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Battle West District curling teams advance to regionals

Senior high curling teams from Macklin, Unity and Wilkie headed to Spiritwood Feb. 14.

UNITY — Macklin was golden, Unity Composite High School earned a silver sweep and McLurg also earned a silver medal in their final game. Senior high curling teams from Macklin, Unity and Wilkie headed to Spiritwood Feb. 14 for the Battle West Athletics District curling championships.

Macklin open mixed team worked hard and earned a gold medal advancing the team to regional playdowns in Hanley, March 3-4, which can advance the team to provincial championships also upcoming in Hanley March 10-11 weekend.

For Macklin School, the mixed team was the only curling team competing in Spiritwood at district championships. Coached by Suzette Hills, the team’s lineup includes Kadin Avery, Jolene Berezitzky, Preston Berezitzky and Deylan Reine.

Unity Composite High School’s silver sweep saw the girls’ and the boys’ team winning silver medals, which advances them to regional competitions with the goal of a provincial berth.

“The girls’ team has been playing together in school and league for several years,” says Coach Kyla Snell. “Last year the girls won gold at districts and placed third at regionals.”

The team faced NBCHS in their opening game with two members of that opposing team having recently competed as part of Team Saskatchewan in the U18 Nationals in Timmons, Ont. Snell said they were a solid team who have curled a lot together.

“Despite the loss, the girls adjusted to the ice and regrouped for their final game, playing hometown Spiritwood and capturing a silver medal. The teams were evenly matched, and the lead changed several times in the game.”

The silver medal winning game for the girls saw the teams tied coming home and Unity had the hammer. It came down to the final shot. Kaybree had to hit Spiritwood’s shot rock out of the four-foot to win the game and she handled the pressure with ease, says Snell.

The UCHS girls’ team consists of Kaybree Spendelow, Jacelyn Delhommeau, Kennadi Bretzer, and Ashley Loadman. Their silver medal advances them to regional competition in Langham the first weekend in March, competing as Battle West No. 2

 “The UCHS boys played Spiritwood in their opening game, who are reigning provincial champions,” Snell reports.

“Three of the four Spiritwood players were on the provincial winning team last season and the same three players are representing Saskatchewan in the Canadian Winter Games in P.E.I. at the end of February. The boys lost in six ends and had to wait until the last draw to play North Battleford.”

Snell says the boys’ team was ready as they came out aggressively and took, and kept, the lead throughout the game. They cruised to a victory in six ends earning the silver medal.

Keaton Knorr, Leo Heitt, Thomas Snell (who was alternate for Mateo Rutley) and Ethan Klinger made up the UCHS boys’ team. They have advanced to regionals in Rosthern, considered Battle West team No. 1 as Spiritwood will not participate due to their team competing in Canada Winter Games.

“Both teams had to win their silver medal, which makes it even more sweet” Snell says.

“Regionals will be in different communities, the boys in Rosthern and girls in Langham. With some help from parents and possibly grandparents, I will do my best to help out both teams despite the events being 45 minutes apart.”

Until then, the UCHS teams will travel to find ice for practices leading up to the regional playdowns, with Snell noting that Macklin, Wilkie and Twin Rivers club out of North Battleford have been supportive of their teams.

Kerrobert did not have senior teams competing at the event but will have junior competitors at the upcoming junior district event at February’s end.

Wilkie had a senior mixed team competing at the Spiritwood district event and they lost the A final, therefore needed to reschedule the B final against Maymont. McLurg won silver with a final score of 11-2, which means they now advance to regional competition in Hanley March 3-4. McLurg mixed team curlers are Carter Cey, Karlee Cey, Zach Hango, Payton Schell and Cruz Sittler and coach Aaron Sittler. 

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