Trio of Winnipeg recruits keep talent local, join Manitoba Bisons

Manitoba adds a trio of local commits to their Class of 2018.

Sometimes, you don’t have to look much further than home for what you seek, and offensive linemen Brock Gutowski from Sturgeon Heights Colligate and Kyle Wilfer from St. Paul’s High School, along with receiver Michael Goldenstein from Kildonan East Colligate, understand that committing to the University of Manitoba Bisons is a special opportunity.

Brock Gutowski

Courtesy of Brock Gutowski.

When you have been around the Winnipeg football scene as long as Brock Gutowski has, you’ll get to know some people. The eight-year veteran said he committed to Manitoba because he wanted to stay home and Winnipeg is home.

“Most of the guys on the roster I have either played with or was friends with them already. So, I chose to stay with my family,” he said.

Standing at 6’3, 300lbs, Gutowski will bring a considerable amount of size to the offensive line. He won’t be without guidance on how to best use his size, however, as he will be with a coaching staff he called, “top notch.”

“The offensive line coach, Coach Watson, is an amazing coach and last year, he sent one of his players to the NFL,” Gutowski said. “The Bisons also have an extraordinary strength and conditioning program, which is one of the best, if not the top, programs in the country.”

He added that, “I believe that the Bisons can really offer me the tools to be successful over my career with the program.”

Gutowski, who is interested in business, currently plays with the Sturgeon Heights Huskies (Winnipeg High School Football League). He has also played with the St. James Rods (Manitoba Minor Football Association) and is a two-time member of Team Manitoba U18.

Kyle Wilfer

Courtesy of Kyle Wilfer.

Fellow product of Winnipeg, Kyle Wilfer, has been in and around the local football community for 11 years. He understands just how special it is to represent his hometown team.

“The fact that I get to stay home and be with family and grow in my community is an amazing thing that committing to the U of M allows me to do,” Wilfer said. “I have an amazing relationship with Head Coach Dobie and know that he, along with his coaching staff, have coached a lot of guys to the pros.”

For the 6’4, 300lbs offensive tackle, going pro is not far from his mind. “U of M is a factory for pro football players and I would love to join that list of pros coming out of U of M one day,” Wilfer said.

Starting in 2007 with the Fort Garry Lions, he spent seven years with the team. In 2014, he joined the St. Paul’s Crusaders (WHSFL) where he currently plays. In 2015, he was the team’s rookie of the year. In 2014 and 2016, he was named to the league’s honour roll. Last season, he helped his team capture a Potter Division (AAA) championship.

Michael Goldenstein

Courtesy of Michael Goldenstein.

Rounded off this Winnipeg trio is Michael Goldenstein, who is in his fourth season with the Kildonan East Collegiate Reivers (WHSFL). While he will also be staying home, he was drawn to the program primarily by the team’s coaching staff.

Since his start at receiver, Goldenstein has been training with the team’s offensive coordinator and the receiver coach. “I came to their training program as a skinny, 6’3 linebacker and they have transformed me into the receiver and player I am now,” the 6’4, 190lbs athlete said. “They are the reason I made it this far with football and I owe everything to them. They’re like family to me.

Prior to playing high school ball, Goldenstein, who will be taking criminology, spent seven years with the East Side Eagles. In 2016, while he was in grade 10, he was named as a Reivers’ MVP. In grade 11, he won best offensive and special teams player. He helped bring his team a championship title that year where he scored three touchdowns in the finals.

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