The Virden Collegiate Golden Bears football club opened their Rural Manitoba Football League (RMFL) season with a win. The Bears dominated the Interlake Thunder 46-21 on home turf on Sept. 24.
Coach Mark Wakely said it was close at halftime but in the second half the Bears pulled away. Doug and Logan Roach are the other Virden coaches.
Quarterback Keagan Shiels scored two touchdowns with 16 carries for 200 yards. He also threw two passes for touchdowns to Lincoln Shiels and Colby Whittle. A.J. Webb led the Bears defense as he got in on 12 tackles.
After the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID, the RMFL is back with all eight teams. For this season, the RFML has separated into two divisions to reduce contacts.
The Parkland division has teams from Dauphin, Swan River, Moosomin and ParkWest. The Prairieland division includes Neepawa, SouthWest, Interlake and Virden. Due to inter-provincial restrictions, Moosomin Generals home games will be played in Manitoba, at Shoal Lake and Virden.
The Bears travel to Neepawa to face the Tigers this week and their next home game is a return bout against that same Neepawa squad on Oct. 8.
Week four of the season features an away game against the Interlake Thunder, and the regular season concludes with a two-game home and away series against the South West Sabres on Oct. 23 and 29.
Teams compete for two trophies. The top two teams in each division compete for the Doug Steeves Trophy while the next four teams compete for the Murray Black Cup.
Playoff semi-finals will take place on Nov. 5, with the finals on Nov.12.