Eric Prokopowich has always been a fierce competitor on the golf course, but there's something about tournament golf that gets the Dauphin junior that much more into the game.

Earlier this summer, Eric qualified for the 32 man field at Golf Manitoba match play championships where he lost a tight battle in his round of 32 match. Throughout the summer, Prokopowich has also been playing on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour, a circuit that has a few different age levels and it welcomes the top junior golfers from across Manitoba.

The Tour has officially ended its Manitoba circuit for the summer and Eric has a ton of confidence heading into next summer after another solid performance. Playing in the junior boy's division, Eric shot a first-round, 73, playing at the Transcona Golf Club. He would fire one better than that on day two with a 72, the lowest score of the day by any competitor. In the end, Eric would finish in a tie for second behind Jacob Armstrong who won Golf Manitoba's junior championships last season.

"It was great ending the year on a good note. It was my goal to win the tournament, but I was really happy with the second-place finish, and I'm glad that I played well," he said. 

The second-place finish turned out to be Eric's second of the summer. He also finished runner-up at an MJT event at the Carman Golf Club earlier this month and he also finished in a tie for second in the Order of Merit standings with 217.5 points with Armstrong topping things with 300 points.

So not only did Eric place second in two events this month and finish second on the Order of Merit list, but he also executed a perfect shot. Playing the par 3, 14th hole in Transcona which measures 171 yards, Eric took his 7-iron and ended up acing the hole for his second hole-in-one in two years. He also made an ace last year playing at the Tamarack Tournament on the 17th hole.

"It's certainly important to get one in a tournament because it gave me a couple of strokes on the field," said Prokopowich. "My playing partner said it was looking good, it went towards the hole and we saw it disappear. Everyone congratulated me and my dad was there as well, so it was super special that I was able to get that done."

Next up for Prokopowich is club championship at the Dauphin Lake Golf Club. 

The Swan Valley Tigers dominated the Rural Manitoba Football League last season as they cruised to a league championship, but they won't get an opportunity to defend their title this fall.

The Dauphin Clippers won three straight league titles from 2015-2017; however, they won't get an opportunity to rise back up the standings. The Rural Manitoba Football League has made the tough decision to suspend the fall season due to the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus.

In a normal regular season, the first game would be played in just more than two weeks.

Jason Schenn is the vice president of the RMFL and he had this to say on the suspension.

"It's been a long summer of trying to figure things out," said Schenn. "We were hoping the entire time that we could salvage a season but obviously that's just not possible this fall."

A tough decision it was for the entire Board of Directors, but it's also a frustrating time for Schenn as he sees what's going on around him.

"It's extremely frustrating to see what happens around the world like people are at beaches and gathering together," he said. "But for some reason, youth sports are highly unsafe and I just don't understand it. It doesn't make sense to me and that's the part that is the most frustrating."

The Rural Manitoba Football League has said they are hoping to run a season in the spring which would allow current grade 12's one last chance to play the game that some of them have been playing for years and years.

"That's our next best opportunity to give our graduating players one more season," ended Schenn. "We're very hopeful that this can happen, but I guess we'll see."

Cam Bennet will join Darnell Duff tomorrow morning to share his thoughts on the suspension of the RMFL season. That includes how grade 12 students are dealing with the news.

Many people have been asking Jason Alf what is the status of the Westman High School Hockey League.

As co-president of the league, his message is quite clear at this point.

"We're like everyone else, we're not cancelled. I think that's the best answer I can give at this point," said Alf. "There's a lot of misinformation that we are cancelled, but we haven't heard anything that would indicate that we are."

Hockey Manitoba is currently in Phase 2 in its Return-to-Play which allows for on-ice development and tryouts. Phase 3 is set to be in place for November 1 which would allow for games across the province. The Manitoba High School Athletic Association will have the final say on when the Westman League could get going.

"Right now, we're planning on everything still being a go, but we don't know," said Alf. "Things change daily so I guess we'll see what the near future holds."

The Clippers were set to play in the league final last year when the season was ended because of the novel coronavirus. Alf says returning players feel like they have unfinished business and they want the chance to finish what they started last season. He also says the last several months have been extremely tough as they've been filled with uncertainty and postponements or cancellations.

"Since March people have been wondering, worried, and concerned when it comes to what will happen this season," ended Alf. "Every league is working hard to put together plans for a safe return to the game, but plans can change on a daily basis and that's something we're learning."

Dauphin Rec Services has announced that the 2020 Rec, Health & Leisure Mart has been cancelled.

The night originally scheduled for September 9 gives community members the opportunity to signup for different sport groups.

So instead of hosting this event, Tamara Kolida with Dauphin Rec says the organization is putting together a different way to signup for sports groups, virtually.

"We're reaching out to the different sport groups in our community for their information," said Kolida. "We're going to have those groups listed on our website for anyone new to the community that is looking for something to do."

You can also contact Tamara if you'd like to get information about your group out to the public. She can be contacted at 622-3157. 

In a normal year, the Rec, Health & Leisure Mart includes groups like Skate Dauphin, Dauphin Minor Hockey, the Grand Plains Gymcats, and the Dauphin Gymnastics Club, just to name a few. 

The 87th annual Tamarack Tournament officially came to a close on Saturday evening at the Clear Lake Golf Course and it was a day for the history books for the eventual winner, Dustin Dyck.

In the previous 86 years, only seven golfers have won the men's division in back-to-back years. Roy Kepron was the first to achieve the goal as he won the championship flight in 1949 and 1950. After Barry McKenzie achieved the feat in 1965 and 1966, no other golfer won back-to-back titles until Jared Jacobson did in 2010 and 2011. Kody Fawcett also won two years in a row in 2017 and 2018. 

The list of seven has now increased to a list of eight as Dustin defended his title successfully by beating Dave Unger, 1up, in the championship final on Saturday -- a final that saw more than 100 spectators follow the final foursome around the course which also included Mark Odut who lost a tight battle against Steven Young in the 1st flight final. 

From the very beginning to the end, Dustin played superb golf and it all started with a 5 under start in his first five holes in qualifying. After winning medallist honours, the Brandonite won four straight matches to once again win this prestigious event at one of Manitoba's finest courses.

"It's really a humbling experience and accomplishment. It's something that puts me and my family in the record books in this event," said Dyck. "I don't think it's even hit home yet if I can be totally honest."

So Dustin is now a part of a group of eight that have won this event in back-to-back years. On top of that, Dustin became the first-ever player in tournament history to win medallist honours and also defend the title. Prior to his performance, not one player who won the event in the past year had been awarded medallist honours the following year and also won the tournament title, until Dyck did that exact thing on Saturday evening.

"It just proves that what I've been practicing on has been working, I'm doing the right things for myself to be able to enjoy success," said Dyck. 

Dustin's toughest test of the event just so happened to come in the finals when he was up against Dave Unger who was the second overall seed. Dyck would start the round with three birdies and one eagle as he was 5 under through six holes, but most importantly, he found himself 4up against the very capable Unger who finished with his best performance at this event. Unger also had a great start as he was 1 under through six holes, but it wasn't near enough to stay close to the Brandonite.

"I was the most locked in that I had been all week long, I was very tunnel-visioned and focused on what I was doing," added Dyck. "I was very confident in my abilities, probably more confident than I had ever been in the past and I think that's what allowed me to get it done."

Unger would battle back; however, and he brought the match within one after sticking a beautiful shot into the par 3, 17th hole. Dustin would end up conceding the hole as Unger was down just one heading into the relatively straight forward par 4, 18th. Two good tee shots from Dustin and Unger put them basically in the same spot on the right side of the fairway. Dyck would put his approach about 20 feet away from the hole. Unger, meanwhile, hit his approach on the green but he was roughly 75 feet away. 

Knowing he needed a birdie to extend the match, Unger gave it a good run; however, his attempt came up short as Dyck two-putted for the victory and his second championship in as many years at the Tamarack Tournament.

With Dustin's fiancée on the bag as she had been all week, the champion was also met on the green by his grandfather and his closest friends, all of which made the most of a celebration. It truly was a family bonding moment after a superb week of golfing from Dustin Dyck.

"I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief to be able to play really well in front of them," ended Dyck. "It's an amazing feeling to be able to clinch a piece of history in this prestigious event in front of my family; it was a moment I'll cherish."

Winning the Tamarack was the second championship that Dustin won this year as he also won the Minnedosa Masters earlier this summer. 

The New York Islanders closed out the Washington Capitals with a 4-0 last Thursday.

Now, they’ve begun their series against Philadelphia with a 4-0 win to take a 1-0 series lead.

Ryan Pulock was a +2 and he played just more than 21 minutes.

Game two goes on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dauphin Kings Par 3 Extravaganza will take place this Saturday at the Gilbert Plains Country Club, but due to COVID-19 there will be changes to the event.

The event was supposed to use a shotgun start format; however, tournament organizers have now confirmed that the event will feature tee-times. Times will begin at 9:00 a.m. and they will continue until roughly 3:00 p.m. All golfers are required to check-in at the pro shop upon their arrival. Players are also asked to arrive no more than 30 minutes prior to your tee-time.

"We obviously want to follow all public health protocols and avoid the big gatherings at the tournament," said Kings Director of Business Operations Christian Laughland. "With that being said we will now be able to stagger golfers arriving and getting on the course, therefore eliminating big groups in the pro shop and around the restaurant area.”

After each group finishes the 9th hole, you'll be treated to lunch courtesy of Putter's Cafe. This lunch is instead of a gathering after the round. All players are asked to hand in their scorecards after the round followed by immediately leaving the grounds to avoid any large groups in one space.

"All players are also getting a gift like previous years," continued Laughland.

Christian has been in touch with many players that are signed up to play in this year's event and although a couple of changes have been made, the excitement for this year's event is still very high as the day continues to near.

"Everyone just wants to support the Dauphin Kings and the Gilbert Plains Country Club," ended Laughland. "It's a huge fundraiser for the Club and we just want to thank everyone for sticking with us and being a part of this tournament."

Tee-times are expected to be released on Tuesday afternoon. 

The Dauphin Lake Golf Club held its Ladies Club Championship over the weekend and the finish was one of the better ones you'll ever see.

25 ladies teed it up for the event and in the end, Donna Davidson won the championship as she survived a five-hole playoff with Linda Kitching and Martha Messinbird.

The rest of the tournament was determined by NET scores and here they are.

1st Flight:

1st - Martha Messinbird - 68

2nd - Margaret Heroux - 72

3rd - Karen Toderian - 74 on a countback

2nd Flight:

1st - Linda Homeniuk - 78 on a countback

2nd - Chris Carefoot - 78

3rd - Donna Davidson - 79 on a countback

3rd Flight:

1st - Shelly Love - 82 on a countback

2nd - Barb Hrehirchuk - 82 on a countback

3rd - Lane Prokopowich - 82

Closest to the Pin on #9 - Donna Davidson

Hockey Manitoba has been working around the clock over the past few months to put together extensive Return-to-Play Guidelines which are either approved or denied by Public Health Authorities along the way.

At this point, the organization is officially in Phase 2 which was approved on August 12. This means that beginning on September 1, teams are able to hold tryouts and other on-ice skill development (non-contact), drills, team tactics, and of course, online lessons.

Hockey Manitoba and its Board of Directors also made the decision to now allow any sanctioned tournaments or events to take place prior to November 1. One of the events this has affected in the U15 AAA male and female showcase event which was been cancelled. 

"We feel that this decision was a responsible one to continue with Phase 2," said Peter Woods, Executive Director. "We have also cancelled all travelling permits until November 1."

Woods also added that regular-season action is on the way; however, Hockey Manitoba isn't rushing into things.

"Our organization has been very cautious, but we remain positive that we're putting in the proper protocols," ended Woods. "We don't want to put any of our members at any risk during this entire process leading up to games. We've spent a lot of time on this and we can confidently say that we're in a good position."

Coming up early next month in Dauphin is the Parkland U18 Rangers tryouts, as well as the Dauphin Kings, will hit the ice. 

 

 

The Waywayseecappo Athletics fastball team capped off a wonderful summer on Sunday night with a title.

Playing in the finals of the Dauphin men’s league, the Athletics held off the Lacquette Construction Stars (formerly the Mallard Stars), 8-7, in a thriller at Vermillion Sportsplex.

Waywayseecappo defeated Dauphin Showtime to advance to the finals while the Stars beat Crane River.

Cash McCallum got on a roll playing in the junior sixth flight consolation as the Tamarack Tournament has come to a close for another year. 

The Dauphin junior who continues to improve his game won two straight matches to win the flight. His final win was 3&2.

Quinten Fisk, also of Dauphin won the sixth flight on the championship side.

Regan Hedley won on the consolation side in the men's second flight while Jake Wiens won on the consolation side in the men's third flight. 

Mel Graves won the senior men's third flight.