Curling Holds a Strong Tradition at Lakeland
Lakeland Rustlers have been a dominant force in Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference play the last five seasons, winning men’s team play 2006-2007, 2007-2008; women’s 2008-2009 and mixed 2006-2007, 2008-2009 and 2009 – 2010.
Of the 15 championship banners available the last five years they have captured an impressive six. The next best are the Grant McEwan Griffins with four.
Last season, 2010-2011,was the first time in five years that the green clad Rustlers did not medal in ACAC curling with only one of their three teams finishing over .500.
Second-year Rustlers head coach Chris McQuaid plans to have the team back in championship form come provincial finals February 24-26, 2012 in Camrose when the Augustana Vikings host.
With one tournament already under broom and with the next scheduled for February 3-5, 2012, with Grant McEwan hosting, McQuaid informed us how the Rustlers are shaping up.
‘”My mixed team has been every bit as good as I expected them to be. They are a very solid team and they will only get better the longer they practice and play together,” said McQuaid of the group which went 5-2 at the fall regional. “The men's team had a disappointing first regional. There were two games that were within their grasp that they let slip away, and they have some work to do to get better. The ladies team started off slow at the fall regional but really brought it together as the weekend went on. They have a ton of potential and just need to continue to work hard to realize it.”
The official ACAC roster page shows that the Rustlers have 11 first year student/athletes, four second year student/athletes and one the veteran Adelle Clark as a third year student athlete.
With such a young team McQuaid knows that time, patience and practice is the key that he now holds.
‘I think the biggest thing is that our teams are all willing to work hard to get better every practice and every game. Our teams are very balanced this year and they can play an open game or adapt a more technical game as needed. They are here to win which is great to see. I have been very proud of how all of the curlers are cheering on their fellow Rustlers curling teams when they are in action as well.”
Asked if there is any one favourite school set to win at ACAC provincials McQuaid replied.
“There are always teams that jump out to a hot start, but with the large number of games we play in only two weekends throughout the year, the standings can change in a hurry. My ladies team was in first place after the first regional last season, and they didn't even make it to provincials. I stress to my teams that no lead is ever safe and on the flip side, you are never out of the running for a spot at provincials, as long as you keep working hard and focus on one game at a time."
Courtesy: C J Phillips
ACAC Staff Writer