Sports | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm
  • Dragons release preseason schedule

    kevin hasselberg pensacola

    The countdown is on for the beginning of the AJHL season and the Drumheller Dragons have been working hard to prepare.

    On August 2, the Dragons released its preseason schedule. The team hits the ice versus the Whitecourt Wolverines, the

    Camrose Kodiaks and the Spruce Grove Saints at a preseason tournament in Camrose from August 30 to September 1.

    Their first home exhibition game is Wednesday, September 6 versus the Olds Grizzlys and then on Friday, September 8, they play the Brooks Bandits.

    While the ice has just been installed for the season at the Drumheller Memorial Arena, Coach Kevin Hasselberg has been busy working with the staff and roster.

    “Number one, we want to establish a culture of excellence. The agreement between ownership, my own philosophies and the introduction of the management committee, I think there is a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of people that are willing to put in the work and a lot of support from the community,” said Hasselberg.

    He says it is key to create a culture and identity.

    “Summarizing it quickly, is “better people make better Dragons.’ I think it all starts with having good people in place. I think the previous staff has done a tremendous job of identifying good character people,” said Hasselberg. “When they put that jersey on, you know when they graduate from our program, that whoever gets to wear that jersey next has to have to really step up their game and have a very positive impact on the hockey team to wear it with as much pride as the previous owner.”

    While there have been some arrivals and departures during the off-season, Hasselberg said a core of quality players will be back this season.

    “I think everybody who has played a season for the Dragons… deserves that opportunity to be a part of this. They laid the groundwork for what we want to build moving forward, I think we really have to lean on those young men to keep establishing that culture,” said Hasselberg.

    While he was not with the Dragons last season, he was impressed with how they finished the season despite the turmoil.

    “I watched the team in the playoff last year, there isn’t a player on that ice coming back to this team this season that didn’t play with a lot of heart, determination, and they were very passionate about how they performed and I think it said a lot about those young men,” said Hasselberg. “We are going to pick on character first, and evaluate skill and talent.”

    “Right now with a post season evaluation of a group of players, who all want to come back to a program that experienced some significant challenges over the course of the season, I think that says a lot about those kids.”

  • Badlands RFC Rugby Club

    Womens Rugby RFC Drumheller

    Women from the Badlands Rugby Football Club had their first game on Friday, July 28 to form a 10s team with Bow Valley Grizzlies and Foothills Lions.

    Together they faced the Calgary Irish women's team. The combined team fielded three players for whom this was their debut game.

    Although the game ended in a loss it was a great effort from the women in this development team and one of the debut players, Emily Carter who played Wing, scored a try!

    Badlands RFC is a new Rugby club training out of Drumheller which welcomes both male and female players ages 16 and up.

    No experience necessary and all questions can be directed to April Harrison at 403-823-4553.

    photo submitted

  • Baseball season begins for the Drumheller girls softball teams.

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    Pictured above: Alicia Christensen pitching for the U14 Vipers girls softball team playing against the Trochu White Sox on home turf at the Newcastle Ball Diamonds. (mailphoto by Terri Huxley)

    Hey batter batter! The Drumheller girls softball team’s season began last Monday with the season beginning on May 1, as the U14 Pure Venom team played Delburne on home turf in Newcastle.

    The league consists of girls ages six to 18 in teams classified as U8, U10, U12, U14, & U16.

    President of the Drumheller Girls Softball Association (DGSA) Board, Kent Jensen spoke withthe Mailabout how the teams are shaping up this year.

    “It’s fun – they’re all a bunch of great kids,” said Jensen.

    This year, the league has two U8 teams, a U10 team, two U12 teams, two U14 teams, and a U16 team. A U18 team could not be made this year as there was not enough interest so with the U16 girls, they hope to come up and take on the new level of play in the following years to come.

    “A lot of the girls from the U16 team next year will go up to that so then maybe we can get enough to set another team up, we can start all over again with that one,” said Jensen.

    Jensen contributes the steady incline in interest over the past few years to the popularity in the Toronto Blue Jays as well as players recruiting friends at school or other gatherings.

    “It’s just starting to take off again and I think with everybody not travelling everywhere, kind of sticking around home with the way that things have been – it’s not an expensive sport,” said Jensen.

    For the U8’s, registration with everything included is only $50.

    As president, Jensen is in charge of team and umpire schedules, times, location and registration.

    “I need to make sure that everybody else that’s on that diamond is practicing somewhere else that day so that they can actually play their games without any interruption,” said Jensen.

    “It’s been an eye opener but no it’s been good,” said Jensen.

    Jensen looks forward to seeing the older teams engage and set goals to reach provincials.

    “The more teams we can get in there would be ideal,” said Jensen.  

    Drumheller itself is in the central Alberta league which includes Hanna, Trochu, Elnora, Delburne, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Red Deer.

    “It’s fairly widespread,” said Jensen.

    The Drumheller U16 girls may have competition this year but is debatable depending on which group they get put into.

    “Last year it was Elnora and they took provincials so then they had to go up a level,” said Jensen.

    Although the board has no plans for an at-home tournament this season, they are gunning to host provincials next year. Each zone brings roughly two to three teams which could lead to more money coming into the town.

    “We were maybe going to start planning and host provincials next year instead of a tournament – we thought we would do the big one and try to host provincials for next year,” said Jensen.

    You can catch all the action at the Newcastle Diamonds or little league diamond near the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.

    The updated schedule on the website can be foundhere.

  • Bulechowsky brings home pool hardware

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    Once again a Drumheller pool prodigy showed his skill and brought home a trophy.
    Shawn Bulechowsky competed in the Valley National Eight ball Association (VNEA) World Pool Championship in Las Vegas from May 24 to June 3. He played with his team the Relentless, which play out of Kokos Bar and Grill in Calgary as well as an individual.

    In the individual competition he placed 17th out of 180 top international players.
    “I was up 5-2 and the guy sharked me, and he ended up beating me 6-5,” explains Bulechowsky. In his next match he also fell 6-5 and settled for 17th.
    There was redemption in the team competition as His team Relentless went on to place 4th.
    “I brought myself home a Charlie! (trophy),” he explains.
    Bulechowsky regularly competes at the VNEA Championship and this was the second trophy he has won.

  • Cenovus donates funds for new ball equipment

    20170626 DGSA Cenovus Cheque Presentation

    Craig Stanger of Cenovus presents a $1,000 cheque to Dale Telford of the Drumheller Girls Softball Association (DGSA). Each year, Cenovus donates money to employees who volunteer by clocking their hours. “So if I put in so many hours, they put in so much money,” said Stanger. The money donated will be put towards new baseball equipment within the league.

  • Daylen Ostapowich doubles down with golf silver medals

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    Local youth golfer Daylen Ostapowich (14) has won two silver medals at his first back-to-back tournaments of the season.
    Ostapowich’s first tournament of the year was held at the Henderson Lake Golf Club in Lethbridge where he placed second overall.
    “It was a pretty good tournament – two-day tournament.”
    Then on July 4, Ostapowich participated at the Innisfail golf tournament, to claim his second victory.
    “I only lost by one stroke but I enjoyed it,” said Ostapowich.
    The versatility of the sport is what keeps bringing him back.
    “It’s just something I enjoy doing, even if I’m at home, I just love the sport,” said Ostapowich.
    While practice makes perfect, Ostapowich plans on taking his passion for golf to the top with hopes of playing at the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA).
    “I usually try to get out there as much as I can,” he said. “My dream is to go to the PGA.”
    Weather dependant, a typical golf season can last until October or November.
    “It can sometimes be like October or maybe a bit past if you’re lucky,” said Ostapowich.
    Ostapowich plays right here in the valley at the Dinosaur Trail Golf and Country Club.
    “The front nine is a pretty simple golf course but the back nine is a bit more of a challenge,” said Ostapowich.
    Ostapowich has a few more tournaments ahead of him including one at McKenzie Meadows in Calgary.
    When asked on how to get others involved in the sport, Ostapowich gladly shared some expertise of his own.
    “I’d say just try it out, swing a couple clubs and give it a try.”

  • DGSA finishes season strong

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    The Drumheller Girls Softball Association (DGSA) season finally came to an end on July 7, 8, and 9.

    “They had a lot of fun and it was a learning experience for some and it was great for all. I’m sure they are all going to come back next year,” said DGSA president Kent Jensen.

    Starting from top to bottom in age, the U16’s placed 5th at their provincial tournament in Stettler.

    The girls had played four back-to-back games in weather easily over the 30-degree mark.

    “They lost the tiebreaker to get into the final four so they ended up in fifth place overall,” said Jensen.

    The U14’s lost three games and won one at their provincial tournament. As for the U12’s, they lost to Innisfail.

    So far, four to five girls will be moving on to the U19 team next year.Registration for the league will start in September at the Sports Expo.

  • Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon enjoys strong attendance

     Kim Clozza, left, and Phyllis Laval offer refreshments to competitors at the Dinosaur Valley Dinosaur Half Marathon Sunday, September 10. mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

    After eight years, the Dinosaur Valley Half Marathon continues to buck the trend with strong attendance.

    The annual road race, which features the Family 5K Walk and Run, the Encana 10K and the Half Marathon went Sunday morning, September 10. It was another great year and going into the race, event chair Morgan Syvertsen said their registration was the highest ever for the half marathon.

    “We had 156 signed up,” Syvertsen told the “Mail”.

    There were 109 signed up for the 10K and 166 signed up for the 5K Family Fun Run. Once again, McDonald’s in Drumheller offered free registration for the family run and 55 took advantage of the opportunity. Syvertsen said there was a healthy crowd of walk-ups that signed up for the race.

    McDonald’s was also on site with its McCafe trailer and Freson Bros. had a barbecue for racers. There was also face painting and massages, making a festive atmosphere for the athletes.

    The weather cooperated beautifully as smoke-free blue skies were abound with virtually no wind.

    “That (smoke) was a real concern, there were some people who said they weren’t going to race,” said Syvertsen.

    He is grateful for the strong volunteer support that did everything from manning aid stations to working as course marshalls and ribbon presenters.

    He was very happy with the race. This year the proceeds from the races went towards the Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club and members of the swim team were on the course, manning an aid station.

    The overall winner of the 21K race was Jeffrey Nicol of Lethbridge and Nick Sereda had the top local time. In the 10K, Jackson Frantz of Calgary was the top finisher, and Cam Morrison of Drumheller finished third. In the 5K, Erik Amwlinckx finished first, and the top Drumheller finisher was Braydon Berdahl. Kate Messom of Drumheller was the top placing female with a blistering 24:01 time.

  • Dragon Cody Young commits to Augustana

    Drumheller Dragons player Cody Young commits to playing for the University of Alberta Augustana campus Vikings

    Another Dragon is on his way to playing at post-secondary level as Cody Young commits to the University of Alberta Augustana University for the 2017-2018 season.
        The 1996-born forward, originally from Saskatoon, will be playing for the Vikings in the Alberta College Athletics Conference (ACAC) Men’s Hockey League.
        “He also played a huge role helping Drumheller make the playoffs during an injury-filled season. He was a player that left everything he had on the ice and will be a valuable addition to the Augustana Vikings Men’s Hockey Program,” said Dragons head coach Kevin Hasselberg.
        Young came to the Dragons from the Spruce Grove Saints in November of the 2016/17 season. With the Dragons, he played 42 games with 19 goals and 15 assists.
        Over the course of Cody’s junior hockey career, he spent time with the Kindersley Klippers, Spruce Grove Saints, and the Dragons for career totals of 70 goals, 94 assists for 164 points. Cody was also selected to represent Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge during the 2014-15 season.
        “Cody had a tremendous junior career contributing to the success of the three Junior Programs he played for. He was instrumental leading the Kindersley Klippers into the playoffs in both of his seasons in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playing 19 postseason games,” said Hasselberg.
     As a Viking, Young will be joining former Drumheller Dragons Cody Fiala and Curtis Skip, and a number of AJHL alumni.

  • Dragons Hockey School wraps up

    Dragons Hockey Camp

    The first to get to try out the new look arena, complete with upgraded lighting was the Drumheller Dragons Hockey School. More than 60 young skaters came out to receive expert guidance from the Dragons’ coaching staff. The Dragons too will soon be on the ice with their first exhibition home game is coming up on September 6 versus the Old Grizzlies.

    mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

  • Dragons keep building for season

    The Drumheller Dragons AJHL hockey team commit to another season of play with their schedule becoming available in

    The Drumheller Dragons are busy on the off season fortifying their lines, and a have added to their roster after completing a number of transactions.
        On June 16 they announced the completion of future considerations from a transaction finalized on January 10, with the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Last January Captain Stefan Wood requested a trade, and this week the Dragons acquired 98 born forward Brett Edwards.
         Edwards brings experience. The Grande Prairie native had 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points in 114 games. Brett has 14 play-off games under his belt and was part of last year’s Oil Barons run to the final four in pursuit of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Gas Drive Cup. During that run, Brett scored 2 goals and added 2 assists.
        “Edwards is an experienced player from a respected program. He will add to the speed and depth of our team and will be relied upon to create in the offensive zone. We believe Brett will contribute on the special teams and he will be trusted in key situations during games,” said Dragons coach Kevin Hasselberg.
        This came a week after the Dragons picked up forward Dawson Bruneski. The team completed the futures from a transaction finalized on December 31, 2016 with the Whitecourt Wolverines. In exchange for 97 forward Evan Tschumi, the Dragons received the playing rights of 97 born defenseman Josh Bishop and now will add 99 forward Dawson Bruneski to complete the trade.
        “Dawson is a welcome addition to our hockey team. He is familiar with returning players on the current Dragons Roster and has earned the respect of his peers already at just 18 years of age. We believe Dawson can be an offensive contributor combined with his efforts to play a 200 foot game. His courage, grittiness, and selfless play will help forge the culture of our team as we head into the 2017/18 season,” said Hasselberg.Bruneski of Camrose Alberta played in 56 games last season and had 5 goals and added 13 assists for 18 points.
         Dragons’ prospects will be arriving in Drumheller for Main Camp on August 25th for fitness testing. The first ice sessions are scheduled for August 26. A full schedule will be made available on the Dragons website in early August.

  • Drumheller Dragons open season Friday at home

    Brady Risk has a chance last Wednesday versus the Olds Grizzlys. The Dragons finished the  preseason with a 5-1 record and open the regular season this Friday versus the Camrose Kodiaks. mailphoto by Patrick Kolafa

    The Dragons showed continuous improvement as they battled their way through the preseason, and are now set for their home opener this Friday.

    The Dragons hosted the Olds Grizzlys on Wednesday, September 6, and won 5-3 pushing their preseason record to 4-0 and outscoring their opponents 25-15.

    On Friday night, September 8, they hosted the Brooks Bandits and then traveled to Brooks on Sunday for a matinee game.

    These games were a lot closer as the Dragons won Friday 3-2, but fell 5-4 in overtime Sunday.

    They ended the preseason 5-1. Coach Kevin Hasselberg says he like the progress the team has made.

    “You have to learn to be a good team in all situations, and this last game in Brooks was a situation that served our team very well and we are extremely happy with the results moving forward even though we didn’t end up on the right side of the score sheet.

    We learned a lot about each other and something to build on moving forward,” said Hasselberg.
    Drumheller has a long history with the Brooks Bandits, and this game served as a starting point for the team in its progression.

    “We feel that any of our players can compete with anybody now, and it is just about getting better every single day,” said Hasselberg. “That is our goal and that is what we want to do, and I know the players are building for that as well and excited to be a part of that.”

    The Dragons officially open the regular season this Friday at home versus the Camrose Kodiaks. For Hasselberg, he wants his team to focus on the basics.

    “The game is so simple, we just have to make sure we are playing hard consistently over the full 60 minutes of the game, and we are playing on the right side of the puck,” he said. These are two things we are really focused on right now. I know the players are going to work hard this week in practice and the coaching staff is going to be working just as hard. Our goal is to be better than our last game and I know our guys are ready to do that.”

  • Drumheller seniors sweep competition at Alberta 55 Plus Provincial Summer Games

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    Drumheller participants enjoyed a fun and competitive weekend at the 55 Plus 2017 Provincial Championships in Calgary on August 10, 11, and 12.

    The event took place over 11 venues with a banquet to start things off.

    As for the results of each sport, the golf competition was held at Fox Hollow Golf Course.

    “It was a fun experience and everyone I golfed with had a friendly spirit of competition,” said golf participant Ron Bell.

    For cycling, Jim Milman competed in two races; 10 km and 40 km, both of which were hot days. Despite the increased heat, he was able to bring home a bronze medal in the 10 km recreational race.

    Phil Wade was a teammate of the gold winning team for slow-pitch after they beat Lethbridge on Saturday morning. He was also a competitor at the 2015 Strathmore summer games where he set a record in Javelin.


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    Linda Traquair holds up her bowling gold medal after the Alberta 55 plus Summer Games in Calgary from August 10 to 12.

    Mailphotos by Terri Huxley

    The Big Country Seniors Sports Society, the zone in which Drumheller is a part of, had 18 bowlers in the summer games with half coming from the valley.

    Mike Barker, Barbara Barker, Daryl Saboe, and Linda Traquair won gold medals. Remie Defoor won a silver in the men’s 65 scratch division, missing a gold medal by only six pins. Two out of the three teams were able to come home with some type of hardware. As of now, all gold medalists qualify for the Canadian Seniors Games which will be held in August of next year in New Brunswick.

  • Drumheller Triathlon founder wins race

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    t took six tries but founder and organizer of the Drumheller Dinosaur Trail Triathlon Morgan Syvertsen won his own event.

      Syvertsen competed in the Olympic distance triathlon last Saturday morning, June 10 and completed the course in 2:52.46, winning gold. 

    “It’s the best thing that happened for me in a long time,” said a jubilant Syvertsen.

    It wasn’t a cakewalk for Syvertsen. He was competitive in the swim and was doing well in the cycle on the cold and windy day, but was overtaken.

        “One of the other competitors managed to get about 2 kilometres ahead of me on the bike,” said Syvertsen. “I couldn’t even see him, he was gone. So catching him was a surprise.”

    Syvertsen made up the difference on the run and won by under a minute.

        The Hans Kushke team won the Olympic Relay and Cesar Martin won the sprint. The fastest sprint relay team as Team Keely.

        In all, there were 46 entries on the course.

    “It was as great turn out, a great race very competitive,” said Syvertsen. “We had a lot of out of towners, and a big contingent comes down from Three Hills every year.It is all about building awareness.”

    Morgan would like to grow the event however that will take the support of volunteers. While he had a great contingent on race day, he would like to have a triathlon committee put together to help with the organization and promotion of the event. 

    “There is definitely interest and if we can get more people involved in the organization and planning, we can pull it off and have more people out.”

    All of the results can be seen on the Drumheller Dinosaur Trail Triathlon Facebook page here.

  • Great line-up for Salute to Tony Kollman night

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    'Squeak’ Leopold, Donnie Phelps and Greg Pilling are among the line-up to speak at the Salute to Tony Kollman evening on Friday, September 15 at the Jurassic Inn. Leopold was one of the top goal scorers on the 1966 Drumheller Miners, a club which won the Canadian championship, then going on to represent Canada on a European tour. His most memorable game was probably in an Allan Cup Winnipeg where he scored five goals in one game.

    Don Phelps was a teammate of Kollman, whose main job seemed to be riding shotgun in protection of his diminutive and highly entertaining centreman. Phelps went on to coach the Calgary Canucks for a quarter of a century. Both Phelps and Kollman are members of the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame. Pilling, a member of the Oil Kings epitomized the battle of Edmonton-Drumheller in the 1960’s, at a time when Alberta’s greatest hockey rivalry involved Edmonton and Drumheller.

    Proceeds from the Salute to Tony Kollman evening will go to minor hockey in Drumheller and Hanna. Limited tickets are available by calling 823-4380; 823-4798 or 823-5441.

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