The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings and Queens curling teams are ready to hit the ice for another season.
On Friday they’ll have their first bonspiel, the Fall Regional from Nov. 25-27 in Airdrie hosted by the SAIT Trojans.
Head coach Brad Hamilton said they’re feeling good ahead of the season-opening event but also anxious.
“The interesting thing about college curling is you don’t know what everyone else has until you show up so it’s kind of a little anxious to see,” he said.
The Kings and Queens will compete with three teams of four this season consisting of the Kings, Queens, and a team to compete in the mixed division. They also have five returning players from last season, two men and three women. On the Kings’ side, second Reece Brigley and third Daniel Humbke return to the team after a successful campaign. The Queens returned second Nicole Homan, skip Kaylee Raniseth, and lead Jaycee Bourke.
Hamilton is hopeful having veteran leadership will be valuable to both the Kings and Queens this season.
“It seems to be a little bit different as soon as they don’t curl for team so and so and they curl with the crown on them all of a sudden there’s a different pressure there,” he said. “The veterans have been through that already so they know what to expect.”
Last season the men won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championship defeating the Alberta-Augustana Vikings 6-2. The Queens also had a successful year and made it all the way to the ACAC championship but lost 7-4 to the Vikings.
This season the Kings will look to repeat as champions and the Queens will work to build off of their success from last year. The Queens added a new curler, Cuyler Desormeau, meanwhile the Kings brought in skip Nick Woznesensky and lead Sam Goody.
In the ACAC the top four teams make it to provincials in their category and Hamilton explained their goal is to make that top four and grow throughout the season.
“I think our expectation is to have all three teams at provincials. The men’s division I think by the sounds of things is going to be crazy competitive so that might be interesting. The women’s is always pretty competitive as well… I think we’re good enough to get there so now we just got to play the way we’re supposed to,” he said.
After this weekend’s competition, up next for all three teams is the Winter Regional in Edmonton on January 20-22. After that from March 3-5 is the ACAC Championships at Lakeland College.