It was a mixed bag of results last curling season for the three teams coming out of Red Deer College.
The men’s team captured the provincial title and then went on to grab the silver medal at nationals. The ladies racked up a fourth place finish in the ACAC playoffs and the mixed team had a tough year missing out on any post season action.
What this year will end up looking like from this trio of teams is anybody’s guess, including Coach Brad Hamilton who goes into the season with a very fresh-faced men’s team to begin with.
“I scraped the hallways a little bit to try and find guys to curl this year,” he said, referring to the team sporting three players basically new to the game along with a pair having high school and competitive junior play under their belts. “I had to walk around classes and put signs up and I have no idea why.”
On the flip side of the equation he has enough females interested in playing to require two teams with one playing for the college and the other in a competitive league.
Early in the year the men came out with a 500 record at the Fall Regional in Grande Prairie and the coach figures they have a chance at making it interesting enough to be able to claim a spot when provincials arrive.
He has two returnees from last year’s Queens team which went to provincials but instead the girls posted a 1-5 record in Grande Prairie.
On the mixed team Hamilton has Nicole Ireland skipping, a job normally done by one of the guys but he’s confident she can handle it.
“Nicole has never skipped before but I think as we go along there is lots of room for improvement,” he said of the team which went 1-4 in the first leg of the season.
So looking forward to the Winter Regional in early February, Hamilton remains optimistic about the chances of being involved in the ACAC championships.
“I would like to think the mixed and the men’s team have at least a 50/50 shot at making it to the ACAC championships in Olds in late February and once you get there it’s down to four teams so it’s kind of anyone can win,” he said. “The girls are going to have to play lights out to make it. They need to go 5-1 which they’re fully capable of but the competition is fairly stiff.”
Hamilton is focused on keeping his young teams moving in the right direction and you just never know what can happen in sport.