The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference curling season gets underway this weekend and RDC has high hopes for the campaign.
Last season, the mixed team earned bronze at the ACAC Championships, while the Kings and Queens both finished fourth.
The RDC mixed group this season is made up of all new, first year players.
Peyton Bresee (skip), Janelle Wilson (third), Jordan Burkard (second), Kash Schwab-Bierkos (second) and Breanna Swan (lead) make up the mix this season.
“They are all new and very gung-ho. They are getting used to each other, but so far things look good,” said RDC Curling coach Brad Hamilton.
“They’ve gotten better and better every week.”
Hollie Vincent, a second-year from Red Deer who played third last year will be back and is set to play skip for the Queens.
Erica Watts and Jaycee Bourke, also second-year players have moved to the Queens from the mixed group.
Vincent had some success this fall on the Alberta Junior Tour, picking up a win in the 2019 Red Deer U21 Junior Women’s Bonspiel.
Rookie Emily Plett, out of Landmark, Man. joins the team and brings a high level of junior experience as well. She won the 2019 Sherwood Park U21 Junior Women’s Bonspiel and both Vincent and Plett have team’s ranked in the top five provincially.
“The Queens should be strong. Hollie is the only returnee. She was third last year and moved up to skip. Erica and Jaycee both played on the mixed team last,” said Hamilton.
“We have a really good recruit in Emily Plett. She’s one of the better junior players in the province, so it’s kind of a coup to have her join us.”
Fourth-year Austin Kelts-Larsen (skip) and fifth-year Andrew Jones (third) are back with the Kings. Newcomer Nicholas Woznesensky (second) and Thomas Crawford (lead) round out the Kings roster. Jones, a Ponoka product, won the Charles Morter Award last season, which recognized an ACAC curler who best exemplified Morter’s spirit, dedication, sportsmanship and leadership.
“So far the Kings have looked good. There’s a lot of experience there. Thomas skipped our mixed team last year, so he’s moving over to play lead,” added Hamilton.
“Nic (Woznesensky) is the newbie, but he’s curled junior in Red Deer, so I’ve watched him play for the last two to three years.”
The ACAC Fall Regional starts Friday in Lloydminster at Lakeland College. The ACAC Championships will be held in Lac La Biche in February.