Coderre coaches juniors to worlds
St. Albert curling product is head coach of Canada's junior women's championship rink skipped by Kelsey Rocque
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 06:00 am
Amanda-Dawn Coderre is going to worlds as coach of Canada’s junior women’s championship curling team from Alberta.
The Kelsey Rocque rink of third Keely Brown, second Taylor McDonald and lead Claire Tully beat Kalia Van Osch of British Columbia 7-6 with the last shot in Saturday’s final.
“It was a proud moment to be a part of this team. These girls are absolutely amazing,” Coderre said Sunday in a phone interview from Liverpool, N.S., site of the junior women’s and men’s national championships. “I’m so proud of these four girls. They’ve worked really hard all season and they just went and did what they knew what to do.”
The post-game on-ice celebration left the first-year head coach and St. Albert curling product teary-eyed.
“I was a little bit emotional. I always thought I would get my Team Canada jacket with my dad (Garry) coaching me instead of myself coaching,” said Coderre, 27, a provincial junior contender as a skip. “It’s definitely fulfilling and it feels outstanding for them.”
It was Alberta’s seventh Canadian junior women’s title and the first since Jocelyn Peterman of Red Deer won in 2012.
“They played well to get out of their province and I think they just really wanted to come to this the national event and show how strong they are and they did that. They played really well,” Coderre said.
Rocque has one more year of junior eligibility remaining and rest of the team will graduate from the U20 ranks after worlds.
At nationals the University of Alberta Pandas’ foursome, based out of the Saville Community Sports Centre, finished the round robin at 9-1 for a bye into the final.
“I told them to make sure to keep breathing and stay united out there and keep communicating and play like they know how to play,” said Coderre of her pep talk before the final.
Alberta never trailed while building leads of 2-0 after three and 4-1 after five before Van Osch counted three in sixth with a double takeout.
Alberta replied with a deuce in seven and Van Osch answered with two in eight after her draw for three was heavy.
Alberta blanked the ninth end and in 10 Rocque had an almost wide-open inturn hit with the hammer to punch the team’s ticket to worlds, starting Feb. 26 in Flims, Switzerland.
“We definitely want to medal there. We want to make sure we show our country proud out there,” said Coderre.
Her dad, Garry, the associate coach for the University of Alberta curling program, will accompany the team to worlds.
“He went to Sochi, Russia last year with the juniors (as the Canadian men’s team leader at junior worlds) so it will be good to have someone with experience on traveling and making sure we’re doing what we need to do when we need to do it,” said Coderre.
She credits her dad for making the transition from player to coach as smooth as ice.
“I stepped back away from the game for a bit. I just didn't have that drive to curl but I thought maybe I would get into coaching and see how it goes. I was going to do the Sunday fun thing and help the little kids start to curl but then Rob Krepps (associate director of sport development at the Saville Centre and head coach of University of Alberta curling) approached me about a coaching job with the university and I though it would be a great learning experience for me to do. I took the job and got placed with these four fantastic girls. They make my job very easy,” Coderre said.
“With a little bit of guidance from my dad and Rob, as well as the practices that they have in place, it made my job a little bit easier because we do have a routine for everything.
“Nothing really changed from the beginning to the end (at nationals), just keep the girls consistently playing well and keep them confident and communicating out there.”
Coderre channeled all her energies into coaching and hasn’t curled competitively since the 2012 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts. She played second and held the broom for skip’s rocks for Jessie Kaufman. The Saville Centre rink lost the final to Heather Nedohin 8-5.
“I wanted to make sure when I was coaching these girls that I was giving it my all so I’m not curling at all,” said the accounting co-ordinator for Norfab Manufacturing (1993) Inc., who curled last winter in the Edmonton super league for fun.