Estevan's two minor football teams opened their respective seasons with losses in Regina. The Estevan Lions Club Bantam Steelers dropped a 68-0 decision to the Regina Stampeders on August 19. Despite the result, coach Phil Zajac found a lot of positives. “We blocked a couple punts and we blocked four extra points, and we had some good plays on offence,” said Zajac. A lot of players were playing at the bantam level for the first time, he said. The Stampeders, meanwhile are a good team with a lot of veteran players. The Steelers also lost one of their best players, running back Levi Pick, on the first play of the game when he rolled his ankle. It changed the complexion of the game, Zajac said. Zajac believes the Steelers need to work on their offensive and defensive execution prior to their next game. *** The Sherritt Coal Atom Miners lost 30-0 to the Regina Bombers on August 18. Coach Wanda Harron said the score was not indicative of how they played. The defence was particularly strong. “We stopped Regina three times in the red zone between the 20-yard-line and the goal line,” said Harron. “On one series, Regina had three cracks from the three yard line, and our defence stopped them.” Regina managed just a safety and a last-minute touchdown in the second half, she said. Harron said the defence has to work on taking the proper angles when chasing players and creating turnovers. The offence had two great weeks of practice prior to the game against Regina, she said. They need to improve their blocking, and there needs to be better communication when relaying plays from the sidelines to the players. At least half the Miners were in their first game, Harron said. *** Both teams will be in action at home on Saturday, August 24 in what will be a busy day for football in Estevan. The grand reopening of the Woodlawn Athletic Park will start at 11:30 a.m. There will be a brief ceremony with speeches. The Miners will host the Regina Cougars at noon, and the Steelers will play Weyburn at 5 p.m. They will be the first football games at the athletic park since 2010. The field couldn't be used the last two years due to the floods of 2011. The Estevan Football Family and the Souris Valley Theatre are also teaming up for a couple of events that day. The first will be a showing of the Saskatchewan Roughriders game against the Edmonton Eskimos at Frehlick Hall at 2 p.m. Then the football and theatre organizations will host a cabaret, with entertainment from the Chris Henderson Band and Wonderland, starting at 8 p.m. There will also be fireworks. *** Estevan is also one of eight finalists for the Richard Pioneer Rider Nation Community Celebration, which is an on-line voting showdown happening in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Roughriders hosting the 101st Grey Cup. The community that receives the most votes will receive $50,000; the two runner-ups will each get $25,000. People can watch a video for Estevan's entry, and vote on-line at www.101greycupfestival.ca/vote. “The city's passion for the Riders is matched only by their passion for the community,” the video states. If Estevan finishes in the top three, then it will direct the funds towards the restoration of the athletic park, as there is still some work remaining.