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RDC Mixed Curling team wins provincial bronze and sweep Athlete of the Week Awards

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From RDC Athletics

Red Deer College Athletics is proud to announce our Boston Pizza Athletes of the Week.

1. Erica Watts – RDC Mixed Curling Hometown – Red Deer, Alberta
Bachelor of Science Pre-Professional Pharmacy (1st year)

In only her first year, Erica played an integral role in helping the Red Deer College Mixed Curling team earn Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) bronze at Olds Curling Club this past weekend. The Bachelor of Science Pre-Professional Pharmacy student played third for the first time and did extremely well. She developed into one of the top thirds in the mixed division, and her incredible shot making played a huge part in the team’s success at the championships.

2. Thomas Crawford – RDC Mixed Curling team Hometown – Ponoka, Alberta
Bachelor of Commerce (1st year)

Thomas, a first-year curler, skipped the RDC Mixed Curling team to an ACAC bronze medal this past weekend in Olds. The Bachelor of Commerce student made a number of clutch shots throughout the weekend and led his team to its best game of the weekend with a medal on the line. The student-athlete from Ponoka was very calm and cool under pressure and did a great job calling the game in his first ACAC year.

This Week in RDC Athletics

This week, the RDC Queens Hockey team will open the playoffs against the MacEwan University Griffins.  At the ACAC Men’s Basketball Championship, the Kings will play the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings on Thursday.  The Red Deer College Kings Hockey team will close out the regular season with three games this week and the RDC Indoor Track team will race at Grand Prix #2.

Here is a summary of what is happening this week in RDC Athletics.

Queens Hockey | Thursday, Feb. 28 | 7:00 p.m. | ACAC semi-final | MacEwan University

After a third place regular season finish in ACAC Women’s Hockey, the RDC Queens (10-9-5-0) will be matched up against the second place MacEwan University Griffins (17-5-2-0) in the best of three semi-final, beginning this Thursday in Edmonton. The Queens finished the season with 25 points and played a solid brand of hockey, earning points in nine of the past ten games. The Griffins had 36 points.

The Queens were last involved in conference play on February 16, while other teams competed until February 23, but Head Coach Kelly Coulter welcomed the extra time off. “This past week has provided a much needed rest for our team, as we have been playing with a short bench,” he said. “The break allowed a few players to recover from injuries and get prepared to play this week for our series against MacEwan.”

While the Griffins are back-to-back ACAC Champions, the RDC Queens have really come together after Christmas and have the confidence that they can topple the defending gold medalists. In the most recent weekend series between the two teams, it was split with only one goal separating them in each contest. On February 8, the Griffins edged the Queens 2-1 in a hard fought battle. Keinyn Nordell scored the lone goal. Then 24 hours later in Edmonton, Karlee Fetch was outstanding in net, turning aside 43 out of 44 shots (0.977). Victoria Johnston and Kaitlan Linnell scored for the RDC Queens in that contest.

The top scorers from each team share similar statistics. In 24 games, Queens forward Kaely McMurtry scored nine goals and added seven assists. The RDC Bachelor of Education Middle School student struck three times on the power play and picked up one game-winning-goal. MacEwan’s Chantal Ricker had ten goals and eight assists, including four power play markers.

Coulter credits the Griffins, but thinks the Queens have a good chance if they follow the game plan. “The Griffins are a very good team that does a good job of limiting teams offensively, and they transition the puck well,” he said. “We have to play a much tighter checking game against them in all zones and get pucks to the net, and have a very heavy net presence. If we forecheck aggressively and put pressure on their D, we can cause turnovers which we hope to convert into scoring chances.”

This Thursday, first place NAIT (19-2-3-0) will play Olds College (7-16-1-0) in the other semi-final at 7:00 p.m. in Olds.

Queens Hockey | Saturday, March 2 | 7:00 p.m. | ACAC semi-final | Servus Arena

In game two, the Red Deer College Queens will entertain the Griffins at Red Deer’s Servus Arena.  In lieu of a ticket, donations will be accepted for the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC).

Queens Hockey | Sunday, March 3 | 1:00 p.m. | ACAC semi-final | MacEwan University

If necessary, the third game of the series will be played in Edmonton.

Kings Basketball | Feb. 28 to March 2 | ACAC Championship | Lakeland College

Few outside of the RDC Kings dressing room and Red Deer College would have predicted the superb run of consecutive Kings’ victories down the stretch. At one point, the RDC Kings sat outside of the playoff picture in the south, but in their past eight games they have been unbeatable. Through their cohesive team game, hard work, and stretches of incredible defence, the Kings (13-8) vaulted into second spot in the south, passing Medicine Hat College, Ambrose University and Lethbridge College in the standings.

This past Saturday, the RDC squad wrapped up a successful weekend in Saskatchewan, downing the host Briercrest College Clippers 93-79 and 99-71. While the team and coaching staff were pleased with the pair of victories and berth in the postseason, only a few days remain to get ready for the ACAC Men’s Basketball Championship, which will begin this Thursday.

“It is a short turn around until the championship so we will have a tapered practice schedule this week, and will be preparing for Augustana,” said Head Coach Clayton Pottinger. “The Vikings are a capable and veteran squad, who are well coached and can shoot the three. It will be a tough challenge. We have been in playoff mode for the past eight games, when we couldn’t afford to lose, and we want to deliver a playoff level performance.”

Leading the ACAC from long distance, the U of A Augustana Vikings connected on 38.9 per cent of their three-point attempts. The Red Deer College Kings ranked in the upper half of the league from behind the arc during the regular season, with 33.5 per cent efficiency. Offensively, the teams are very similar. The Kings have averaged 87.6 points per game. The Vikings scored 89 points. Spencer Klassen was sensational during conference play, leading the Kings, and the league, with 25.6 points per game. Mason Hunter led the charge offensively for the Vikings with 16.4 points.

On the boards, the RDC Kings have an edge (44.1 to 37.9). Both RDC’s Anthony Harper and Augustana’s Michael Stasuik led their teams, averaging 6.7 rebounds per game.

The RDC Kings and U of A Augustana Vikings (15-9) will face each other this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The Vikings placed third in the north division. To start the championship on Thursday, the Ambrose University Lions (12-9) will be up against the Concordia University Thunder (20-4) at 1:00 p.m. The SAIT Trojans (20-1) will play the host Lakeland College Rustlers (12-12) at 6:00 p.m. and the Medicine Hat College Rattlers (13-8) will finish the day against the Keyano College Huskies (17-7).

The championship schedule and results can be viewed online.

Kings Hockey | Wednesday, Feb. 27 | 6:00 p.m. | MacEwan University

The RDC Kings (16-7-1-1) and MacEwan University Griffins (18-6-1-0) will collide in Edmonton in a makeup game that was originally scheduled on February 1.

The Kings and SAIT Trojans (17-9-0-0) share third with 34 points, but the RDC Kings have a game in hand. MacEwan University sits in second with 37 points. NAIT (20-6-0-0) is first with 40 points.

Kings Hockey | Friday, March 1 | 7:00 p.m. | Briercrest College

The RDC Kings will play the Briercrest College Clippers in Saskatchewan.

Kings Hockey | Saturday, March 2 | 2:00 p.m. | Briercrest College

To wrap up the regular season, the Kings will face-off against the Clippers.

Indoor Track | Saturday, March 2 | Grand Prix #2 | Concordia University of Edmonton

The RDC Indoor Track team will look to build upon its marvelous results at Grand Prix #1, where both the King and Queens placed second overall. Back on January 26, Shayla Sklaruk won the 300 metre finals and Devin Saunders locked up top spot in the men’s 3,000 m final.

For more information on RDC Athletics, the student-athletes, scores, and game recaps of conference games, please visit: rdcathletics.ca

Alberta

ACAC suspends competition for Fall 2020

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RDC Athletics

From Red Deer College Communications

Red Deer College supports decision and will alter upcoming Athletics season

The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) has decided to suspend competition during the 2020 Fall term due to COVID-19 precautions.

As a result, an adjusted conference schedule will begin in January 2021, which includes a delay to cross country running and soccer seasons until the spring.

“As a member of the ACAC, Red Deer College supports the decision and recognizes that it was made very carefully with the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, officials, athletics staff and fans in mind,” says RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda. “While the announcement is emotional for many, the College is dedicated to working with our student-athletes, coaches and staff during this time as we prepare to compete in the Winter term.”

Today’s announcement from the ACAC aligns with the decisions made from other conferences and governing bodies across the country due to COVID-19. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), of which the ACAC is one of five conference members, cancelled four 2020 Fall National Championships, affecting the typical September start for RDC Soccer and Cross Country Running.

U Sports, the national governing body of university sport in Canada, cancelled six fall national university championships and many of its conference members also postponed league games.

Canada West cancelled team competitions for the 2020 Fall term. Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and Atlantic University Sport (AUS) postponed their sanctioned sport programming and championships until January. Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) has not made a formal announcement.

“I understand that the suspension of fall competition is disappointing for many, but the College and RDC Athletics will support our student-athletes on many levels, one of which includes our commitment to awarding RDC athletics scholarships to student-athletes who meet revised eligibility criteria,” says RDC Athletic Director Diane St-Denis.

“RDC Athletics is collaborating with the College’s Ancillary & Sport Services to identify a return to training plan for our teams, according to the health and safety protocols set by the Government of Alberta. Our coaches will stay highly engaged with our student-athletes over the following months, overseeing the training programs in preparation for a January start.”

While sports activity within the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will look much different for the fall, there is plenty of excitement for competition in the new year. In addition to the regular season commencing in January, the Red Deer College Queens will host the ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship from Feb. 25-27, 2021 at the Centre. Then shortly after, the RDC Queens Basketball team will enter the postseason as hosts of the ACAC Championship from March 4-6, 2021.

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Edmonton

Hockey, basketball and volleyball gone from the U of A’s fall and winter to-do lists

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At almost any time in memory, Wednesday’s decision to remove hockey, basketball and volleyball from the University of Alberta’s fall and winter to-do lists would be considered a major surprise.

This year, I suspect fans and athletes should have been at least partially prepared for it. Blame the pandemic. That’s easy.

Explain that sponsorship money has dried up and every available penny must be saved to keep professors employed and students involved. That’s easy, too. Some are sure to suggest that there are deep political motives in this move to move beyond the Bears and Pandas for one year. Maybe. Maybe not. Rightly or wrongly, political movements are seen in every action these days.

If additional explanations are required, Alberta’s UCP government is sure to be singled out as cause number three; they inherited an entity in severe financial difficulty, ensuring that some budget cuts would be made as soon as possible after the NDP lost political control of the province.

This, of course, occurred well before the coronavirus crisis created overwhelming proof that sport, certainly in Canada, is something of an after-thought at all levels of society. As this is written, every professional sport is being exposed on a daily basis as a means for millionaires and billionaires to fatten their bankrolls. If timely political statements are necessary, fine; they’ll be made, but no rational soul would dare to suggest that sport has actual relevance in this time of incoherent arguments and twisted responses.

In one old scribbler’s opinion, good news ultimately will develop, almost as a result of the disappearance of the Bears and Pandas for at least one season. A move so dramatic at a level so vital is sure to create deep thought.

Which is where university sport fits in the puzzle. These organizations are the home of undoubted brilliance. In many ways, they create the model for all amateurs and low-profile professionals to follow. One day, perhaps soon, this world-wide rash of social, physical and emotional misery will be behind us. Then, cohorts of tough and committed leaders across the entire spectrum of athletics will have to step up. They will be obligated to contribute time and effort in a search for the best possible ways to ensure excellence in scholastics, citizenship and competition.

Now, looking back for even a few years, it’s essential to remember that amateur sports were being painfully slammed by financial necessities before COVID-19’s destructive arrival.

Athletic directors at U of A and MacEwan University have spoken of rising costs in tones that sometimes sounded almost desperate. I’m sure the same applies to the University of Calgary.

Similar words have been heard commonly in discussion with coaches and athletic directors at Alberta colleges. NAIT and Concordia leaders know the topic extremely well. So do alumni members working to keep hockey alive in the storied atmosphere of Camrose’s Augustana campus of the U of A.

In a lifetime of hearing old adages, one has stuck out since childhood:

“It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn.”

This corner hopes the dawn comes quickly.

All is Well in Soccer – So Far

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july, 2020

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