Curling updates on the Marc Kennedy Junior Classic, northern playdowns for men’s and women’s seniors and men’s masters, plus high school provincials in St. Albert

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Billets wanted

Organizers of the third annual Marc Kennedy Junior Classic, presented by Sarasota Homes & Realty, are hurrying hard to find billet families for two U18 rinks from Norway and Sweden during the March 23 to 25 bonspiel at the St. Albert and Jasper Place curling clubs.

The male and female rinks are competing at the Kennedy Classic through the Over The Pond Junior Curling Exchange, a joint initiative by Kennedy – three-time Brier winner, two-time world champion and 2010 Olympic gold medallist who qualified for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games with the Kevin Koe rink – and the Nordic Junior Curling Tour.

Each rink consists of four curlers and one coach.

“We’re looking for a couple of families willing to house them for the weekend as well as drive them to the rink and just kind of host them as a Canadian family,” Kennedy said.

Interested billets can contact Kennedy at marcandnicolekennedy@hotmail.com.

The Kennedy Classic consists of 52 rinks in the intermediate (16), recreation (12), U18 female (six), U18 male (six), U21 female (six) and U21 male (six) divisions.

New this year is the U21 division.

For more information visit the event’s Facebook page.

Last year’s Kennedy Classic consisted of 56 rinks in the competitive (28), intermediate (20) and recreation (eight) divisions, which was 16 more than the inaugural bonspiel.

Among this year’s rinks is skip Taitan Hagglund, third Rebecca Bartz, second Quinn Prodaniuk and lead Brennin Turner and in April the U21 St. Albert foursome will join a junior men’s team from Calgary as the first Canadian representatives in the Over The Pond exchange.

Senior northerns

The Northern Alberta Curling Association seniors (50-plus) playdowns are underway for several St. Albert curlers at the Thistle.

Rinks skipped by Kathy Piper (Sandy Sadoway, Laurie Conrad and Cindy Bobowik), Deb Santos (Leanne Telford, Lil Grabinsky and Teri Tralnberg) and Jennifer Scott (Anne Lopushinsky, Gwenyth Turner and Diane Greening) are competing in the seven-team women’s draw.

The 23-men’s draw includes the 2017 Canadian champions, with Dan Holowaychuk of St. Albert the second on the Wade White rink with third Barry Chwedoruk and lead George White

Holowaychuk, a St. Albert Curling Club wall of fame member, set the bar for alternates as the super sub for the legendary Ferbey Four, the four-time Brier champions and three-time world gold medalists.

Holowaychuk and Wade White were competing at their second senior nationals after collecting bronze in 2013 with St. Albert’s Doug McLennan at third and lead George Parsons.

The White foursome will represent Canada at worlds, April 21 to 28 in Oestersund, Sweden.

The men’s and women’s A, B and C event winners at northerns advance to provincials, Feb. 14 to 18 in Coaldale, and nationals are March 24 to 29 in Stratford, Ont.

Visit www.northernalbertacurling.com for draw times and results at northerns.

Men’s masters

The Northern Alberta Curling Association men’s masters (60-plus) rocks the ice next week at the St. Albert Curling Club.

The 15-rink draw includes three skipped by local curlers’ Al Edwards (Neil Flemming, Brian Kupsch, John Wainwright and alternate Len Sterling), Gary Greening (Dale Briske, Rick Dallyn, Doug de Bruijn and alternate Grant Cook) and Neil McKay (Don Johnson, Richard Davis and Ferd Caron).

Draw times are 2 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The finals are 2 p.m. Friday (A event), Saturday (B event) and Sunday (C event).

Visit www.northernalbertacurling.com for results.

Provincials are Feb. 21 to 25 in Stettler and nationals are April 1 to 8 in Surry/Whiterock, B.C.

High school provincials

Students of the roaring game will compete for provincial honours at the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association championships at the St. Albert Curling Club.

The Paul Kane Blues and St. Albert Skyhawks are co-hosting the March 1 to 3 bonspiel with 10 men’s, 10 women’s and 10 mixed rinks competing for medals.

The provincial hosts will be represented by a men’s rink for the Skyhawks, a women’s rink for Paul Kane and a combined mixed rink from both schools.

Paul Kane also has a men’s team entered in the provincial playdowns.

Organizers are looking for sponsors and for more information contact the Paul Kane and St. Albert Catholic high schools.

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About Author

Jeff Hansen

Jeff Hansen joined the St. Albert Gazette in 1991. He writes about sports, athletes and teams from St. Albert and area.