Josie Black has only been a goalie on the soccer pitch for a few years. The Minitonas native has been playing on the Swan Valley Tigers for the past four years.

Playing with them provided the 17-year-old with many fond memories and ones that she will never forget. The grade 12 student is set to graduate this spring and although she won't be returning to the team that she started playing the game with, Josie is set to begin a new chapter in her soccer career.

Black has committed to play with the Brandon University Bobcats next season. The Bobcats play in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.

"I definitely wasn't expecting this. It's a really good feeling and I was really excited when I first got approached," said Black. 

At the provincials in Minnedosa, a coach and former Bobcat player approached Black and they expressed their interest in the Minitonas native. They were looking for a goaltender and the rest is history. Just about two weeks later, Josie signed her letter of intent and she's now a Bobcat.

Black helped the Tigers win the zone title this past season. Although she hasn't played soccer her whole life, she is fully confident in herself leading up to the fall.

"Yeah, I think I'm ready for this. I know I maybe haven't had as much practice as everyone else, but I don't think that will hold me back," continued Black. "I've been playing at a high level for the past few years to prepare for this."

Josie isn't the only Tiger that is heading to BU. She'll be joining Sierra Makasoff and Ireland Staples. The three will form the Tiger Trio on the campus at Brandon University. 

"We've always been really close and we've played on the same team for the past four years," concluded Black. "It'll be a new experience because I'll be meeting new friends and living in a different area. It's going to be nice to have them by my side, they'll make the transition that much easier."

Monday, April 20, will go down as a day that several Parkland hockey players will never forget. Ahead of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Draft, the league's member clubs announced their Auto-Protects today.

The Dauphin Kings protected two players who had excellent seasons with the Parkland Bantam Rangers this past season. Kyan Grouette and Carter Zalischuk have been protected by Head Coach and General Manager, Doug Hedley and the remainder of the organization. 

"Carter is a kid that is very coachable and he's relentless on the puck," said Hedley. "We feel that Carter and Kyan are both legitimate junior hockey players in the future. We are very happy to have protected Kyan and Carter."

Zalischuk added up 23 points and 30 assists this past season for a Rangers team that was expected to contend for a provincial title before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Kyan Grouette, meanwhile, erupted after a solid first season with the Bantam Rangers team. He had 36 goals and 52 assists this past season, the second-most points on the Rangers behind Brayden Dube.

Both players have now graduated from U15 hockey and that means their next action will be at the U18 level. 

"If they decide to stay in Dauphin and play AAA hockey, that would be great for us," continued Hedley. 

Stay tuned in the coming days to hear from Kyan and Carter. As well, several other Parklanders were Auto-Protected today and we'll have the full details also in the coming days.

Next up for Doug Hedley is the MJHL Draft on Sunday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m.

John Marshall has been at the helm of the Dauphin Clippers varsity boys basketball team for the past two seasons. This year's team was an extremely strong one, one in fact, that had a good chance of winning a provincial banner to hang up in the rafters at the DRCSS.

Throughout the season, the team racked up five tournament championships, one second-place finish, and one third-place finish. They also won the zone championships that were contested in Swan River. 

With the off-season now well underway, coach Marshall has some more hardware to add to his trophy cabinet, one that has become quite full this season. Marshall has been named the 2019-2020 AAA Varsity Boys coach of the year. It's a first-time honour for the Clippers bench boss.

"I'm very humbled, there are many coaches out there that are doing great things with their programs," said Marshall. "Just to be nominated means so much to me. To actually be recognized as the coach of the year, it's truly an honour and I'm extremely humbled."

After capturing the zone title, the Clippers were ready to fly into the provincials. They would have been the second-ranked team heading into the event which would have started yesterday, last month. COVID-19; however, cancelled all high school provincial events which meant Dauphin didn't get a chance to cap off what had been a remarkable season to date.

"I am so very proud of all our players. Everyone had the opportunity to do something positive for us," continued Marshall. "Whether it was starters or guys coming off the bench, everyone made an impact and they were successful."

This year's Clippers squad was also a family affair. Matthew Marshall was a grade 12 student that played on the team. When it came to coaching, John was the head coach and he was joined by his sons, Logan, and Joshua Marshall. Basketball talk was certainly one that was a main topic around the dinner table and in his own words, this year truly was a dream come true for John.

Not just because the team was so good, but also because he had the chance to spend so much time doing what he loves with the people he loves.

"It's honestly a blessing and it's brought us closer together," concluded Marshall. "It's been such a special year and I can't say enough about the support we've received. We had parents coming on the road and supporting us, it's truly a blessing to be a part of this. And to win, it just makes things that much more special."

The 2019-2020 Clippers were a force to be reckoned with. We will never know if they could have captured a provincial gold medal this past season. We will; however, always remember the great group it was. 

A few Clippers players received some hardware as well so stay tuned to find out who and what they won.

The 2020 Western Hockey League Draft is just a few sleeps away. 

This is where second-year Bantam players can be selected by WHL clubs. The number one selection this year will be Connor Bedard.

The Parkland highlight of last year's draft was Tyson Zimmer of Russell, Manitoba, as he was selected sixth overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings. 

Ryder Thompson, also of Russell, was selected 105th overall by the Portland Winterhawks.

One of the top prospects from the Parkland for this draft is Brayden Dube who had an incredible season with the Rangers.

Stay tuned to CKDM as well have full coverage of the draft when it comes to Parkland prospects.

Elliott Viles was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. As a young man picking up a volleyball for the first time, Viles knew moving to North America would give him a good chance to hone his skills while playing a game he loved. 

Just moving wasn't that easy; however, for the outside hitter as he needed to find a team first to play on. The search for a team ended a few years ago as he crossed the Pacific Ocean on a flight to join the Brandon University Bobcats men's team in September of 2016. Now going into his fifth-year, Viles is on the verge of breaking some Bobcat history and even has the chance to pass one of the greatest Australian born volleyball players in history. 

93524583 582248105730221 2792682710471016448 nWith his fourth season now in the past, Viles off-season includes celebrating a feat that only one athlete in Bobcats athletics gets to celebrate after a long season. The Aussie has been named the Brandon Bobcats' male athlete of the year for the second time in his career which shows how good of a collegiate career he has had.

"Yeah, that's a huge honour for me. There have been so many great athletes that have won this award in the past and there were so many great Bobcats athletes this year," said Viles. 

Normally, BU hands out its award at a year-end banquet; however, because of COVID-19, the plan for the said banquet was put on hold. Instead, he received a call with the news.

"It was pretty unfortunate that there wasn't a banquet and I think everyone is thinking the same thing, but it still means a lot and I'm honoured," he added. 

Viles racked up 271 kills this past season and 39 aces as he helped the Bobcats advance to the conference semi-finals. The totals were also the third-best in the conference in both kills and aces. 

"I'm really happy with everything I did this year," continued Viles. "We had some ups and downs throughout the season so I think riding the wave was tough at times, but I tried to stay locked in throughout the season and I think I did a pretty good job of that."

Although Viles was a busy man every time he hit the court, on January 18, the Australian was extra busy. Playing against the University of Calgary Dinos, Elliot had 57 attacking attempts and he added up 27 kills which add up to a .316 hitting percentage. Viles also had four service aces and 31.5 points total, the most of any Bobcat or Dinos player. Although Brandon lost that game in four sets, Viles and the Bobcats did get the last laugh. 

On February 21, following a three-set sweep the night before, Viles had another 21 kills in a four-set win as Brandon swept Calgary. 

"I was definitely a bit sorer in the days following that and my arm was certainly feeling it," he continued. "We had some injuries at that time so I knew I would get a bit more of the load so I had to prepare for that. Although we didn't win that game, I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team."

93425201 224548235303828 8065914806265184256 nWith his 39 aces, Viles has now added up 123 over his four-year career at BU. That's just 21 behind Sanderson who as mentioned above is one of the greatest BU players of all time and he's also one of the best Australian players to ever play the game. Elliott is also just 30 shy of the Canada West record which was set by Eric Loeppky this past season. 

When it comes to attacking, his 271 kills now have him at 957. That's 400 behind Sanderson so it's going to be hard to catch him, but if he gets a few more games with 57 attacks in a game, you never know. Roy Ching (1,242) and Sam Tuivai (1,094) sit in second and third place, respectively when it comes to all-time kills as a member of the Bobcats. 

Viles will need 286 kills next season to pass Ching while he needs just 137 to pass Tuivai.

"You see those guys and the success they've had, they're so talented and I never put myself in that tier," continued Viles. "It's pretty cool that I'm in the same area as those guys and I guess I look forward to trying to pass them next season. I certainly also look up to Sanderson, he was a force here and he was a force on the world stage."

Viles university volleyball career will come to an end after next season, but not without one more chance to play for a national title. The Bobcats are hosting the national tournament which gives them an automatic berth and it will be the second time he's played in the event.

That means that one season after Viles put up ridiculous numbers and moved one step closer to being in the top-3 of Bobcats volleyball history, he will have the chance to win a national banner in the gym he's called home for the past four years.

His story began in Adelaide, South Australia when he first picked up a volleyball; however, his university story will end in the same place it started, the Healthy Living Centre on the Brandon University campus.

"It's super exciting and super cool. Making the nationals is also the goal," he added. "Knowing that we're hosting the event is a great feeling. The end goal is winning that championship and raising a banner to the rafters at BU."

"We have incredible community support in Brandon and I know they will be out in full force for that," concluded Viles.

After his career does come to a close at BU, Viles hopes to play professionally.

The Swan Valley Tigers 2019 soccer team was certainly a club with many seniors. Of their 20 rostered players, 12 of them were in grade 12 which meant many were going to be playing their final competitive soccer seasons.

Four Tigers; however, are moving on to the next level in time for the 2020 season and three will be joining forces to remain teammates for the next at least few years. Ireland Staples, Sierra Makasoff, and Josie Black have all committed to play with the Brandon University Bobcats next season.

Brynlee Spencer, meanwhile, will be joining the Assiniboine Community College Cougars. It's not often that a small town can graduate four players to the next level, but the Tigers have done just that. 

Jody Williams, who coaches multiple sports at the school, has been instrumental in helping the team succeed over the years with his ability to get the best out of each and every player.

"It's a reflection of how hard those girls worked for the past few years," said Williams. "Our whole team worked really hard and a few are getting the chance to move up to the next level. In a way I'm surprised; however, in a way, I'm not surprised because those girls are really high quality on and off the field."

Stay tuned as we'll chat with Ireland, Sierra, Josie, and Brynlee in the coming days.

When it came to the overall team success this year, the Tigers certainly made some noise. They won their zone championship over Gilbert Plains which advanced them to the provincials.

In the provincials, they won their first game and they played the top-ranked Morden Thunder very tight in a 2-1 loss in a quarter-final. The team ended up falling in the consolation semi-final in what turns out to be a solid year for the veteran led group.

"We found ourselves in the zone finals frequently over the past couple of years and we had some success when we advanced to it," continued Williams. "We expected to make the provincials and we did that. It's never easy to compete with teams around Winnipeg, but we put up a good fight."

There may be no hockey going on right now. However, if we take a look back at last year's NHL playoffs, a couple of Parklanders used today as the day to move on in the playoffs.

The team beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, to sweep their series.

In the victory, Ryan Pulock played a team-leading 24:05. As you know, Barry Trotz was the head coach of the team. 

Andrew Liwiski's dream growing up was to play with his hometown junior hockey team. In the 2016-2017 season, Liwiski got his first taste of junior hockey and it came with the Dauphin Kings. He played in three games that season and he added up one assist. It was the same season that he was very productive with the Parkland U18 Rangers. In 39 regular-season games, he added up 16 goals and 23 assists and he added another four assists in just three playoff games.

That year was his final as a AAA hockey player; however, just as in books, as one chapter ends one starts and that was the case for the Dauphin native. Liwiski signed with the Alberta Junior Hockey League's Lloydminster Bobcats where he played in 52 games before he was traded to the Melfort Mustangs. In the end, he would never play with Melfort, but instead, his junior journey led him right back to his hometown of Dauphin, Manitoba. 

Head Coach and General Manager, Doug Hedley, signed Liwiski early last season and he ended up playing in 50 regular-season games where he added 20 points (4G). He also had one playoff assist. Moving forward to this year, Liwiski was back with the Kings where he played in just 45 games because of injury; however, he still managed 16 regular-season points and one playoff point.

Liwiski's junior journey came to an end last month after a double-overtime win against the Portage Terriers. After 154 games of junior hockey, 102 of which were with the Kings, he has now graduated.

"Playing with the Kings has been a dream come true. I was lucky that Doug was willing to trade for me," said Liwiski. "I can't say enough great things about that organization. I met so many amazing people, I made so many great friends, the sponsors are fantastic, and my family has been so supportive of me throughout this whole thing."

Just like Brayden Pawluk who has committed to play with the Minot State Beavers next season, Liwiski's favourite moment as a King was beating Portage in that wild affair inside of Credit Union Place. 

"That feeling in the room after the game, I can't even describe it. I think that was honestly one of the greatest feelings I'll ever get to experience," he added.

Just like when his AAA chapter closed and his junior hockey one opened, the book called 'Andrew Liwiski's Hockey Career' will remain open. The new chapter will be called 'College Hockey'. Liwiski has officially signed his letter of intent to Northland College and he'll be joining the Jacks men's hockey team in time for the 2020-2021 season. Since day one of his junior hockey days, Liwiski's goal was to advance to the next level and the Dauphinite has certainly done that.

"It feels absolutely amazing to finally know what I'm going to do next year," continued Liwiski. "It was a long process; I was chatting with a lot of good schools throughout the season. I'm really happy to announce my decision and I can't wait to join the team."

Northland College isn't a big school by any means and that's what Liwiski is looking forward to most.

"I'm a big fan of the smaller school vibe. I'll never be in a class with more than 20 students and I'm looking forward to that," added Liwiski. "With me being out of school the past couple of years, I think Northland College gives me a great opportunity to get a great education in a great setting."

As he joins the Jacks in the fall, Liwiski will do so with a former teammate and a Duck Bay native. Daniel Chartrand has played the past two seasons with the team. Liwiski and Chartrand played together on the Rangers in the 2014-2015 season and they also played a few games together with the Kings. Chartrand is also a big reason why Liwiski is heading to Northland.

"I reached out to him in the past month and he had nothing but great things to say about the program," continued Liwiski. "I think having him there will just make me more comfortable. I've been friends with him for a long time, he's a great guy, and he's a really skilled hockey player. It'll be nice to be back with him."

Liwiski will also be looking to add some power to a team that has struggled as of late. They went just 4-22-1 this past season and they ended the campaign on a 12 game losing streak. Several of those games; however, were decided by one or two goals so Andrew knows this team has a bright future and what it takes to win more games moving forward.

"I'm not really concerned about what happened last year, it really doesn't matter," Liwiski added. "I know the coaching staff has been working really hard and we're going to have a good year next year. I'll do whatever it takes to help this team win games."

Liwiski has set a goal of making the opening day lineup. 

"I want to be a regular in the lineup, it's pretty simple, and that's why I'm going there," he concluded. 

Based on this past season, their regular-season schedule is slated to begin in November.

Braden Schneider grew up in Prince Albert, SK and with that, he spent many nights inside the Art Hauser Centre watching the Western Hockey League’s Raiders, a team that won the Western Hockey League last season.

However, Schneider never had the opportunity to play with his hometown WHL club after he was drafted 12th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings at the 2016 Bantam Draft. Schneider made his debut in the 2016-2017 season where he played in one regular-season game and three playoff games. He also recorded his first-ever WHL playoff assist during those three games.

Moving forward to the 2017-2018 season, the native of Prince Albert joined the Wheat Kings full-time. In his rookie season, he added up 22 points and another six playoff points. He was also the captain for Team Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Challenge. They ended up losing 2-1 in the bronze medal game.

During his 24 point campaign last year with Brandon, Schneider had another opportunity to play for Team Canada. This time he was on the Under-18 team for the IIHF World Under-18 Championships. After going 4-0 in the round-robin, the team was upset against the Czech Republic, 2-1, in the quarter-finals.

Returning to the Wheat City for another season with the Wheat Kings, Schneider exploded throughout the course of the 2019-2020 season. He posted a career-high 42 points in 60 games, 18 more than what he had last season. In fact, dating back to his Bantam hockey days back in Prince Albert, his 42 points were the most he’s ever recorded in a single season.

When the season was postponed and then canceled, the Wheat Kings still had five regular-season games so it was likely that Schneider would have at least tied his junior career-high in goals of eight, a total that he put up last season. He had seven this season.

“I think I came into this season with a lot more confidence and I was getting more opportunities as well,” said Schneider. “In the past, I was really focusing on my defensive side of the game and I just felt that I could add some more offence to become a more complete player. I think I did that and it was a pretty good season for me.

93089102 1075605252814899 6133306855960608768 nThe 2016 12th overall pick has certainly been noticed across the WHL but also, around the hockey world in general. He was named to this year’s Eastern Conference’s First All-Star team. He was joined alongside his teammate, Jiri Patera, who had a fantastic season in net for Brandon.

It’s the first time that Schneider has been named to the First All-Star team.

“That’s a huge honour for sure, the Western Hockey League produces a ton of really good players,” continued Schneider. “To be recognized as one of the few to get honoured, it’s quite special. It’s also great that I’m joined by Jiri, he was phenomenal this season.”

The personal accolades didn’t stop there for the Wheat King defenceman. 52 players in the league were named to the 2020 NHL Central Scouting final rankings. Kaiden Guhle of the Raiders came in as the top-ranked WHLer. Just behind him is Schneider who is ranked ninth when it comes to North American skaters. His teammate, Ridly Greig is ranked 14th while Ben McCartney, also of Brandon, is pegged at 153rd.

“I’ve been paying attention to those things more now because I’m not playing,” said Schneider. “It’s just a ranking, but it’s a pretty solid feeling. It’s a nice spot to end the season at.”

Braden is now back in Prince Albert working out in his home gym as he prepares for the 2020-2021 season.

Prior to next season, Schneider is hoping to hear his name called at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Prince Albert native is a top prospect eligible and it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear his name sooner rather than later. The Draft was originally scheduled for late June in Montreal; however, it has been postponed because of COVID-19. None the less, when the day comes, it’s going to be a special one and one that the Wheat King has been waiting for his entire life.

“I think that every one that is draft-eligible circles the days on their calendar. No one is sure when it will take place right now, but it’s going to be a pretty surreal moment when I hear my name called,” he continued.

Schneider will return to Brandon in late August for training camp as Brandon prepares for next season. After winning 35 games this season, the third-most in the East Division, the top prospect is ready for what should be another solid campaign.

“I think it’s going to be a big year for us,” concluded. “I think we have a really good squad moving into next year and I can’t wait to get things going. We have things to prove and we’ll be ready to do so.”

On this day last year, we chatted with the Dumas family, Dauphin’s Mike Dumas, Thomas Dumas, Tristan Dumas, and Crystal Dumas, specifically

Mike, Thomas, and Tristan took part in the Manitoba Provincial Arm Wrestling Championships at the TYC Event Centre in Winnipeg.

What a weekend it turned out to be for the Dauphin father/son trio as they all are back home in the Parkland with championship trophies. Competing in the 5-7-year-old left and right arm category, Tristan stole the show to finish in first place with both arms.

Thomas took part in the 7-9-year-old category and just like his brother; Thomas stole the show by winning the event with both arms. Thomas and Tristan's dad, Mike also came out on top. He won a title in the Masters left arm competition.

Add it all up and that's five titles between the Dauphin trio.

"It was fantastic and it was unexpected for me. I'm not a competent left-handed puller, I'm more confident in my right but it was such a fantastic feeling to win with my left," said Mike Dumas. "When the boys both came out on top with both arms, it really is unexplainable how everyone was feeling."

Tristan and Thomas may only be six and eight-years-old respectively, but they've shown that they can keep up with the best in Manitoba.

"My boys have such great speed. A lot of the older competitors were raving at their speed and focus," said Dumas. "They were extremely determined and focused when they came up to the table. They were also very respectful. After every match, they would go up to their opponents, shake their hand and say congratulations."

Heading into the event, Thomas was all geared up.

"He went to win. He had it programmed in his head that he was going to win," added Dumas. "He told me "Dad, I'm not going to lose, I'm going to win.". 

Tristan, on the other hand, wasn't expecting to win, but he sure did.

"He was in utter shock that it happened so fast," added Dumas. "I don't think it sunk in until afterward when we were taking pictures. You could just see the smile on his face."

The trio would then take part in the nationals and Tristan continued doing his thing. He won a bronze medal in his age category.

93255342 1579772372172721 3792564712026144768 n 1

As of right now, the Manitoba Summer Games Powered by Manitoba Hydro are still set to take place from August 9-15 in Dauphin.

Pat Kirby is the Senior Games Manager for Sport Manitoba and he had this to say.

"We're working with all of our partners right now and we're analyzing what's happening with the COVID-19 pandemic," said Kirby. "We're preparing all various possibilities and at some point, we'll have to make a decision."

Locally, the Games Committee held its bi-monthly executive meeting last evening. 

"From a Sport Manitoba perspective, everything is on hold right now because of COVID-19," concluded Kirby. 

The 2020 edition of the Games will welcome more than 1500 athletes to Dauphin and area.