R.F. Staples curlers sweep to zone gold
Rink misses the medal podium at provincials
Tuesday, Mar 07, 2017 06:00 am
The R.F. Staples curling teams put up with strong fight over the last two weekends.
The boys, girls and mixed teams came home laden with medals from the North Central curling Zones in Slave Lake Feb. 24-25. The mixed team finished with gold and headed to Lethbridge March 2-4 to represent the North Central zone at the 2017 Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA) Provincial Curling Championship.
“Being the first time there for everybody, we had a goal in mind to win at least one game there, and they surpassed that — they won two out of the three games,” said coach Leanne Huppertz.
The first match against Cochrane was close after four ends, but Huppertz said the wheels came off and R.F. lost 9-4.
Fortunately, things turned around Friday morning and the team made a 12-4 comeback against High Prairie.
“We punched in one end and there was four in the one end and that really held it,” she said. “A couple ends later we got another four and that sealed the deal that game.”
Later that day, R.F. came out strong against host team, Lethbridge’s Catholic Central winning 8-1.
The top two teams from the ‘A’ and ‘B’ pools were to advance to playoffs on Saturday but R.F. unexpectedly found itself in a three-way tie with Cochrane and High Prairie — R.F. had beat High Prairie, High Prairie had beat Cochrane, and Cochrane had defeated R.F.
“Before each game during the practice, they would have us throw a draw to the button and take a measurement, so they added those up over the three round-robin games and that was going to rank us.”
From that High Prairie ended up first and R.F. second, so Saturday morning R.F. played Cochrane in the tiebreaker.
“We blanked the first end, so that was good because we had hammer, and then the second end they got three so that gave us a bit of a struggle trying to come back from there,” she said. “Then they got another one in the third, and then the fourth we weren’t able to score so they won 4-0.”
Although the boys and girls teams didn’t make it to provincials, they did come home with the hardware from zones.
The boys team took silver and the girls finished with bronze.
“They all played really well that weekend up there,” Huppertz said.
“They had some close games and the boys final was really close; same with the mixed. They were only up one point and the boys lost by one, and the girls in the bronze they had won by one or two, so it was all really good competition.”
It was something to be proud of for the young teams and the first time at provincials for the mixed team.
“Our boys, they were all Grade 9 and they did really well. They played against Grade 12 boys who ended up going on to play provincials here this past weekend.
“And the girls have all been curling but the girls have only been together for the last three weeks — basically first bonspiel for two Grade 11s and two Grade 9s.”