It's been a different summer with everything going on surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but for Garrett Hrechka, he's treating it like any other summer. He's been in the gym twice a day and for the past two weeks; he's had the opportunity to get on the ice at Credit Union Place.

For the past few years, all of the preparation would lead up to playing with the Parkland U18 Rangers; however, his days as a AAA player came to an end after last season. Now, Garrett is preparing to try and make the jump to the next level.

"I'm really doing anything and everything I can, there are no excuses at this point," said Hrechka. "I'm giving it my all and I hope I get results at the end of the day."

The Kings got his rights back when they acquired him through a trade with Neepawa a couple of seasons ago. The recent Rangers graduate has officially taken the next step as he's committed to the Dauphin Kings. He joined Carson Cecconi who also committed to the Club on Tuesday.

Like so many in the region, Garrett has been watching the team since he was a young boy and he always had a dream of getting the chance to play with the team. Although committing doesn't guarantee him a spot on the roster, he does say it's a dream come true.

"Oh, it means so much to me. When I committed, I got my old Kings jersey that I used to wear when I was younger," said Hrechka. "It means a lot to me that the organization has high thoughts about me and I just hope I can show them what I can do."

Head Coach and General Manager, Doug Hedley, had this to say on Hrechka committing.

"He had a great year playing with the Rangers last year and he can score," said Hedley. "We want him to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I know he's training really hard this summer and we're looking forward to him battling for a spot."

The Kings are set to open training camp next month. Hrechka has taken part in training camp with the team before, but this year's different as he'll look to make the roster full-time.

"I think you always have to be confident about your chances, but I'm certainly not being overconfident," added Hrechka. "I'm just planning on going to earn my spot, that's my goal."

Hrechka put up all-star like numbers last year with the U18 Rangers who will also open training camp next month. He scored 24 goals and had 39 assists, good for 11th in the league. He was also the team's captain. His 63 points last season were 38 more than his previous career-high which was set the previous season with Parkland.

"That helped quite a bit. I was never really a scorer until I needed to step up," ended Hrechka. "I definitely got a confidence booster after last season and now I want to bring that to the Kings."

After an 11-7 win back on August 5 against the Elkhorn Expos, the Oak River Dodgers senior baseball team were 9-0 with two games remaining in the South West Baseball League. The two games were set to be against teams that were right near the top of the standings.

So the opportunity for Oak River was there to go a perfect 11-0 in the regular season if they beat Virden and Rivers. The Dodgers which feature former Dauphin King, Riley Shamray, and Strathclair's, Conor Geekie did just that. 

The Dodgers scored five runs in the final three innings to secure a 5-2 win against Virden and then they rolled over Rivers. The 16-2 win was emphasized with a 10-run 6th inning. During their perfect regular season, the Dodgers scored 112 runs and they only gave up 34.

Geekie was a big part of Oak River's success as he batted over .300.

"That's not something that happens very often like not many teams find a way to be perfect in the regular season," said Geekie. "We obviously had the perfect group of guys that came together to get it done, it was pretty special."

By virtue of their perfect record, Oak River was the top-ranked team heading into a modified double-knockout playoff. In their first two games, the Dodgers beat Reston, 4-0, and they hammered Boissevain, 22-3. Geekie went 3-for-3 in that 22-3 win as the Dodgers put up a 14 spot in the fourth inning. 

Oak River would play Boissevain again this past Sunday and a win would not only give them a championship, but it would also give them a perfect season. However, it wasn't meant to be as the Centennials nipped Oak River, 2-1. So the two teams would meet once again and the winner would be crowned champions of the South West league in 2020. 

In the game, Geekie belted a solo home run as the Dodgers rolled to a 13-0 win -- 11 of the runs came in the last four innings. The win gives Oak River three titles in the past four seasons. 

"I think all of my brothers have gone through it and I've always watched them win titles with this team," ended Geekie. "To be front and centre this time, that's extremely special to me. Our team put a ton of hard work into this and the celebration after was certainly one I'll never forget."

Dale Murray has pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the week so far at the Tamarack Tournament in Clear Lake.

Entering the championship flight as the 14 seed meant Murray would have to beat the 3 seed in Josh McPhail to advance and that's exactly what he did. 

The Gilbert Plains native would end up coming up clutch when needed as he topped McPhail, 1up, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Next up for Murray is a match against Jay Thiesen who won his match 4&3 and he's from Russell.

Mark Odut has advanced to the quarterfinals in the 1st flight of the Tamarack Tournament at the Clear Lake Golf Course.

Entering the flight as the 23rd seed overall in a field of 208, Odut dispatched of Bryce Watson, 1up, earlier today. He will now play Chad Cumming who is ranked 18th overall.

Elsewhere, Regan Hedley was bounced to the consolation side in the 2nd flight after he was defeated. Brandon Wheat Kings General Manager, Darren Ritchie won his match 1up in the flight.

Mike VanAlstyne dominated his match on the 4th flight with a 5&3 win while Joran Hedley lost 3&2.

John Tomlinson had his way with his match as he won 7&6 in the 5th flight and Jerron Kyle won 4&3. 

Mike Sparrow won his match 2&1 in the sixth flight while Anthony Wiens lost 2&1. In the championship flight, Jay Thiesen advanced with a solid 4&3 win, and last year's champion, Dustin Dyck won 5&4. Kody Fawcett also won his match, 1up.

Dean Murray fell short in his match in the senior men’s 1st flight. Robert Bouchard won his match in the 7th flight while Noah Wiens was a 5&4 winner in the 8th flight.

Dave Campbell won his match in the 9th flight.

Murray Delaware won his first match in the senior 2nd flight while Mel Graves won his in the senior 3rd flight. 

The Dauphin Kings are set to open training camp next month inside of Credit Union Place and the Club has added two more forwards ahead of it.

Both players have ties to the organization, one locally and one is the brother of a player who played on the team last season.

Garrett Hrechka has committed to the program. Playing with the Parkland U18 Rangers last season, Hrechka scored 24 goals and had 39 assists, good for 11th in the league. He was also the team's captain.

"He had a great year playing with the Rangers last year and he can score," said Doug Hedley, head coach, and general manager. "We want him to get bigger, faster, and stronger. I know he's training really hard this summer and we're looking forward to him battling for a spot."

Hedley says it's also fantastic that Garrett is a local player.

"That's ideal for us. Any player that can help this team and be a contributing player is something we always strive for," offered Hedley. "We just want to make sure he's ready to play and from all indications from last year, he's ready to step up."

The second player to commit is Carson Cecconi. Carson is the brother of Bryson Cecconi who spent the back half of the season with Dauphin last season.

Carson, a product of Powell River, BC, had eight points last season in 38 games with the Fernie Ghostriders who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

"Carson is a player that played very well last season, he's a power forward and he'll add that to our roster," ended Hedley. "We're looking forward to him coming in and competing and adding some size to our Club."

The Mountain View School Division (MVSD) announced its Return-to-School Plan on Monday and the plan has a dramatic impact on high school sports for the time being.

The plan states there will be no competition, including exhibition games for any school at this time. All divisional athletics and tournaments, including intramurals, are suspended until further notice. Dan Ward, Superintendent of MVSD says the school division will review MHSAA guidelines as they're developed for high school athletics. 

"This plan is certainly subject to change as things develop and that's one of the challenges of coming up with a plan in mid-August," said Ward. 

In the very immediate future, the suspensions will affect the football season and volleyball season. For instance, the Clippers play in the Rural Manitoba Football League and practices would already be underway in a normal year. Volleyball across the province begins later this month and for some teams, in very early September.

MHSAA has said that there can be small group training for football without equipment and it being flag football. They have also said that there can be small group training when it comes to volleyball.

However; at the end of the day, there will be no competition which makes it a tough time for so many athletes. The realistic possibility is that some grade 12 student-athletes may never suit up in another football game or even get a chance to hit the volleyball court. This, of course, is the worst-case scenario but it is one that has to be looked at.

Ward understands athletes may be having a tough time, but he assures that MVSD continues to work tirelessly to come up with a plan that would allow competition if deemed safe to do so.

"All of our principals and our school board realize how important athletics is to so many of our students," said Ward. "We understand how many students engage because of sports. If the determination is made to cancel certain sports throughout the year, it would be a decision we make with a heavy heart based on the recommendations of public health. We are not taking this easily."

As Ward has said, these plans are very fluid and they're subject to change at any time. 

Some Parkland juniors continued to show what they can do on the golf course as they began their Tamarack Tournament qualifying on Monday. 

Eric Prokopowich had the top Parkland round as he shot a 3 over, 75 as did Hayden Delaloye from Neepawa.

Jackson Delaurier was 4 over while Thomas Scott was one back of that mark. Luke Myhre finished with a 6 over, 78.

Luke Davidson had seven pars in his round while Cash McCallum drained two birdies. 

Keith Fawcett will enter as the second seed in the Champion Men’s after a two-round total of 6 over. He has won this event for the past two years.

Mike Pernarowski finished qualifying 32nd overall while Brad Carefoot finished in 33rd. Myles Haverluck is ranked 36th heading into the matches while Dean Cooley is ranked 39th.

Owen Connolly is 52nd, Ron Hedley is 55th and James Davidson is 60th.

Action continues Tuesday. 

Dustin Dyck put together a week that he won't ever forget last year at the Clear Lake Golf Course.

After a two-over performance in qualifying at the Tamarack Tournament, Dustin advanced to the championship flight as the 7 seed and he certainly never looked back.

After a 1-up victory in his round of 16 match, the Brandon native ousted Chris Knoop in quarterfinals and he followed that up with a 1-up victory against Chris Wren which put him in the finals. In those finals, Dustin completed a championship run as he downed Chad Cumming, 1up.

It was the first time that Dustin had ever won the Tamarack Tournament and now, he's looking to defend his title and he got off to a great start at this year's event which started over the weekend. In fact, Dyck's start to his first round on Saturday was something many golfers can only dream about.

Starting with two straight birdies, Dyck made par on the short par 3, third hole. He would birdie the fourth hole and eagle the fifth hole as Dyck started 5 under through five holes.

"I was pretty nervous on the first tee but I executed a pretty solid shot which went pin high to the right," said Dyck. "I was able to chip it to six inches for a birdie so it was a really comfortable start. It was a great confidence booster and I just sort of rode the momentum."

Dustin would end up shooting a 69 which included one more birdie on the back 9. He had another four birdies in his round yesterday as he shot another round under par, this time being a 70. His 139 stroke total gave him medallist honours as the top men's player after qualifying.

"Winning the medallist award is honestly something that I wasn't expecting, it was never really a goal of mine," said Dyck. "I was trying to play well, but at the same time, I didn't want to use too much energy. I was really comfortable for the most part, and I didn't feel like I had to grind over a bunch of shots. I think I put together two solid rounds and I'm really happy with how things went."

By virtue of finishing first overall, Dustin's Round of 16 match will come against Dan O’Greysik who survived a four-man playoff for the remaining two spots in the championship bracket. O'Greysick shot a 78 in his first round before rebounding with a 72 in his second round.

The 12th flight matches begin today; however, Dustin will tee it up against O'Greysik tomorrow morning as the Tamarack Tournament runs through this weekend. 

"I've had the mentality this week that I'm pretty much playing with house money. With winning last year, I've proved that I can do it," offered Dyck. "I feel like I've grown each and every year as a golfer and I've gotten incrementally better over the past 10 years. I'm going to go out and enjoy it and we'll see how things go."

The top 16 also features Jared Jacobson who was the top seed entering last year's matches. Jay Thiesen of Russell is the 6th seed and he will tangle with Derek Solman in the round of 16. Dale Murray of Gilbert Plains will play Josh McPhail. Kolby Day who won the Minnedosa Masters last year takes on Jason Thorpe. 

"There are so many great players that can get it done, that's the great thing about this tournament," ended Dyck. "Anyone can beat anyone on any day, that's why you have to play your best and see where things end up."

Dustin also finished in a tie for first for the most birdies or eagle over the two rounds with nine. The 4.5 average per round tied with Trent Turner. Jay Thiesen was in T5 with seven birdies while Regan Hedley had five birdies.

Hole-in-One news:

Robert Scaletta aced the 102-yard par 3 on Saturday. That was followed up by Joran Hedley who made his first-ever hole-in-one on Sunday on the 138-yard, 12th hole. 

There will be no Canadian Football League season this year.

It has been announced that the 2020 season has officially been cancelled which puts an end to months of speculation and what-ifs. 

The federal government recently denied the league's request for a $30 million interest-free loan that would be directed towards a six-game regular season and playoffs. $20 million of which would be used to pay players, $8 million would be for a Winnipeg-based hub and $2 million for a contingency fund. 

The 2020 season was originally scheduled to begin in early June, with the 108th Grey Cup to be played on Sunday, Nov. 22. The league postponed the start of the season until at least September back in May due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.​

The cancellation means the Grey Cup won't be awarded for the first time since 1919.

Joran Hedley has played in the Tamarack Tournament at the Clear Lake Golf Course for at least a dozen years, five of which were in the junior age division.

So just like every other year in the past more than a decade, Hedley always makes sure his game is ready for the test ahead, one that included 208 golfers in the men's division.

Living in Brandon, Joran plays at the Wheat City Golf Course in their men's night and whenever else he can get out during the week. 

"I've been playing a lot and that always helps. Sometimes my game is solid and sometimes not so much, but I was playing pretty well coming into the Tamarack," said Hedley.

Joran would go out in the first round on Saturday and he made one birdie on his way to a 12 over, 84. Sunday turned out to be a special day for Joran, one that he'll never forget. First things first, Joran made one birdie on the front nine on the par 3, 6th hole. He also made a birdie on the 11th hole and he would end up shooting 79 to finish in a tie for 73rd.

"I wouldn't say I'm happy, but I'm not mad about it. I was hitting the ball pretty well all weekend, I just struggled on the greens at times," offered Hedley.

During Sunday's round, Joran was 1 under on the first two par 3's on the day. He was on the 12th tee looking to improve that and he ended up making a shot that every golfer just hopes to make. Playing roughly 130 yards downhill, Hedley took his pitching wedge and chucked the perfect shot to record his first-ever hole-in-one and second at this year's Tamarack Tournament.

A celebration lasted well into the night that also included Regan Hedley who finished in a tie for 41st. 

"It was pretty cool. I hit a perfect shot and we watched it trickled down," said Hedley. "We thought it was in but I told everyone to wait until I knew it was in for sure. I got over the ball and saw it was in and we were all screaming and cheering. It was a once in a lifetime kind of thing, it was awesome."

The brackets for the matches for most of the flights have yet to be released. However, Joran does know he'll tee it up tomorrow and he's ready for the match play challenge ahead. 

"It's a really great format and a ton of fun. My goal is to swing the club well and we'll see how things go," ended Hedley.

Dale Murray is off to the championship bracket at the Tamarack Tournament.

After an opening round 76 on Saturday, Murray fired a 1 over, 73 on Sunday. His round included two birdies as the Gilbert Plains native finished in 14th after qualifying. 

Jay Thiesen finished as the top Parklander in qualifying as he’s 2 over and in a tie for fifth.

Mark Odut shot a 75 to finish in a tie for 20th at 8 over while Greg Misener is at 10 over.

After an 81 yesterday, Regan Hedley shot a 76 to finish in a tie for 41st after qualifying at 13 over.

Mark Simpson was 16 over total as was Jake Wiens.

Mike VanAlstyne and Joran Hedley all finished qualifying at 19 over while John Tomlinson was 21 over. Joran also had a hole-in-one.

Jerron Kyle and Mike Sparrow finished at 22 over and two strokes back was Jason Yates and Bart Michaleski.

Anthony Wiens finished qualifying at 25 over and Robert Bouchard was one back. Lawson Yates is at 31 over heading into the matches. 

Noah Wiens is at 32 over while Dave Campbell is 37 over 

The match play portion of the event will now begin and Dustin Dyck is the top seed. He will join Darnell Duff tomorrow morning.