It’s officially go time for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Matt Nichols will lead the team into B.C. Place as they challenge Mike Reilly and the BC Lions.

Reilly is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and he’s averaged more than 5,600 yards passing over the past three seasons. 

The Bombers, meanwhile, went 9-5 last season when Nichols started at pivot. Nichols is also 5-4 in regular-season meetings  against the black and orange. 

Willie Jefferson was the Bombers’ most prized off-season pick up and he’s expected to do big things on the defensive side of the ball for the club this year.

Since 1954, the Bombers are 90-80-2 against BC.

Although the preseason means nothing when you get down to it, Winnipeg did go a perfect 2-0. That gave them their first perfect preseason since 1995.

Winnipeg was 4-5 on the road last year while BC was 7-2.

You can hear tonight’s game right here on 730CKDM as were a proud member of the Blue Bomber Radio Network.

The action gets underway at 9:00 p.m.

Dauphin's William Hlady is spending his summer just down the road. The 19-year-old is playing for the Melville Millionaires of the Western Canadian Baseball League.

The hard-throwing right-hander has made four appearances. In three of them, William has seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings. He also never gave up an earned run in those three performances.

"I just trust my catcher out there. Having a different catcher from a different school has really helped out," said Hlady. "He's a little bit older and he knows more about the game. I'm just placing the ball where he wants it and I have trust that the defence will make a play."

William's last outing didn't go as hoped. He gave up seven earned runs on four hits. The outing was his only that he didn't record a strikeout. In Hlady's defence, no Mills' pitcher was able to really get any Lethbridge Bull out as they came swinging hard in route to racking up 13 runs.

"Getting behind in the count really hurt me, I was forcing myself to come into the zone more often and they were hitting the ball," added Hlady. "It's how baseball works sometimes. We have a saying that you're always going to have one bad game in a year, and hopefully, that was it. You can't sit in the past and dwell on it; you just have to move forward."

The Millionaires are 5-9 to start the season. That has them just on the outside looking in the Eastern Conference. With being just 14 games in and with more than 30 games left, William is confident this team can make good things happen. They won their last game last night against Lethbridge, 9-8.

The nine runs were second most behind the 15 the team put up against Yorkton on May 30.

"At the start, we struggled with hitting and our pitching held us in some games," said Hlady. "It looks like the bats are coming around here and everyone is feeling a lot better about how things are going."

In the recent three-game set with Lethbridge, William and the Mills' won two games and put up 18 runs overall.

When it comes to what he's enjoying most, that's a pretty simple one for the Dauphinite.

"Just meeting new guys, talking to them and playing baseball," said Hlady. "Not everyone gets this opportunity. I get up every day and I know I'll be hitting the field at night; it's a pretty special feeling. I love it."

The team plays a home and home with Moose Jaw beginning tonight in Melville.

The golf season couldn't be going any better than it is for Neepawa's Hayden Delaloye. Last month he won a Maple Leaf Junior Tour event at the Portage Golf Club.

Now the young golfer has followed that up with another tournament win, this time at the Carman Golf Club. Playing in the second event of the MJT Manitoba Series, Delaloye fired a 76 to grab the tournament victory in the one-day event.

Two of Hayden's three rounds in tournament play this season have been below 80. The win also means that he remains atop the Order of Merit in the Bantam boys division. The two wins add up to 300 points with the golfer in second place having just 225.

Last year when playing in this exact event, Delaloye placed third.

"It was a good day. I was kind of disappointed that the tournament was only one day," said Delaloye. "I didn't do well in it last year so it was nice to bounce back."

"My putting was probably the best part of my game the entire day, I didn't hit the ball fantastic," he added. 

The flat stick helped Hayden rack up five birdies, one of which was almost an eagle but he lipped out.

Next up for Hayden is an MJT event at the Glendale Golf & Country Club in Winnipeg. That tournament tees it up in 12 days and is a two-day event.

"I'm just trying to keep my mind in the game and I really need to stay focused," said Delaloye. "Bad shots may happen at Glendale, but I need to stay focused and rebound nicely."

"I also need to make my drives count if I want to have success," he added.

Winning the tournament in Carman opened up a whole new stage for Hayden he didn't think he would get the chance to take part in at his age.

Because of his performance in Carman, he's been invited to the 2019 Future Champions Golf Callaway World Championships. The event is in Palm Desert, California from July 13-17. 

"It was so cool when I found out I was invited to the event," said Delaloye. "It's really nice to know that I can compete with others from all over, it means a lot to me."

For the past five seasons, Roblin's Colby Cherneski has been a Parkland Ranger. Two of the seasons were with the Bantam team and the past three have come with the Midget team. Dedication and commitment to the crest are what Colby prides himself on and now, he's set to do that with another team. 

Colby has signed on to play with the Pilot Butte Storm of the Prairie Junior Hockey League which is Saskatchewan's Provincial Junior "B" league. Colby will join a team that went 29-10-0-1 in the regular season last year. The team didn't fare as well in the playoffs losing four games.

"It definitely feels great. It's always a good thing when you can continue playing competitive hockey after your Midget career," said Cherneski. "I'm really excited to be heading out and playing in a new league and meeting new people, it's going to be great."

Becoming a part of the Storm all started when Colby got in touch with one of the scouts for the Melville Millionaires. He took part in their "Spring Camp" and gave it his all. They said they loved his game and they were very interested in him. It turns out that the scout was also an Assistant Coach with the Storm.

"The General Manager then asked me if my parents and I wanted to check out the facilities and the dressing room and all of that," said Cherneski. "So we did that and we eventually came to an agreement at the sit-down and I signed, it was a pretty thrilling time."

"It's definitely a good feeling not having to look for somewhere to play, but rather they were looking for me," he added. "It makes the whole process a lot easier."

Cherneski put up 16 points this past season with the Rangers. During 95 games over the past three seasons, Colby put up 23 points. Prior to the past three seasons, Cherneski put up 32 points with the Bantam Rangers.

As he embarks on his new journey, Colby has nothing but good things to say about the Ranger program.

"I feel like as you move up through the Ranger program they really prepare you to make the next step," said Cherneski. "I can't thank the whole Parkland Ranger program enough for everything they did for me, I'm extremely grateful."

Colby knows it'll be a tough transition playing against players older and bigger than him, but, he also knows what he's capable of and he's ready to make an impact.

"I definitely want to go there and make an impact as soon as I can," he added. “I definitely hope to put the puck in the back of the net more often next season. I'm ready to do anything the club needs from me."

The Stan Homenuik Adult/Junior Golf Tournament is coming up on Saturday at the Dauphin Lake Golf Club.

That means you only have a small amount of time left to get in on the action. The format is Alternate Shot.

Here are the age groups and tee times.

12 and under: 9 holes beginning at 11:30 a.m.

13-18 years-old: 18 holes beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Top notch conditions are expected for the event.

"It's absolutely perfect right now, we couldn't be happier," said Ray Karlson, General Manager. "We had great reviews last weekend at the Dauphin Kings Par 3 Extravaganza. Everyone was quite ecstatic on the shape of the golf course."

"I think it's a great little format, you definitely have to try it out," he added.

Call 638-9400 now to register your team.

Dauphin's Kiara Wilson hit the pool to take part in her final Manitoba Jr. Provincial Swim Championships over the weekend in Winnipeg for her current age group.

That's because the 12-year-old will move up an age group next year, and what a final few performances she put on.

She won three individual gold medals in the 50m breaststroke, 100m individual medley, and 100m breaststroke. Kiara also joined forces to dominate with her teammates, Kelton Amendt, Parker Beer, and Sophia Heschuk. 

The four went on to win gold in the mixed 200m medley relay.

"It felt really good because that was my last swim meet in this age group," said Wilson. "I didn't expect to get that many gold medals, especially with the relay. It was a really great feeling to get a gold medal with my teammates."

"I've been practicing a lot and every time I practice, my goal is to get better," she added. "I'm really happy all of the hard work paid off."

Kiara wasn't the only one that had lots of success at the event. On top of winning gold in the relay with Kiara, Kelton Amendt won silver in the 100m IM and he joined Sammi Rea, Rhea Amendt, and Parker Beer in winning silver in the mixed 200m free relay.

Parker Beer also earned a trifecta of medals. He won a bronze medal in the 100m IM and he also won a gold and silver in both relay races.

Having success herself is always great, but something she also enjoys is watching her teammates have success.

"Yeah, it's really fun to go to provincials with all of my teammates and see how good they do," continued Wilson. "They always get medals and personal bests; it's really fun to be a part of."

Next up for Kiara and the Gators is the ManSask event next month.

When next year's swimming season rolls around, Kiara will have to adapt to competing at a new level. She will join the 13-14-year-old age group. That's a challenge that the 12-year-old will be ready for.

"It'll be a little bit tougher because I'm swimming against older people, but I'll try my hardest and we'll see how it goes," concluded Wilson.

The Calder Cup Finals didn't start off well for Dauphin's Myles Fee and the Charlotte Checkers. But it's not about how you start, it’s how you finish and it was a dream ending for the Dauphinte and the rest of the Checkers.

The Chicago Wolves took game one of the league final in overtime, 4-3 in Charlotte. That's when the Checkers turned it up a notch and they ended up tying the series with a 5-3 home win in game two.

After the first two games in Charlotte, the best-of-seven series switched to Chicago for the next three games.

It's not often a road team will win three straight in their opponent's barn, but that's exactly what Charlotte did. They tallied 14 goals in Chicago and 19 total in the final four games of the series to win it in just five games.

The last time the league final took less than six games to complete was back in 2016 when the Lake Erie Monsters dispatched of the Hershey Bears in four games. 

Zach Nastasiuk scored the game-sealer with 16 seconds left into an empty net. That's when it finally started to sink in that Myles was going to win his first professional title.

"The word finally kept flashing through my head. It was relief and joy," said Fee. "It's been 15 years and half of those years we weren't even close to making the playoffs. The ability to have a title that no one can ever take away is quite joyful. I was able to find my wife and got her out on the ice and she never stopped smiling, it was incredible. I'll never forget it."

With another off-season now underway, Fee has already spent several seasons with an NHL team, and he's hoping he can make a return to the best league in the world in the near future. He does, after all, have an AHL title on his resume which will be a big part of his pitch to the big league bosses.

"I've worked with some of the best young players on the development side and that's really allowed me to learn a lot over the years," added Fee. 

With the NHL season set to wrap up tonight, Myles also shares his pick for the winner take all.

"I still have to go with St. Louis," added Fee. "Quite honestly I think it's a flip of the coin, but the Cinderella story with St. Louis from going last to first, it would be pretty cool."

Jay Thiesen plays most of his golf at the Russell Golf Course where he resides. If he's in the mood to travel, the 32-year-old heads down the road to play at the Clear Lake Golf Course, a venue he loves and has played many rounds on.

Over the weekend, Jay made Clear Lake his home as he teed it up in the 59th Annual Grey Owl tournament. The two-day tournament will forever go in the books as a memorable one for Thiesen as he won his second ever Grey Owl title.

Thiesen came out firing in round one with six birdies and just two bogies for a -4 total. Despite the hot first round, Jay was still looking up towards another Jay. Jay Doyle fired a first round 66 to lead by two strokes heading into the final round.

Doyle faltered in the second round as he scored 11 shots worse than day one. 44 of his 77 strokes came off the putter. Thiesen, meanwhile, was steady with two birdies and two bogies as he grabbed a three-shot victory over the first-round leader.

Jay's last Grey Owl title came back in 2012. That year it took two playoff holes to beat Garth Collings who won this year's "Greyer Owls" division by six strokes.

"It felt pretty good. I've played in it a few times since my last win and I came up short," said Thiesen. "I really enjoy playing on the course; it's kind of like home to me. I used to work up there and stuff, so it's always nice to play well and win on the course."

"I thought I would have to post a pretty good score on day two, but it was a pretty tough day. It was really windy and it seemed to change every hole," he added. "It was kind of a battle and no one played really well. I figured if I shot around even, I would have a chance and it worked out well."

The lead heading into the par 4-18th hole was a comfortable one for Thiesen. He had a three-stroke lead after Doyle doubled the short par 3-17th hole. Thiesen proceeded to bring out his trusted 2-iron on the 18th tee and the rest was history.

"I was pretty nervous on the tee shot, I just wanted to make sure it was in play," said Thiesen. "It was one of my best shots all day and I sort of figured I had it in the bag from there. I hit a good approach shot as well, I was kind of upset that I missed the birdie putt, but overall, it was a great feeling to win the tournament."

Thiesen will now prepare for the Manitoba Mid-Amateur which goes down from July 2-4 at the Selkirk Golf & Country Club. The top 12 golfers from that event will earn their spot to the Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur Championship from August 20-23 at the Summit Golf & Country Club in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

It's the first time that Jay will play in the event.

"I've always wanted to play in it, but it hasn't really worked in my schedule," added Thiesen. "Many of the guys that play in that tournament played in the Grey Owl, so I think I'll stack up pretty good heading in. I'm hoping I can put a few good rounds together and we'll see what happens."

Every single athlete that competes at the high school level has a goal of becoming a Provincial Champion. Not that many athletes achieve that goal, but Ste. Rose's Eric Preston sure did. He won the Junior Varsity Javelin Throw at the provincials in Winnipeg.

Eric placed in first with some authority as well. His 43.95m final throw was more than 4m better than the second place finisher. The big toss also beat his prior personal best of 42.5m which he also threw at the event.

"The second place competitor was high-fiving me and everything and all the guys were congratulating me on all of my throws," said Preston. "It was a pretty special feeling."

The Ste. Rose native didn't enter the final round as the favourite, however. He was in second place, and that's when he turned things up a notch.

"I knew I had a good chance of placing because no one was really hitting the marks that I was," said Preston. "When I got to the second last throw I knew I had a good chance of getting first because no one even hit the 40m mark. I was pretty excited at that point. It was a pretty cool experience overall, and it's great that I got first in the province."

Next up for Eric is decision time. He's thinking of trying out for Team Manitoba this summer. He's eligible to compete at the U16 level, or he can make the jump up to U18 level. When it comes to next year's school season, Preston will compete at the Varsity level. 

Whatever he does decide to do this summer, placing first this year has him feeling good moving forward.

"I'm definitely feeling good and I feel more comfortable competing with the best," added Preston. "I also have more confidence in other sports that I'll play as well."

This past weekend was the track and field provincials in Winnipeg.

Reuben Houle, from Dauphin, competed in the discus throw and threw 39.65m earning him a silver medal.

This fall, He is off to the University of Manitoba and he’ll continue with track on the university track team.

Former Swan Valley Stampeder and Dauphin King, Justin Valentino just recently finished his fifth year of hockey at the University of Lethbridge. He played for the Pronghorns and they hosted this past season's National Championships.

Although it wasn't the ending Justin was hoping for as the team didn't win, he will have a chance to win a title elsewhere. He's signed his first professional hockey contract as he will join Briançon of the France Elite League. 

Justin showed off his skill by putting up 80 points over the past four seasons with Lethbridge. 38 of the points were goals.

"It's definitely pretty exciting," said Valentino. "I'm just kind of finding out all the details on when I have to report and all that. It's a slow process, but it's definitely an exciting one."

Although most pro contracts signed by a player go through their agent, that wasn't the case with Justin. 

"I don't actually have an agent. A former teammate of mine played in the league and he helped a lot," continued Valentino. "Current coaches and past ones as well have really helped a lot. I'm really looking forward to it for sure."

Justin is coming off a near career season with the Pronghorns. He put up 27 points (9G) in 28 games. He had 28 points two seasons prior. Now it's all about preparation for Valentino. He'll spend a ton of time in the gym as he gets ready to play against guys that have been professionals for years.

"It's definitely going to be a lot different. The nice thing is I won't have to balance school with hockey anymore, I'll be able to solely focus on the game," said Valentino. "Obviously it's a different game over there and it's a new opportunity. It should be a challenge, but I'm ready for it."

Valentino's friend, Tim Campbell helped with the process of Justin signing his contract, and Justin is hoping he can do exactly what Tim is. Campbell is getting set for his second professional season and he's combined for 75 points in the first two seasons.

"I'm hoping I can do what Tim's been able to do, he's done really well for himself," added Valentino. "I'm just going to enjoy the new opportunity that's come about and we'll see how it goes."

Of course, travelling around Europe is also something Justin's looking forward to.

"I've never really been over to Europe, so if I can play some hockey and check it out, it's going to be pretty great," added Valentino. "I really can't wait to get over there."