankings, I asked the players and their parents if they were up for a challenge and if they would support an appeal for the team to participate in City playoffs in a higher division. They answered with an overwhelming yes, especially from the

Coach of the Year Olivia Baldwin and her daughter Annika Valainis

players. Our practices picked up pace as we practiced drills and plays to prepare. Playoffs brought fast games and much excitement. A heart-breaking loss made our road more challenging but the team rallied and we made it to the finals. We would have to win twice. True to the storybook nature of our season, our final games were against the team we had played in our very first game and in that pivotal December win. That team was elevated to a higher division during the season; we were nervous! The first final was fast, loud and very close. But with a win we were on our way to the Championship Game. My view from the bench was a sea of yellow and blue in the stands as family, and friends dressed in scarves and streamers. They stood for much of the game holding signs and blowing noisemakers. When the game was over, with a win for us and a shut-out for our goalie, the fans streamed onto the ice to capture the moment as their daughters received well-earned medals and a Championship banner. The looks on the faces of “my girls” and their parents were better than any trophy. Happiness and pride shone through them like the stars emblazoned on our jerseys. The 11 individuals who had first stepped on the ice together six months before now stood as Champions, united as teammates, ringette players and friends. The 2018/19 season has given these players many things; the most important of which are the friendships developed that, like their love of ringette, will last for seasons to come. Olivia Baldwin has played, coached and refereed during her 30+ year involvement with ringette. She is the head coach of the NWRA U10 Stars. Her daughter Annika (9) has played ringette for five seasons and was the only experienced player on the team at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.l


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Dodds, Ambanza: Wesmen Athletes of the Year By David Larkins, Photos courtesy Kelly Morton/University of Winnipeg

A soccer star and a basketball hero are the University of Winnipeg’s 2018-19 Athletes of the Year. Shae-Lynn Dodds, a second-year forward on the Wesmen women’s soccer team, and Narcisse Ambanza, a third-year guard with the U of W men’s basketball team, were named the school’s best during the annual Wesmen Athletics year-end banquet. Both Dodds and Ambanza were also named MVPs of their respective teams. Dodds had the finest offensive season in the history of the Wesmen women’s HOME soccer program, finishing fourth in Canada West in goals scored with seven. SheSCHEDULE WOMEN also became the first player in program history to be named a conference allSep 8 vs. Saskatchewan 7:00 9 vs. Regina 7:00 star, earning second-team all-CanadaSepWest honours. The Sturgeon Heights Collegiate graduate set career-highs for shots on goal (28) and shots-on-goal percentage (.700) and extended her games-started streak to 28 dating back to the start of her freshman season. Ambanza had a career-high for points (18.8), career-high for assists (6.2) and was second on the team in rebounds per game (6.1). He earned a conference all-star award for the third straight year, being named all-Canada West secondteam. The Toronto native matched a career-high for points in a game with 36 against Manitoba and set a career-high for assists in a game with 16 again against Manitoba. PM

Shae-Lynn Dodds

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again spearheaded the U of W’s contributions to Handbags of Hope. Former women’s soccer player Inga Christianson was recognized with the Tom Kendall Award, named after the former women’s basketball coach and going to a studentathlete with the highest GPA. Christianson finished 2018-18 with a 4.47 GPA. In total, Wesmen Athletics boasted 36 academic allCanadians across its five programs. Students must achieve a 3.5 GPA or better to earn the status. TEAM MVPs Women’s soccer: Shae-Lynn Dodds Women’s basketball: Faith Hezekiah Men’s basketball: Narcisse Ambanza Women’s volleyball: Emma Parker Men’s volleyball: Daniel Thiessen

Narcisse Ambanza Among the other major award winners were Mikayla Funk and Austin Anderson of women’s basketball and men’s volleyball, who were named the Wesmen rookies of the year. Funk averaged 17.4 minutes per game and had points in all but three games this season. The Winkler native notched a season-high 13 rebounds in a narrow loss at Trinity Western in January and had a string of 13 straight games as a starter. Anderson, from Niverville, appeared in 21 matches and posted six kills and a .444 attack percentage in his first career start at Thompson Rivers. Women’s basketball’s Jessica Dyck and men’s basketball’s Spas Nikolov were named winners of the Bill Wedlake Awards, given to the most improved players and named after the former men’s basketball coach and athletic director. Dyck started every game for her team, logged more playing time and increased her offensive production and shooting efficiency. Nikolov became one of the most efficient players in the Canada West conference making at least 50 per cent of his shots from the field in 15 conference games. He finished the season sixth in the conference in field-goal percentage and set career-highs for points and rebounds per game in the process. Taylor Kleysen of women’s volleyball was named the Keith Cooper Award winner for her commitment to community service. Kleysen gave her time to volunteering with Special Olympics Manitoba and volunteered with the Sport For Life Newcomer Academy, which provides physical activity opportunities for new Canadians. She has taken on multiple volunteer coaching roles in a variety of sports and once

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sportslife 21


Play Other Sports

From the first time Wayne Gretzky implored kids to stop focusing on just hockey and play other sports, coaches and youth sports organizers have been trying to convince young people to play something else in the off-season. Or at least have an off-season. We ask Sport Manitoba Performance Specialist Jeff Wood to show us why this is always a good idea.

Kate Nechwediuk Hockey

By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy the Nechwediuk Family, Jordy Grossman and Sport Manitoba Kate Nechwediuk is a great 13-yearold hockey player. Last season, she led her young St. Vital Victorias to the city peewee final and scored 73 goals in 41 games along the way.

Kate Nechwediuk, Basketball

And sure, when the season ended, she played some spring hockey. However, she also found the time to play school (Highbury) and club (Power) volleyball, school (Highbury) and club (Hurricanes) basketball, soccer for Bonivital and tennis. Granted, her athletic skills come pretty naturally. Her aunt Marnie (Nechwediuk) Minkus played basketball at the University of Winnipeg while her mom Anndrea (O’Connor) won four provincial high school basketball and volleyball championships at Glenlawn and was the 1992 MHSAA Winnipeg Jets high school athlete of the year. However, at a time when hockey coaches are asking kids to play further and further into the summer, Nechwediuk has found that playing other sports makes her a better hockey player.

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“It’s interesting that some of her club teams are made up of the players from the Vics hockey team,” said her dad, Brad. “She is encouraged to play other sports and she loves doing it.” Many people forget that NHL legends Wayne Gretzky and Steven Stamkos were also outstanding baseball players while Mario Lemieux and Dale Tallon were sensational golfers. “I always tell kids, whenever I get the opportunity, don’t just specialize on hockey 12 months a year,” Gretzky said. “Play lacrosse, baseball, basketball, football. Play every sport you can. You use different muscle groups and you’ll find you get quicker and smarter on the ice from what you’ve learned doing something else. I played every sport I could and became a better hockey player.” Kids who live in rural Manitoba know better than anyone that playing a lot of different sports is just a part of daily life. When you happen to be the best hockey player in town, it’s likely you’re also the best basketball, volleyball, badminton and softball player. However, for many years here in the city, kids are constantly being urged to concentrate on just one sport. If you’re good at basketball, play basketball 12 months a year. If you’re a volleyball player, play school and club and on the provincial team. If you want to be a hockey player, play every day in every season. Lately, however, that theory is

beginning to change. And it’s actually being led by many hockey coaches and instructors who have determined that playing every sport you can, makes a young athlete better at the sport he ultimately wants to pursue. “Almost every day there are articles written or posted about early specialization in sport versus athletes participating in multiple sports,” says Jeff Wood, one of the province’s top hockey instructors and a Performance Specialist at Sport Manitoba. “Personally, I am a proponent of playing multiple sports as a child and doing so, well into the teen years because there is plenty of evidence that this helps athletes build their movement pattern bank account and become very athletic.” Wood will admit that there comes a time in an athlete’s career when they

Kate Nechwediuk, Volleyball


will discover what they excel at the most, and they will need to eventually make a decision to specialize in that sport. Or maybe they will continue to be a solid multisport athlete. “The decision will come down to (a) do I want to excel at one sport or be good at many sports?” says Wood. “This point in time will be different for every sport based on an athlete’s ideal age for peak performance. For example, a gymnast will need to specialize earlier because their peak performance age is typically earlier while endurance sport athletes tend to peak later.

became Olympic Gold Medalists and World Champions,” he said. “I have also worked with and watched early specialization athletes excel in their sport and achieve the same status. “How an athlete gets to the top is a combination of hard work, genetics, being in the right place at the right time and a little bit of luck. The reality is that very few athletes make it to the top of their sport, but sport is not always about being the best, it

Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning still plays ball great football players, but not before reaping the athletic benefits of playing more than one sport for the majority of their developmental years.” The key to becoming a great amateur athlete or even making it to the pros, comes with a combination of developing your skills, working hard and becoming proficient with all the

nzalez was a NFL Hall of Famer Tony Go basketball star in college

Kate Nechwediuk, Soccer “There was a great stat that came out after the 2019 Super Bowl that polled all of the players in that game that said that approximately 95 percent of the participants were at least two-sport athletes growing up. What is important to note here is that those athletes all specialized at some point and became

Mario Lemieux is still quite a golfer gifts you were given. Nobody knows this better than Wood who has worked with some of the finest athletes in Manitoba’s history. “I have supported and worked with a handful of athletes, who were multisport athletes growing up, and they

is about the friendships you make, the character that you build, the teammate and leader you become and the mentor that you are to the next generation of athletes. When we view success in sport in this way, every single athlete can become successful in sport.” Just ask 13-year-old Kate Nechwediuk. If she doesn’t become the hockey player that people think she can be, she just might become the best soccer player around. You never know, until you try every sport you can. l

www.SportsLife.life sportslife 23


Mauthe, Pike and the Warriors Enter the Hall By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame

Harold Mauthe was a Manitoba basketball legend. Alf Pike was a Stanley Cup champion with the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers. And the Winnipeg Warriors won the first professional championship by a team playing in the old Winnipeg Arena. On April 13, at Sport Manitoba’s Night of Champions at Club Regent Casino and Event Centre, Mauthe, Pike and the Warriors were formally inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Builder Harold Mauthe Thanks to our good friend Rick Brownlee, let’s meet the Spring Class of 2019: Harold Mauthe will be inducted in the Builder category for his coaching talents, a coaching career that spanned more than three decades. Beginning in the 1940s, Mauthe coached women’s basketball while still playing varsity in high school. He went on to lead the Winnipeg Light Infantry (WLI) to back-to-back national junior basketball championships in 1952 and 1953 and coached basketball in the senior league until 1961. He then switched over to refereeing and officiated for the next 15 years. Oh yes, then there was his football coaching career. During the 1960s Mauthe coached the St. Vital Bulldogs to national intermediate football championships in 1960 and 1962 and served on the executive for the 1968 and 1969 back-toHockey star Alf Pike back championship Bulldogs’ teams. He was inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985 and six times into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as team member with the WLI and St. Vital championship squads. Alf Pike will be inducted posthumously in the Athlete category for his stellar hockey career, a career that would suggest to many people, “What took so long?” Pike was a star for the 1937-38 Memorial Cup champion Winnipeg Monarchs and then he moved up to the NHL with the New York Rangers in time to capture a Stanley Cup in the 193940 season. A licensed mortician who worked in the funeral industry during the off-season, Pike was nicknamed “Alf The Embalmer.” After six years in the NHL, interrupted by two years’ service in the RCAF from 1943-45, Pike moved into coaching and guided the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters to the 1952 Memorial Cup.

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He also coached the 1956 Winnipeg Warriors to the Western Professional Hockey League title and the Edinburgh Trophy, emblematic of the championship of minor pro hockey. He coached two NHL seasons with the Rangers from 1959-61 before returning to the WHL. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985 and yet it took 34 more years before the doors opened to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. The 1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors will be inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in the Team category for the sport of hockey. The Winnipeg Warriors were a minor league hockey team that played in the Western Professional Hockey League from 1955 to 1961. Owned by Winnipeg’s prominent Perrin family, the Warriors represented the return of professional hockey to Winnipeg after a 27-year absence. In 1955, the Warriors became the first tenant in the brandnew Winnipeg Arena and the 1955-56 Warriors, coached by Alf Pike, went on to win the Edinburgh Trophy, emblematic of the World’s Minor Professional Hockey Championship. After finishing 40-28-2 to finish first in the Prairie Division that season, the Warriors beat the Saskatoon Quakers 3-0 to advance to the semifinals where they whipped the Calgary Stampeders in five games – 7-2, 6-4, 3-7, 7-2 and 4-3 – to reach the final. In the Lester Patrick Cup final, the Warriors took care of the Vancouver Canucks in six games to advance to the Edinburgh Trophy Final. Facing the Quebec League champion Montreal Royals, the Warriors won easily, taking a best-of-nine series 5-1. The 195556 Winnipeg Warriors just might have been the greatest pro team to play out of the old Winnipeg Arena. As well, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame announced that in order to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the board will induct 28 individuals and 15 teams at a special 40th Anniversary Veteran Induction Celebration, that will be presented

The 1955-56 Winnipeg Warriors


• • • • • • • •

by Sport Manitoba, on Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m. at Club Regent Casino and Event Centre. This is only the second time a special veteran induction of this magnitude has been held. The first was in 2004 for the Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary.  The individual inductees are: • *Isa Beairsto – Golf              • *Andy Bieber – Football         • *D. C. Mac Braden – Curling • *Billy Breen – Hockey             • *Modere “Mud” Bruneteau – Hockey     • *Bill Carpenter – Baseball  • Mary (Pitts) Dopson – Athletics     • *George Druxman– Football         • *Jimmy Dunn– All Round  • *Art Foster – Tennis              • *Vera (Tustin) Gilbert – Swimming      • *Charles Harvey – Golf  • *Halldor “Slim” Halldorson – Hockey      • *Frank Hawkins – Lacrosse         • *Dot (Ferguson) Key – Softball  • *Ed Kotowich – Football          • * Les Lear – Football            • *Lou Lucki – Softball  • Harry Nightingale – Lacrosse     • * Cornel Piper – Football         

*Andre Roziere – Archery *Jim “Babyface” Saunders – Boxing      *Art Shaw – All Round          *Alex Shibicky – Hockey  *William “Snake” Siddle – Baseball      *Ed Sobie – Ten Pin Bowling       *Jimmy Thomson – Hockey *Nick Wasnie – Hockey  * inducted posthumously The team inductees are: • *1930 Howard Wood Team – Curling       • *1931 Bob Gourlay Team – Curling         • *1932 Jim Congalton Team – Curling • *1934 Leo Johnson Team – Curling         • *1935 Winnipeg Maroons – Baseball • *1937 Manitoba Canoe Team – Paddling       • *1938 Ab Gowanlock Team – Curling • *1939 Winnipeg Maroons – Baseball      • *1940 Howard Wood Team – Curling • *1942 Winnipeg Maroons – Baseball       • *1947 Jimmy Welsh Team – Curling        • *1953 Ab Gowanlock Team – Curling • *1957 Winnipeg Goldeyes – Baseball     • *1959 Winnipeg Goldeyes – Baseball     • *1960 Winnipeg Goldeyes – Baseball     * inducted posthumously l

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Manitoba Dodges its Way to Bronze By Scott Taylor, Photos courtesy Dodgeball Manitoba

The Bronze Medal winning Prairie Fire For Amanda Furst and her co-coach Kevin Harder, it was both “exciting and unexpected.” The fact that Manitoba reached the podium at this year’s national championships was, for the province’s growing Dodgeball community, a remarkable achievement. Last month, Manitoba sent five teams to the Fourth Annual Dodgeball Canada national tournament at the

University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown. It was the first time in the tournament’s history that every province was represented and Manitoba won a pair of bronze medals: The Golden Boys won bronze in the men’s event while Prairie Fire finished third in the women’s competition. It was the first time in four national championship events that Manitoba had won medals and, not surprisingly, it was called “a huge achievement by Dodgeball Manitoba.” “Yes, it was exciting and unexpected,” said Furst who plays and co-coaches both Prairie Fire and Windchill with her boyfriend, Harder. “Manitoba has a lot of people playing the sport and it’s really grown in our province. It was a very exciting achievement.”

Y

n tio ! ra en st p gi O Re ow N

1

The Bronze Medal winning Golden Boys Heading into this year’s tournament, The Golden Boys had recorded Manitoba’s highest finish – fourth at the tournament in Winnipeg last year. This year, however, Manitoba took advantage of the fact that Dodgeball is an extremely popular sport here. Provinces are allowed to send multiple teams based on the number of registered players in each respective province and to its credit, Manitoba has the highest number of players per capita of any province in the country. As a result, Dodgeball Manitoba sent five teams to the tournament: Red River Rebellion, The Golden Boys and Windchill in the men’s division and Strike 1919 and Prairie Fire in the women’s category.

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Red River Rebellion vs. The Golden Boys For Furst, who has just recently joined the board of Dodgeball Manitoba, the sport has become a passion. “I started playing Didgeball in the Rec League in 2010,” said Furst, who is not only a school teacher in St. James, but operates a non-profit in East Africa. “Growing up I played just about every sport – volleyball, basketball, ultimate – but being only 5-foot-1, Dodgeball has turned out to be a very successful experience for me.” Despite some recent successes and great coaching, Manitoba was still quite an underdog heading into the continued on page 28...


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Strike 1919 continued from page 26...

national tournament. Ontario, the national powerhouse, sent nine teams to this year’s tournament and, as usual, dominated the event. Canada’s largest province has won every gold and silver medal in every tournament that’s been held and only on occasion, has another province been able to win bronze. This year, Toronto Rampage won men’s gold while Ottawa Fury took silver. On the women’s side Toronto Kickass won gold while Ottawa Valkyrie woin silver. It was quite an accomplishment for Manitoba to claim both bronze medals. The event also doubles as a try out competition for Team Canada, which will play in the World Championship in Cancun, Mexico in November of this year.

Going into this year’s tournament, Manitoba could boast only one national team player. Guylaine San Fillipo made the team in 2016 and won a silver and made it again in 2017 and helped Canada finish fourth. In 2018 the process was changed to a squad system in which 16 players would be chosen to the roster but it would be whittled down to 12 for the event. Denham Dubuc made the 16-person squad, but was cut just before the World Championship. In another incredible turn of events for Dodgeball in this province, Manitoba had four players get selected for the Team Canada squad, although two players had to decline the offer because of work and family commitments. Still, Manitoba can relish in the fact that Jaycie Morris of Prairie Fire and Julie McLaren of Strike 1919 are now on the women’s Team Canada squad. They will both attend training camps in Toronto over six weekends before the Worlds take place in late November. Next year’s National Championship will be held in Edmonton.

Windchill (with Kevin Harder, far right) The Sport: Dodgeball as managed by the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF) uses a seven-inch diameter rubber coated foam ball – not an inflated rubber ball – and this provides for a safer sport that is still exciting to play Six players per team start out with six balls. If you hit a player with a ball, they are out. If you catch a ball thrown by an opponent, the thrower is out and the catcher can bring back a player that was previously hit out. Once one team has eliminated the other team, the round is over and the surviving team has scored a point. Whichever team can score the most amount of points in a given time (usually 40 minutes) is the winner. l

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Winnipeg SportsLife May/June 2019