By DANNY RODE
Special to the Advocate
A year ago skip Ryan Dahmer and third Ty Parcels were strangers when it came to the RDC men’s curling team.
It took the pair most of the season to feel comfortable with each other when it came to how they wanted to play the game.
“It was a bit nerve-racking last year as we didn’t know each other, but this year we curl on a men’s team together and we’re comfortable with each other … we know what to do so it’s easy to call a game,” said Parcels.
The Dahmer-Parcels led RDC men’s team showed just how comfortable they are as they posted a 6-0 record during the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Fall Regional bonspiel at the Pidherney Centre during the weekend.
“We’re definitely stoked to be 6-0 but we won’t let it affect how hard to we play the rest of the season,” added Parcels.
The Fall Regional is the first of two bonspiels that lead to the ACAC championship. The top four teams in the men’s, women’s and mixed divisions advance to the finals after the second ‘spiel, which is set for Jan. 27-29 in Edmonton.
The men’s team also includes newcomer Austin Kelts-Larsen at second and either returnee Jordan Smith or newcomer David Austin at lead.
Last year the team finished third in the ACAC and competed at the nationals.
“We had a good opening day at the nationals, then fell short,” said Parcels. “We told ourselves after last season that we want to get back to the nationals and win a medal.”
Dahmer was the co-male curler of the year in the ACAC last season, and Parcels was an all-star.
“We had a lot of confidence coming back,” added Parcels.
The RDC team defeated Olds 8-2 and 4-2 and Augustana 8-3 and 4-2 while downing NAIT 8-2 and Lakeland 6-5. NAIT finished at 4-2, Augustana 2-3, Lakeland 1-4 and Olds 0-5.
The RDC mixed team, skipped by Shayne Copeland also had a strong start, posting a 6-1 record.
Copeland, who has Ashlyn Wozny at third, Andrew Jones at second and either Taylor Konschuh or Chloe Logelin at lead defeated MacEwan University 7-3, NAIT 6-3, Olds 6-5, Augustana 7-5, Portage 9-1 and Lakeland 6-1 while losing 6-1 to Concordia.
Copeland played third last year while Wozny was lead along with Logelin. The team finished third at the ACAC finals.
Lakeland was also 6-1 with Concordia 5-2, Olds 4-3, MacEwan and NAIT 3-4, Portage 1-6 and Augustana 0-7.
The women’s team of skip Marla Sherrer, third Sara McMann, second Katie Primrose and lead Brett Day had their ups and downs finishing at 3-2. They defeated Grant MacEwan 7-6, NAIT 5-4 and Lakeland 6-3 and lost 7-4 to Concordia an 8-3 to Augustana.
Sherrer won silver at last year’s ACAC finals. McMann moved up from second while Day skipped the mixed team last season.
Concordia was first at 4-1 with NAIT and Augustana tied with RDC at 3-2 with MacEwan and Lakeland at 1-4.
“I thought all three teams did well,” said RDC head coach Brad Hamilton. “We’re ecstatic with the men’s and mixed teams, while the women weren’t quite on, but were still 3-2. They do have another level.
“The men had one game when they weren’t as sharp, but put themselves in a good position heading into the second ‘spiel. The mixed had to one blimp, but that may have been good for them, as they refocused and finished strong.”
Hamilton admits you don’t win the championship the first week, but you could be out of it.
“We put ourselves in a good position in all three divisions,” he said.
The ACAC championship, hosted by Lakeland, takes place Feb. 24-26.
Danny Rode is a retired Advcocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca