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Curling season begins on positive note

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    Curling clubs of every shape and size have dusted off their sliders and brooms as the new season arrives.
    The Drumheller Mail  checked in with five main communities to see how their season was shaping up.
    The Drumheller Curling Club boasts of 15 kids coming out to try the sport for the first day.
    The ladies league started on Tuesday, November 7 and the men’s league started on Wednesday, November 8.         The ladies will have league games every Tuesday. The men’s league games will follow on Wednesday nights and mixed team games will happen the following day on Thursday.
    Eleven teams have signed up for the mixed league so far.
    “It was a good turnout, we like to see the sheets full so if we get another couple teams that would be great,” said Heather Little, junior curling representative.
    The first fun night of the season was held on Friday, November 17. These nights happen about once a month.
    “Those nights are just for anyone who wants to come try it out, maybe members who want to get some extra ice time,” said Little. “So it’s for anybody who wants to come and curl and have a good time.”
    Regular curlers will be available to instruct anyone who needs help.
    “It’s just a great way to try it out without having to commit to the team or league,” said Little.
    Junior curling focuses on skill development and encouraging children to come back year after year to strengthen these skills.
    “We look forward to where they are at the end of the year,” said Little.
    For Rumsey, the curling club is nothing short of a powerhouse with 12 full teams. These members reside in areas like Byemoor, Delia, Drumheller, Rumsey, Rowley, Morrin, Munson, and beyond.
    The league started on Monday, November 6. There are 12 square draw teams with numbers rising from last year.
    “The ice is nice and clean and if anybody is interested in curling in Rumsey we are always willing to make space for you,” said Al Hampton, president of the Rumsey club.
    No drop-in curling is available but anyone can be put on the spare list in case a team is down a player.
    For junior curling, Morrin school has a Grade 12 men’s team which will be utilizing the ice for their season.
    The mixed bonspiel will mark the end of the season on March 10, 2018.
    “If you’re a curler, it’s always a good year,” laughed Hampton.
    Delia’s curling club started their season on Friday, November 17. They are finding it harder to get members.
    “Curling seems to be popular on TV but curling in the community isn’t what it used to be,” said Jason Reed, Delia curling club director.
    To make up for it, the Junior curling program has many members in both Junior High and Senior High.
    A highlight is always the ‘Glowspiel’ in early January where the club paints the house rings with glow-in-the-dark paint. Black lights are also present.
    “You’re kind of in the dark but you’re not really,” said Reed. “It’s pretty popular.”
    Hussar’s Curling Club started on Tuesday, November 14. After the initial get-together, the club has four mixed teams for Tuesday nights and eight teams for Wednesday nights in the square draw.
    Anyone is welcome to put their name on the spare list if interested by calling any of the current board members. Drop-in’s are also welcome.
    “Show up on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and somebody will help them for sure,” said Wendy Kaiser, Hussar curling board member.         “There’s always people there to come in and welcome them.”
    The annual ‘Turkey Curl’ is on this upcoming Friday, December 1.
    “Shooting the rock closest to the button wins a turkey,” said Kaiser. “Everybody welcome.”
    The Hussar club is always willing to take on new curlers.
    “If anybody is truly interested in curling, come on out, there’s people there from Standard, Strathmore, and people from everywhere.”
    On November 20, Carbon Curling had their first official gathering.
    “We’re just getting going for the season, we’re going to be finishing the ice on the weekend and we’re going to start our regular drawing today,” said Scott Hyshka, president of the Carbon Curling Club.
    The league is open and  will be made up of mixed teams.
    “We’re just trying to spark some interest and get more people back out there than in previous years and maybe get some new faces to come and learn the game and get the numbers up,” said Hyshka.


Double win for Atom Raptors at Charmont Memorial Tournament

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    There was some great hockey action at the Drumheller Memorial Arena as Atom players took to the ice for the Charmont Memorial Tournament.
    The tournament is in its sixth year and is named in honour of Chris and his son John Charmont. Both perished in an explosion at a Mexican resort in 2010.
    Kim Moulton, whose son plays for the Encana Raptors says the Charmont family is on the minds of the players at the tournament as they have a write up in the program on John and Chris and the work done in their name. Currently, there is a school in the Roatan that bears John Charmont’s name. Before play begins they a take a moment of remembrance for the family.
    The Yavis Atom Raptors and the Encana Atom Raptors competed with six other teams at the annual tournament. Both played well and went undefeated through the tournament.  Each won their pools with the Yavis Raptors winning 9-0 and the Encana Raptors, winning 4-3 in overtime.
    Each pool has a Tournament MVP that honours sportsmanship displayed by the Charmonts.
    “It is not based necessarily on the best player, but best sportsmanship,” said Moulton.
    Paxton Olsen was the MVP for the Yavis Raptors and Corbin Moulton was the MVP for the Encana Raptors.

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DVSS Senior girls wrap up volleyball season at regional

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    The DVSS Senior Girls Volleyball team wrapped up their season at the regional tournament.
    The team headed to Hanna for their Regional tournament Saturday, November 11. This comes after competing in their league championship. The  Dynos topped the Three Hills Royals, but fell to Acme to place second.
    The tournament format was the top two teams from each pool have a guaranteed spot at Zones. Zones are hosted in Brooks at St. Joes, resulting in St. Joes having an automatic place in zones.
    The Dyno’s first round of pool play was against the Holy Cross Collegiate Hawks from Strathmore. A nail-biting first set with DVSS coming out in the clutch with a 30-28 win.             Hawks woke up in the last two sets, winning both with scores 15-25 and 10-15.
    “The girls played well! We had played at a tournament Holy Cross hosted about a month ago,” reflects coach Erica Crocker. “We didn’t match up with them, though they did take gold where we placed bronze. We knew they were going to be a tough team, though the girls played admirably.”
    Captains Mikaela Koustrup had six kills, serving a run of three, three total blocks. Grace Spitzer had three kills and 25 digs.
    The second match was against the Three Hills Royals, which the Dynos had just defeated in league playoffs, securing second place in the league. After the entire gymnasium held pause for our veterans, pool play continued.             The Dynos lost the first set, 20-25 and came out fierce in the second set winning 25-11, forcing a nail-biting third set, the first to 15 points.
     “The third game was particularly important because it would have given us the advantage in our pool and increased our chances of securing our spot in Zones. Basically, we had to win it in order to go on.”
    Unfortunately, this set resulted in a loss for the Dynos, with the final score of 15-17, giving the Royals the edge in the pool. “It was nail-biting. We were down 10-14 and we caught a run of serves that got us back up to 14-14. We then lost the side, 14-15, got the side back, 15-15. At this point, I’m pretty sure Carmen [co-coach] and I were holding our breath for what felt like an eternity.             
    We lost our serve, 15-16 then the Royals served a tough ball that our defense could not return.”
    “Tough loss, but it’s all a part of the game,” said Crocker.
    Koustrup had five kills, three serving aces, serving run of three, two blocks and two digs. Spitzer had 32 digs in the back row and Wright had one kill, one ace, and 20 assists.
    The Dynos then played the hosting team, Hanna Hawks, for their last round of pool play, winning both sets with scores of 25-15 and 25-23.
    Koustrup had and five kills, one ace, run of three, three blocks and one dig, Spitzer who played had a total of two kills, one ace, 18 digs. Wright with two kills, 10 assists; Hilchey with five kills, two aces, serving run of seven, and two blocks. Zacharuk with six digs and one assist; Caweizel with four kills, four aces, serving run of seven, one block, 12 digs and one assist; Thompson had nine digs, and Scott with serving run of three, one block and 10 digs.
    The Dynos did not end up playing their crossover because the team hosting zones left [St. Joe’s], which resulted in no crossover.
    “It’s too bad we didn’t get to play our last game, but it wouldn’t have changed our seeding at that point. All three teams in Pool A are secured into Zones, with Holy Cross Collegiate and Three Hills Royals from [Pool B] secured as well. At this point, if there is a team that drops out or some sort of really awesome magic moment happens, we will be headed to zones. Otherwise, our season is complete.” concludes Erica.
    This is Erica’s third consecutive season coaching DVSS Senior Girls Volleyball, alongside Carmen Spitzer who has been coaching with Crocker for the last two seasons.
    “It’s been our best year yet, which I do say each year as our program progresses. We’ve done really well this year, placing second overall in our league, bringing home three bronze, and a B finalist in non-league tournaments,” Crocker continues. “Last season we won only one league game, and silver at one tournament.         
        The year prior, we didn’t place in any tournaments, nor win league games. My first year, we only had 10 girls try out. The second, only 12. This year we had 22 girls try out. I hope volleyball continues to grow in this community, and that the love for the sport is discovered within these students.                   That was my goal when I started volunteering as coach three years ago. “We’re making great progress.”
    DVSS has five seniors graduating this year. Kali Bedu-Olsen, Brayden Peters, Eden Hilchey, Payton Zacharuk, and Captain Mikaela Koustrup.


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