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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics announces Harrison as Queens Basketball Head Coach


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Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Avery Harrison the new head coach of the Queens Basketball program.

“We are extremely excited to add Avery to the Red Deer Polytechnic coaching staff. He brings decades of experience, a proven championship mindset, and the ability to harness the potential in each student-athlete,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “In addition to being an excellent coach and mentor, Avery has the innate ability to develop a winning culture and to be successful at the highest level.”

The five-time Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year has helped to guide his teams to five ACAC Championships and three Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) titles over 23 years as a head coach in the league. Harrison has led his teams to the national championships 10 times, which is the most for an ACAC Women’s Basketball Head Coach. Harrison was also an ACAC Assistant Coach for 11 years.

In this role, Harrison worked with legendary SAIT Trojans Head Coach Phil Allen, who is an ACAC Hall of Fame Coach and a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and a major influence on Harrison’s coaching career. Together, they led the Trojans to four ACAC Championships and one CCAA gold medal.

Harrison has had post-secondary coaching stints at Mount Royal College, Lethbridge College, SAIT, and most recently at Olds College from 2017 to 2020. During his tenure in Olds, Harrison built the Broncos into both ACAC and CCAA Champions in 2019.

With Harrison’s leadership, 46 of his players have earned spots on ACAC All-Conference teams and 12 student-athletes have been recognized as All-Canadians.

Harrison is looking forward to coaching and sharing his expertise with the Queens, who qualified for last year’s playoffs for the first time since 2009/2010.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to join the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Basketball program as their new head coach,” he says. “We have a great mixture of veterans and I think one of our first goals is to establish a winning culture in our locker room. We need to create an on-court identity that the team can be proud of, so we can go out and give our best effort every night.”

This past season, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (7-9) finished fifth in the south and then were downed by the Medicine Hat College Rattlers in a playoff division quarter-final.

Looking to the 2022/2023 season, the returning players and new recruits will all benefit from Harrison’s leadership.

One key returning student-athlete to the Queens is Amy Szymanek, who has been a leader on the team and within RDP Athletics. The team MVP and co-chair of the Polytechnic’s Student-Athletes Advisory Council (SAAC) is entering her fourth season. She led the Queens with 15.1 points per game last year. The Bachelor of Education student’s talent, leadership, work ethic, and impact on the game resulted in a 2022 ACAC Women’s Basketball Second All-Conference team selection. Sophie Melin (12.6 points per game), Lauren France (10.6), Heena Sidhu (7.7), and Keanna Richards (6.1) are also expected to return for the 2022/2023 season.

Harrison will immediately step into his head coaching duties at the Polytechnic.

More information about Queens Basketball, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at:

RDPolytech Athletics

RDP Queens drop Kodiaks, move into second in the south. Kings tie Kodiaks to keep second position

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RDPolytechic Queens player of the game Grace Smith battles with Megan Morrison of Lethbridge College Kodiaks

With the ability to leapfrog over the Lethbridge College Kodiaks in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women’s Soccer South Division standings, the Red Deer Polytechnic Queens delivered a solid performance Sunday afternoon.

The home team received goals from four different student-athletes and downed the Kodiaks 5-1, moving into second place in the south.

“The game was very good for the Queens,” said Mahziar Peyrow, Red Deer Polytechnic Queens Soccer Head Coach. “We made some adjustments from yesterday’s game and the girls applied those adjustments really well and this is the result because of it.”

The Lethbridge College Kodiaks made an early push, sending a shot just wide and forcing Queens goalkeeper Abby Kotyk, a first-year Bachelor of Kinesiology student, into making a good save.

Soon, momentum switched in favour of the home team.

After a few blocked shots in front of Lethbridge’s net, Sylvan Lake’s Grace Smith sent a low shot past Kodiaks goalkeeper Jordan Quinn in the sixth minute.

Seven minutes later the RDP Queens went up by a pair of goals. Estel Quinteros sent a corner kick to Lethbridge’s far post and ACAC Women’s Soccer scoring leader Sein Furuyama capitalized.

RDP Queens Sein Furuyama leads the ACAC in scoring with 16 goals! Second leading scorer has 8 goals.

In the 34th minute, the Queens expanded their lead to 3-0 when Red Deer’s Corbynn Fujimoto headed the ball past Quinn.

Then on a penalty kick, Furuyama found space on the left side of the Kodiaks’ net, providing the Queens a four goal cushion at the break. It was Furuyama’s 16th goal of the season.

Sherwood Park’s Paige Kalbfleisch added the Queens’ fifth marker six minutes into the second half.

The Kodiaks eventually put one behind Kotyk.

Airdrie’s Olivia DePasquale, a third-year midfielder, got Lethbridge College on the board in the 60th minute.

“The win was huge,” explained Peyrow. “It really sets the stage for us in the second half of the season.”

Smith, a Bachelor of Commerce student, was named the North Star Sports Queens Player of the Game.

“Grace has been working hard all season and making some changes as we go. We have been tweaking her performance and how we need her to play in regard to the rest of the team,” added Peyrow. “We made some adjustments from yesterday to today and it really showed in her performance for sure. She’s very coachable. I have to applaud her – she did very well.”

Montanna Rousselle earned the recognition for the Kodiaks.

The second place Red Deer Polytechnic Queens (4-1) will challenge the Olds College Broncos (2-1-1) on Saturday, October 1 at 12 pm on the road.

Peyrow is looking forward to a rematch with the first place SAIT Trojans (5-0-0) on Sunday, October 2 in Calgary.

“We needed a good win like this to get us ready against our upcoming game against SAIT,” he added.

The third seed Lethbridge College Kodiaks (3-2-1) will face the Rattlers (0-5-0) in Medicine Hat on Friday, September 30 at 2 pm.

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings demonstrated their resiliency against the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Sunday afternoon.

Having played their second game in less than 24 hours, the Kings started to get fatigued in the second half, but they didn’t relent.

“It was a good start and we were all over them in the first half. We should have put away a couple which would have solidified the lead,” said Mahziar Peyrow, Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer Assistant Coach. “It took awhile to get back into the game and yesterday’s game definitely took a toll on us. You could tell that we were a bit flat footed and tired from yesterday. Lethbridge had a break yesterday, so they were able to rest and it definitely showed.”

The Kings held a 1-0 edge until midway through the second half when the Kodiaks struck twice within a six minute span to capture a 2-1 lead. The home team evened the contest with eight minutes remaining and each squad earned a point in the standings.

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Kings first-year striker Grant Johnson used his speed up the right side and beat Kodiaks goalkeeper Finn McCann with a low shot.

“Grant had an amazing goal. He tore apart three players twice and then put that goal away. He has speed and is a good addition to the team, for sure,” explained Peyrow. “Their defence was fast today. In the second half, they made an adjustment and shifted players in order to cover him. You could see that he wasn’t getting the ball as much – same thing with Eduardo [Crespo] in the middle. They wouldn’t give him an inch which took a little bit away from our game, but it was exciting for the fans to watch.”

When it looked like that goal may the only one in the battle for second spot in the south, the visitors were energized in the latter half. Ethan Meerkerk tied the game 1-1 in the 73rd minute and Jaxon Uhl lifted the Kodiaks ahead 2-1 in the 79th minute. Charlie Block assisted on both goals.

Then Kings captain Ajdin Sarcevic knotted the contest 2-2 off of a penalty kick. The second-year midfielder found room on the left side.

Both goalkeepers were unbeatable for the rest of the game and the two squads settled for a 2-2 draw.

Ashton Chipman, a first-year Bachelor of Science student, was named the North Star Sports Kings Player of the Game.

RDP Kings player of the game Ashton Chipman

“Ashton has wheels. He’s a fast kid and great up and down the wing. He provided a lot for us in the first half,” added Peyrow. “Then he showed for us in the middle which was nice. We needed presence there. He fights hard for the ball. He took a couple of knocks, but still gets up and gets back into the game which is nice to see.”

Defender Joel McLeod received the award for the Kodiaks.

The second place Red Deer Polytechnic Kings (2-1-1) will play the Broncos (1-1-2) in Olds on Saturday, October 1 at 2 pm.

On Friday, September 30, the third seed Kodiaks (1-1-3) will challenge the Rattlers (0-2-2) in Medicine Hat at 4 pm.




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Sarcevic joins Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer as Head Coach

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After an extensive search, Red Deer Polytechnic Athletics has named Ado Sarcevic the head coach of the Kings Soccer team.

Sarcevic brings an impressive playing and coaching resume to the Polytechnic, along with a familiarity of the RDP Soccer program and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

“We are thrilled to have Ado lead the Kings into the 2022/2023 season. He was a professional soccer player in Europe and former Yugoslavia, and has successfully coached at a variety of levels,” says Randy Stewart, Manager Athletics and Student Life. “Ado has previously assumed an assistant coach role with the Kings Soccer team for two years. We look forward to following the progression of the Kings as they strive to build upon last year’s second place regular season record in the south division and ACAC bronze medal.”

The Red Deer Polytechnic Kings Soccer team has evolved into one of the elite squads in the conference.

Along with winning hardware this past season, the Kings earned ACAC silver and placed sixth at nationals in 2019/2020, ranking as the top ACAC team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The 2020/2021 season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Sarcevic has been an integral leader in growing soccer in central Alberta. He established the Red Deer Renegades, which provide competitive options for youth to develop and enhance their skills within Red Deer City Soccer Association (RDCSA). Sarcevic also served as Renegades Technical Director for a decade.

In addition, Sarcevic assumed the role of RDCSA General Manager and coached U12 to U18 squads, winning three U18 Alberta Championships with the Renegades. He also coached the Renegades Women’s team in the Alberta Major Soccer League and worked with central Alberta coaches to grow their expertise.

“I am very excited for this wonderful opportunity to become a member of Red Deer Polytechnic as Kings Soccer Head Coach,” says Sarcevic. “I’m looking forward to building exceptional soccer players, but most importantly, developing great citizens of our communities.”

Sarcevic will officially begin his coaching duties on May 2, 2022.

More information about Kings Soccer, including the roster and schedule, will be available in the fall at:

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