Bombers bring back O'Meara

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

One down, three to go.

That's the Canadian offensive lineman situation facing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after they re-signed Matt O'Meara to a new contract yesterday.

O'Meara's signing means the Bombers now have three Canadian O-linemen poised to become free agents tomorrow night, all starters: Alexandre Gauthier, Dominic Picard and Kyle Koch.

O'Meara, 26, started six games last season at both right and left guard, filling in for the injured Koch and Brendon LaBatte. O'Meara was part of a Bomber offensive line that surrended 29 sacks, the second fewest in the league.

COACHES NOMINATED

Calgary's John Hufnagel, Saskatchewan's Ken Miller and Montreal's Marc Trestman are the finalists for the CFL's 2008 coach of the year award.

The winner of the Annis Stukis Trophy will be announced on March 3 during a special ceremony at the annual CFL Congress, which this year is being held in Hamilton.

All three coaches were rookie CFL bosses in 2008, but Hufnagel should be the favourite after guiding the Stampeders to a Grey Cup win over Trestman's Alouettes, who cruised to the East Division title with an 11-7 record.

Miller followed in the enormous footsteps of 2007 coach of the year Kent Austin, overcame the loss of more than 20 players to injury and guided the Roughriders to second place in the West Division.

Voting was conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada.

HOWELL STAYS WITH STAMPS

Winnipeg's Markus Howell is staying in Cowtown.

The receiver-kick returner re-signed with the Calgary Stampeders yesterday, which will prevent him from hitting the CFL's free agent market.

Howell returns for his fourth season with the Stamps. He appeared in 16 games last season, returning 67 punts for 591 yards and nine kickoffs for 194 yards.

RIDERS SIGN LINEBACKER

The Saskatchewan Roughriders locked up one of their three starting linebackers yesterday, re-signing Sean Lucas to a contract. The strong-side linebacker had a team-leading 95 tackles last season, along with three forced fumbles, three special teams tackles, two pass knockdowns, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Saskatchewan's other two starting linebackers, 2008 all-stars Maurice Lloyd and Anton McKenzie, are both set to become CFL free agents tomorrow night.

Boatmen sign Boatman

The Toronto Argonauts signed an offensive lineman yesterday who could make the team on his name alone.

The Boatmen signed 6-foot-6, 320-pound Shannon Boatman to a contract.


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