The success in the sports world continues for Red Deer College as not one but two curling teams are headed east to compete for a national title.
The RDC Queens team of Marla Scherrer, Julie Selvais, Sara McMann, Courtney Smith and Ashlyn Wozny will join the mens squad of Ryan Dahmer, Ty Parcels, Jeff Ireland and Jordan Smith in London, Ontario to take a run at a national title.
On the provincial scale the RDC teams were successful with all three teams bringing home a medal. The women winning silver, the men a bronze and another bronze for the mixed team but there isn’t a CCAA mixed championship so their season is done. Still, it’s quite the hat trick.
“We tried to find out the last time we had three teams go to provincials and it’s certainly not in my time,” said RDC coach Brad Hamilton. “I’m a little fussy. I said I wish we had all won gold but three medals is pretty good for the program.”
So what is the recipe for this success?
Hamilton, who was named ACAC Coach of the Year, says he’s had some very strong men’s teams over the years. There was also a national champion on the women’s side a couple of years ago and the mixed teams have struggled in the past. This year was different with success on all three levels.
“We’ve kind of managed to change the culture a little bit just because of the players we have,” he said. “We’ve got a few more of them going to the gym and realizing it’s a sport.”
Hamilton says he was happy with the effort by the women’s team in provincials this year but there is some work to do.
“We’ve been brilliant at times and I hate to say it but we were probably brilliant during the fall regionals and we were a little inconsistent at the winter regionals,” he said.
He said the team has had some time to work on what was wrong back in late February but he warns if they fall into the same style of up and down play they will struggle in London.
The men’s team had a great game during the ACAC chamipionships against Lakeland College with a national berth on the line and they came through with an extra end victory.
“It was 2-1 playing seven but there had been lots of rocks in play and it was a really good game,” said Hamilton.
It could be a catalyst of sorts for nationals.
“The boys have kind of played well all year so we’re just going to try and stay where we are with them and fine tune a few things. The girls, I’d like to somehow work them hard enough to get rid of those inconsistencies.”
The Queens team sports two ACAC ALL Conference players in second Courtney Smith and third Julie Selvais. Ryan Dahmer and Ty Parcels were named ACAC ALL Conference skip and third while Dahmer was named the ACAC Curler of the Year.
The game plan heading into London next week is simple if both teams play up to their potential Hamilton says they will be right in the mix.
“Alberta is competitive with Ontario so it will be whoever plays well that week.”
The National Tournament runs from March 23-26TH in London, Ontario.