Junior achievement

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

It may only be practice but a junior football player is already realizing a dream.

Winnipeg Rifles receiver Jeremy Botelho was invited to practise with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and he even caught a touchdown pass during yesterday's workout.

"It was a great feeling," said the Rifles' leading pass catcher. "I've been dreaming about this since Grade 9 and it was exactly how I dreamt it. It was a beautiful day and I caught a touchdown pass.

"It was a good feeling ... I'll practise as long as I can, as long as they want me here. I'm going to soak up as much as I can."

RUN ROUTES

Bombers assistant GM Ross Hodgkinson was scouting last week's Prairie Football Conference contest last week and Botelho told Bomber coaching apprentice Dave Siddall to tell him that he would be willing to come out to run routes with the Bombers.

"The next day, I got a call that they needed somebody to come in and run some routes, and I took the opportunity," said Botelho. "It seemed like a lifetime for this practice to come since I heard about it (Monday). I was excited."

The 6-foot, 175-pound Winnipegger is tied for the most receptions (45) in the PFC and second in yardage (697). And he wants to suit up for the Bombers some day.

"That has been my dream since Grade 9," said Botelho, who is in his last year of junior. "I think about it every day. It's my goal. I'm going to keep working hard and hopefully, I can show some things and hopefully, they'll invite me back to camp next year."

With veteran slotback Milt Stegall (knee) barely practising, the Bombers needed another pair of hands.

"He's done a nice job over there and we had a spot for a junior to come in here," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "To be able to look at him, plus a little bit of leg break, is something that we felt is necessary to do right now."

BLINK TALKS: Former Bomber tailback Charles (Blink) Roberts is still trying to find out where he fits in with the B.C. Lions, who have been platooning him with Stefan Logan.

"I just want the opportunity to get untracked, to get into that rhythm," Roberts told the Vancouver Province. "Obviously, you don't go from playing every down for eight years and not be a little frustrated when your role has been diminished.

"I'm the new guy to the team and I'm trying to fit in, but I'm not angry or mad. I've been welcomed since the first day I got here. But it's been tough and it's going to continue to be tough."

WHIFFER: Bomber placekicker Alexis Serna missed three field goals versus Edmonton last week .

"I know he watched film after the game and analyzed himself, and figures that he found a fault," Berry said. "He's working on that this week."

HASHMARKS: Bombers are hoping that DB Jovon Johnson returns to practice today after travelling to his Erie, Pa., home where his 15-year-old brother was shot dead last week. But if he is not ready to play Saturday, non-import DB Marc Beswick will start at one corner ... WR Derick Armstrong (knee) practised today.


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