Regina ThunderJust like the Saskatchewan Roughriders did earlier this season, the Regina Thunder kick off their Prairie Football Conference schedule with two straight games at home. Tonight at 7 p.m., the Thunder will take to the turf at Mosaic Stadium to play the Winnipeg Rifles. And following that tilt, the Thunder will host the Edmonton Wildcats at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday Aug. 23 at 1 p.m.

Unlike the Riders, though, I don’t think the Thunder will find themselves sitting at 0W-2L at the conclusion of the home stand. In fact, if I was a betting man, they’ll probably be at 2W-0L.

The Riders (and their fans) had high hopes heading into 2015 too, of course, but all that more or less unravelled when Darian Durant went down with a season-ending Achilles tendon injury just before the end of the first half in in the home opener against Winnipeg.

The Thunder lost a QB to injury last year too. That was Jaeden Marwick, and he’s back with the team again this year. In a training camp profile that appeared in the Leader-Post in late July, Thunder head coach Scott MacAulay said he was very satisfied with the quality of the team’s recruits this year, and credited the solid minor league and high school football programs in Regina for producing a lot of quality players.

That talent, and depth, will likely spell bad news for most Thunder opponents this year. As always, of course, the Saskatoon Hilltops will prove a stiff test. And year-to-year, there’s usually another PFC team or two that qualifies as a contender. But come playoff time, the Thunder should be in a position to host one of the two semi-finals.

You can find out more about the team on the Regina Thunder website.