Category: Local Sports

Team Alberta settles for 6th at U18 Nationals in Manitoba

Unfortunately for Team Alberta, the 2019 U18 National Hockey Championships in Winkler and Morden, MB did not go as planned.

Alberta went 1-2 in its three preliminary round games, losing 3-2 to Saskatchewan, then 4-1 to Ontario Red, before beating Atlantic 2-1.

On Friday, Alberta played Team BC for 5th place, and lost 4-1.

In the gold medal game, Ontario Red beat Saskatchewan 3-1. Quebec topped Ontario Blue 2-1 for bronze.

RELATED: Pair of central Albertans headed to U18 National Championships

Alberta forward Kylie Perry, who is from Ponoka, was held pointless in the tournament, while Red Deer blueliner Aryn Chambers had one assist. Both Perry and Chambers play for the Midget AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.

Dome Sports opens on east side of Gasoline Alley

Dome Sports opens on east side of Gasoline Alley

At 80 feet high, and 107,000 square feet, the new sports dome in Red Deer County is quite the sight to behold, both from the inside and outside.

Noah Welch, an American hockey Olympian turned Red Deer resident, is behind Dome Sports, which held an open house on Saturday at its 334 Energy Way location.

Welch praised the team behind getting the business up and running, and spoke about the bigger picture behind bringing such a facility to central Alberta.

“Our main goal is to level the playing field for athletes in cental Alberta to compete and to reach their max potential in field sports, whatever that may be,” Welch said. We have a holistic approach to that and with my background being an elite athlete, I’ve got an idea of what that takes. Everything is age appropriate, and we want to take athletes in, help them get better, and send them back out to their teams.”

Welch added that while there are other domes across Canada, including in Calgary and Edmonton, their business models aren’t quite the same in terms of having a focus on athlete development.

“We’re here for the community. This is truly a facility for them,” he said. “I talk a lot about devleoping athletes, but we have different programs and leagues for men’s and women’s rec, bocce days for older folks, and programs that start as early as six-months-old.”

Another building attached to the dome will soon house a cafe, and several multi-purpose rooms. Dome Sports received a development permit from Red Deer County last March.

Thus far, Red Deer City Soccer, St. Joseph Baseball Academy and Innisfail Baseball have all booked time inside the dome, and Welch hopes those partnerships will continue moving forward.

More information is at

Hunting Hills fall to Bert Church in provincial football semi-final

It was snowy, icy and cold with a windchill of -14 on Saturday for the Football Alberta Tier 2 provincial semifinal at Setters Place in Red Deer.

Unfortunately for the Hunting Hills Lightning, it also wasn’t their day, as they lost 30-20 to Airdrie’s Bert Church Chargers.

It was an inauspicious start for the Lightning who received the ball, but fumbled it on the opening play. The D-line was able to stand up the Chargers offence, but ultimately gave up a safety on the ensuing drive.

With the Chargers up 2-0 in the 2nd quarter, Hunting Hills QB Lucas Fuerbringer ran the ball in to give the home team its first and only lead of the game.

Moments later, however, a huge reception by the Chargers allowed them to punch it in from the red zone, and go back up 9-7. Then, with just two seconds left in the half, the visitors extended their lead with yet another touchdown.

In the second half, the Lightning came out with a purpose, putting up a lengthy drive before facing a 3rd and 3 scenario just outside the red zone. A field goal from Daniel Bae cut the deficit to 16-10.

Moments later, the Lightning found themselves beneficiaries of a 15-yard pass interference call, and Joe Hunt followed that up with a 17-yard run to put Hunting Hills close to paydirt. They settled for another field goal from Bae, however, and it was 16-13.

A missed field goal for Hunting Hills, and another touchdown for Bert Church later, and it was 23-14 for the road team, but that’s when things got really exciting.

With 1:57 left and the Chargers looking like they’d just sealed the deal, Joe Hunt had a kick return for the ages running it all the way down the field to bring the hole back to just three points at 23-20.

Alas, it was too little, too late for the Lightning, who gave up one more touchdown, and Bert Church had secured their ticket to the provincial final.

“We had a really good week of practice … I don’t want to discredit what they did, but today just wasn’t our day. They made big plays, so credit to them,” said Head Coach Kyle Sedgwick post-game.

“”We’ve got a great group of leaders on our team that battled a tremendous amount of adversity. Four straight provincial semi-finals is a pretty amazing feat, and our grade 12s were a part of three of those, but it just wasn’t meant to be today.”

Sedgwick said after taking some time to lament the loss, the Lightning will celebrate their successes.

This is the first time since 1997 that Airdrie’s Bert Church played in the provincial round.

Weekly Scoreboard: November 4-10, 2019

*All records shown are current prior to the week beginning

**If you have a local sports score or story you’d like to see on our website, email or


Nov. 5 – @ Brandon Wheat Kings (7-10-0-0) >> 6 p.m.
Nov. 6 – @ Winnipeg Ice (8-6-1-0) >> 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 – @ Saskatoon Blades (9-7-1-1) >> 6 p.m.
Nov. 9 – @ Prince Albert Raiders (11-2-3-0) >> 6 p.m.


EDM – 27 points
LET – 25 points
MH – 21 points
CGY – 17 points
RD – 12 points (4th in wild card)
SC – 9 points




Nov. 9 – vs. Bonnyville >> 7:30 p.m. at the Penhold Multiplex


Nov. 9 – @ Fort Saskatchewan


No games this week



Nov. 5

Sylvan Lake vs. Mountainview >> 8 p.m. at the NexSource Centre

Nov. 6

Red Deer @ Mountainview

Nov. 8

Stettler vs. Mountainview
Rocky Mountain House vs. Airdrie >> 8:30 p.m. at the Rocky Arena Complex

Nov. 9

Stettler vs. High River
Sylvan Lake @ Lomond
Red Deer vs. Strathmore >> 8 p.m. at Servus Arena
Ponoka vs. Medicine Hat >> 8:45 p.m. at the Ponoka Rec. Complex

Nov. 10

Rocky Mountain House vs. Medicine Hat >> 12:30 p.m. at the Rocky Arena Complex
Sylvan Lake vs. Ponoka >> 7:30 p.m. at the NexSource Centre


Airdrie – 20 points
Mountainview – 17 points
Red Deer – 12 points
Sylvan Lake – 10 points
Stettler – 9 points
Ponoka – 9 points
Rocky – 4 points



Red Deer Optimist Chiefs (4-4-0)

Nov. 9 – @ Lethbridge Hurricanes (4-5-0)
Nov. 10 – vs. Calgary Flames (5-3-0) >> 4 p.m. at Servus Arena



MIDGET AAA – Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (1-7-0)

No league games – U18 Nationals taking place in Manitoba – STORY

MIDGET ELITE – Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs

No league games

BANTAM ELITE – Regular season begins Oct. 18

Olds Grizzlys (0-4-0)

Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs (1-1-0)

Nov. 9 – Olds vs. Red Deer >> 11:15 a.m. at the Olds Sportsplex
Nov. 10 – Olds @ Calgary Fire White (4-1-0)



Red Deer Rebels (10-0-1)

No league games – playing in Rocky Mountain Classic Bantam AAA Invitational in Calgary

Nov. 7 – vs. Rink Hockey Academy (Winnipeg)
Nov. 8 – vs. West Vancouver Warriors
Nov. 8 – vs. Calgary Northstar Sabres
Nov. 9 – playoffs
Nov. 10 – playoffs



Drayton Valley Thunder (5-12-3)

Nov. 8 – vs. Brooks Bandits (20-0-0) >> 7 p.m. at the DV Omniplex
Nov. 9 – vs. Drumheller Dragons (11-7-2) >> 7 p.m. at the DV Omniplex

Olds Grizzlys (5-12-1)

Nov. 8 – vs. Okotoks Oilers (16-2-2) >> 7 p.m. at Olds Sportsplex






Nov. 8 – quarterfinals

6-man – #7 Provost Panthers vs. #2 Breton Cougars >> 11 a.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe >> winner advances to semi-final on Nov. 16

6-man – #3 Rimbey Spartans vs. #6 Holy Redeemer Rebels >> 5 p.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe >> winner advances to semi-final on Nov. 16

Nov. 9 – Regional Semi-finals

Tier 2 – #6 Hunting Hills Lightning vs. #9 Bert Church Chargers >> 1 p.m. at Setters Place in Red Deer >> winner advances to regional final on Nov. 16

Tier 3 – #2 Sylvan Lake Lakers @ #4 Holy Rosary Raiders (Lloydminster) >> winner advances to regional final on Nov. 16

Tier 4 – #3 Stettler Wildcats vs. #4 Ardrossan Bisons >> 1:30 p.m. at MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe >> winner advances to regional final on Nov. 16

*All records shown are current prior to the week beginning

**If you have a local sports score or story you’d like to see on our website, email or

Winners crowned as 46th Canadian Finals Rodeo is in the books

The 46th Canadian Finals Rodeo has wrapped up as Red Deer hosted the event for a second time on the Westerner Park grounds this past week.

Over the course of the week, more than $3000 was raised for five local charities. The event also featured 70 full time staff, 300 casual staff and 500 volunteers.

Here are the winners from each event once competition had finished on Sunday:


Go-round: Orin Larsen – INGLIS, MB
Canadian Champion: Orin Larsen – INGLIS, MB
Aggregate: Orin Larsen – INGLIS, MB

*Larsen won a total of $80,578 during CFR 46


Go-round: Ty Miller – WAINWRIGHT, AB
Canadian Champion: Scott Guenther – PROVOST, AB
Aggregate: Cody Cassidy – DONALDA, AB


Go-round: Matt Sherwood & Hunter Koch – SNOWFLAKE, AZ and VERNON, TX
Canadian Champion: Matt Sherwood & Hunter Koch – SNOWFLAKE, AZ and VERNON, TX
Aggregate: Matt Sherwood & Hunter Koch – SNOWFLAKE, AZ and VERNON, TX

RELATED: Central Albertan crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2020


Go-round: Ben Anderson – ECKVILLE, AB
Canadian Champion: Zeke Thurston – BIG VALLEY, AB
Aggregate: Zeke Thurston – BIG VALLEY, AB

*Thurston’s final monetary payout is $110,785.68, breaking the record for Saddle Bronc which had been set in 2017 by Layton Green with $107,363


Go-round: Jackie Ganter – ABILENE, TX
Canadian Champion: Brooke Wills – KAMLOOPS, BC >> $60,657 in winnings
Aggregate: Stacey Ruzicka – BLUFFTON, AB


Go-round: Shane Hanchey – SULPHUR, LA
Canadian Champion: Shane Hanchey – SULPHUR, LA
Aggregate: Shane Hanchey – SULPHUR, LA


Go-round: Jordan Hansen – CALGARY, AB >> $99,357 in winnings
Canadian Champion: Edgar Durazo – MOCTEZUMA, SONORA, MX >> $106,641 in winnings
Aggregate: Jordan Hansen – CALGARY, AB

RELATED: Rodeo queens 60 years apart unite ahead of CFR 46

The 47th Canadian Finals Rodeo is scheduled for November 3-8, 2020 at Westerner Park.

Central Albertan crowned Miss Rodeo Canada 2020

Miss Rodeo Canada 2020 has been named and she’s from right here in central Alberta.

Alicia Erickson, a 23-year-old lifelong Trochu resident, was named Miss Ponoka Stampede in 2018. At Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Friday, Erickson achieved something she’s been working towards for as long as she can remember.

“My mom was actually a race meet queen back in Trochu and I remember looking at a photograph of her in an old newspaper and thinking ‘Wow, I want to do that one day.’ Now that it’s finally here, I don’t know what to do with myself,” Erickson quips.

“I think I was eight or nine when I saw the picture. I was just mesmerized by how a rodeo queen looked on her horse, and I just knew I wanted to be like that.”

Erickson’s upcoming duties in representing her country and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) include spreading the word about rodeo in venues such as schools and seniors homes, and in her words, connecting people with the sport and western heritage.

Also a barrel racer in her spare time, Erickson says she lives by the mantra “Be the person you needed when you were younger.”

“I’ve coached figure skating, worked at a youth club, and my education is in youth justice studies, so that’s where I’m headed,” she says. “The children I meet every day inspire me to become a better person. I remember when I was a little girl looking up to Miss Rodeo Canadas or my teacher at school and thinking I wanted to have their qualities, or I want to be good at what I do, or be a rodeo queen.”

To the greater population, Erickson says you’re never too old to start something new.

“I ran for the title of Miss Rodeo Canada last year and I was first runner up. I thought ‘I don’t want to give up on something I’ve wanted for so long, so how can I make this dream become a reality?’” she recalls. “I wanted to do what it took and apply myself to create my goal and make it happen. It’s important to never stop trying, and it’s never too late to try and live out your dream.”

RELATED: Rodeo queens 60 years apart unite ahead of CFR 46

Erickson graduated from Trochu Valley School in 2014 and has a diploma from Bow Valley College in Youth Justice Studies. Next, she will be applying to Red Deer College’s bachelor in social work program.

In December 2020, at the end of her year as Miss Rodeo Canada, she will attend the Miss Rodeo of America competition held in Las Vegas as part of the National Finals Rodeo.

Erickson beat out four other finalists to earn her crown, including Alisa Brace of Sundre, Brittany Doyle of Moose Mountain, Haley Schlenker of Medicine Hat, and Jessica Craig from Hanna.

“I am so excited to be able to give back to the sport that’s given so much to me,” adds Erickson. “It truly helped me find my passion, and all I aspire to do is to be that for someone else and to lead them in the right direction in their life.”

Also on Friday at CFR, the first ever Rising Stars Rodeo Queen was named. Sadie Henn, 16, of Airdrie earned the title.

Speed skating club and Lions still enjoying long-time partnership

Speed skating club and Lions still enjoying long-time partnership

It’s been 66 years since the Central Lions Club first lent its name to Red Deer speed skaters, and that partnership is going strong just as the skaters are.

On Saturday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club held its annual short track meet featuring racers from around the province.

It was the first time the event has been held somewhere other than the Kinex Arena in quite some time.

Greg Reid with the Central Lions says members thoroughly enjoy serving as timers at the meets throughout the season and contributing money to the skating club on an annual basis.

“There are eight of us out today, and we do it because we like it. We have fun watching the kids and seeing who’s going to progress to nationals or further,” he said. “The speed skating club is probably one of the oldest in Red Deer, so it just carries on.”

Team Alberta settles for 6th at U18 Nationals in Manitoba 3Members of the Red Deer Central Lions Club have now been contributing financially and by volunteering at meets for Red Deer speed skaters for 66 years. (rdnewsNOW/Josh Hall)

The Central Lions were honoured this summer with a the Partner of the Year – Sport Champion award from Speed Skating Canada for their long-time support of local skaters.

Next up for the speed skating club is the 2nd annual Jeremy Wotherspoon Classic at the new oval at Setters Place. That takes place in January. Then from February 8-9, the organization will host the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships, also at Setters Place.

Head coach Nick Schultz spoke about excitement within the organization with that event on the horizon.

“I think the Canada Winter Games and the success of the Games really showed we have a solid venue and an organizing committee that can put on a national event,” he said, adding in a pitch to anyone looking for a new sport to join.

“We are a family-oriented club,” he said. “And in comparison to other winter sports, it’s very economical, and there’s no expectation for travel.”

More details are at

Bullrider Edgar Durazo stays perfect at CFR46

RED DEER- Edgar Durazo had met Vold Rodeo’s 398 VJV Whiskey Hand before.

The Mexican born bull rider made the most of that association by scoring 89.5 points to win his third consecutive CFR go-round and maintain the lead in the bull riding in commanding fashion.

“I’ve been on this bull four times,” Durazo explained. “I won Ponoka this year with 90 points on him. He’s a bull that’s been to the PBR Canada Finals, the NFR and CFR. He’s outstanding and I was really excited when I knew I had him.”

The former PBR Canada Finals champion is a goal-setter. But his decision – made early in 2019 to qualify for the Canadian Finals Rodeo – wasn’t easy. He worked hard to fill his permit, purchase his full card and qualify for his first CFR. Along the way, the 28-year-old earned his CPRA Permit, Rookie and Season Leader awards.

The other events in go-round three were no less exciting.

Bareback rider Richmond Champion marked 88.25 points on Northcott-Macza’s 2019 Horse of the Year, 118 Stevie Knicks. Champion leads the aggregate after three solid placings.

Team ropers Matt Sherwood (two time world champion) and CFR rookie, Hunter Koch, clocked an arena-record-tying 3.7 second run to win their second straight go-round and move to second in the aggregate and first overall.

Another Finals rookie, Blair Smith, roped in 7.8 seconds to pick up his first round-win buckle (and $10,530). The win moves the second generation cowboy from fourth to second in the aggregate with three performances to go.

Wainwright steer wrestler Ty Miller dogged his steer in a rapid 3.5 seconds to earn the win.

Texas barrel racer, Angela Ganter, clocked a 14.543 second run to take home the top cheque.

First time qualifier, Logan Hay bounced back from a pair of buck-offs in rounds one and two of the saddle bronc event to win the third round with a sensational 86 points on Outlaw Buckers’ celebrated Lunatic Party.

The novice events wrapped up last night after three rounds of action with second generation cowboy, Chett Deitz securing the Bareback title. The Milo, Alberta hand enjoyed a consistent CFR showing with two go-round wins and a second place cheque for his efforts. Deitz pocketed $3200 in CFR earnings and $9210 for the year.

Australian Lachlan Sheppard came into CFR with a commanding lead then added $1660 by virtue of two second place finishes – earning the 2019 Novice Saddle Bronc Championship and $9283 in season earnings.

Defending steer riding champion, Tristen Manning, was the only competitor to ride in his event in round three. The Yellowhead Country athlete extended the lead he had coming into the Finals and now sits well out front with $10,385 overall, with a $5000 lead, and one performance to go in that event.

The fourth performance of CFR46 gets underway at 7:00 p.m. tonight at Westerner Park.

(With file from story by Barb Poulsen – CPRA)

Aquatic Centre committee boiling over no funding for new pool

The group pushing for a long sought after aquatic centre for Red Deer says it’s dismayed with the recent decision to remove funding for it from the City’s 10-year capital plan.

Brian Gallaway, chair of the Central Alberta Aquatic Centre (CAAC) committee, says the aquatics community is being treated very unfairly.

“Over the last 35 years, Red Deer built four new indoor hockey rinks and no new lap pools. When the Collicutt (Centre) was built, a new NHL-sized ice surface suitable for training and competition was built, while the aquatics community received a paddling pool unsuitable for even the most basic training,” he points out.

“When the city was bidding on the Canada Winter Games, CAAC was told how good the Games would be for the aquatic community. In the end, hockey received two new rinks (an Olympic size rink at RDC, and a rebuilt NHL size rink at Servus Arena), while swimmers received a bus ticket to Calgary.”

Gallaway is referring to the fact that the artistic swimming competition for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer was held in Calgary.

He says Red Deer has been left with the worst competitive aquatics facilities in western Canada.

“The administration’s reasoning for prioritizing the Dawe rink is over concerns about the future of Kinex arena. However, we believe their reasoning is faulty,” he says. “If the Kinex fails, Red Deer would merely be returning to the level of ice we had in 2016, whereas with our aquatics facilities, we already have significant deficiencies. If we were to lose one of them, Red Deer would have less pool space than we had in the 1970s.

“We believe our turn is overdue. More importantly, the public believes it is our turn, as the aquatic centre was ranked as the #1 priority in the city’s comprehensive amenities study,” Gallaway says.

In 2014, The City of Red Deer did a community amenities report. A multi-use aquatic centre/50 metre pool was identified by the public as one of the most desired new amenities.

City Manager Allan Seabrooke says the economic reality is such that a $100 million aquatic facility “simply isn’t possible.”

“In the 10-year plan, some of the larger ticket items that were left had to be removed; almost a billion dollars’ worth of projects to meet our debt limit capacity,” he explains. “Debt limit capacity relates to the amount of revenue a city has coming in, and with the current economic challenges and literally no growth that we have, our ability to take on more debt is limited.”

If federal and provincial grants fail to come through, the $30+ million Dawe twinning project could also be on the chopping block, he adds. The interest on a $100 million facility, Seabrooke notes, would be around $4.5 million annually, plus operating.

Last year, city council agreed to move up the funds for detailed design to take place in 2019, some of which has occurred, Seabrooke confirms. Dollars for actual construction were left in the slots beyond 2023 until this year.

Seabrooke and Mayor Tara Veer acknowledge and empathize with the swim community’s frustrations. Veer says it’s important to understand, however, that there has been a substantial shift in the last year affecting how much municipalities can rely on grant funding.

“Even though the City appreciates the provincial government will be legislating stable predictable grant funding for municipalities, there are cuts to grant funding (MSI) that will have a real impact on the capital plan,” she says. “Councils across the province, when their administrations table budgets, will absolutely be in the same scenario.”

Seabrooke concludes by saying talks will continue with the aquatic community, including to perhaps extend hours at facilities where swim clubs practice and train.

Special Delivery delivers at CFR46

RED DEER- Day two of the Canadian Finals Rodeo Was Military & First Responders Day.

Thousands of CFR guests donned red poppies in support of those who serve our country.

On the rodeo infield, Cole Goodine was making up for lost time.

A foot injury kept the Carbon, Alberta bareback rider sidelined for over half of the 2019 season, but once he cracked back out, he didn’t miss a beat.

He’s off to a solid start at his sixth straight CFR.

Goodine rode the Calgary Stampede’s outstanding 13 year old stallion, Special Delivery, to 86.25 points to win the second go-round and better position himself in the standings.

“When I saw the draw last night, I was pretty excited,” the second generation cowboy grinned. “Special Delivery is one of my favourite draws. He’s big and strong. He’s wild and has a big mane. Everything about him is cool. When I saw I had him, I knew I had a chance.”

Goodine came into this year’s Finals in seventh spot with $21,607 in regular season earnings.

Last night’s go-round win ($10,530) moves the 25-year-old into a second place tie in the aggregate standings and fifth overall with $32,137 in total earnings.

The bareback riding event is suddenly wide open after season leader, Caleb Bennett from Montana was bucked off.

Other round winners included Edgar Durazo who won his second straight bull riding go-round.

The first ever Mexican-born CFR qualifier recorded an 87.75 point ride on last year’s bull of the year, the Calgary Stampede’s -201 Night Moves.

2017 Canadian steer wrestling champion, Jason Thomas bounced back from an opening night 14.0 second run with a blazing 3.6 second time.

Saddle bronc rookie, Kolby Wanchuk marked 85.5 points aboard Outlaw Buckers’ W42 Comeback Red for the round win.

Team Ropers, two time world champion, Matt Sherwood and CFR first timer, Hunter Koch, enjoyed a 3.8 second run while 15 year old Taylor Manning topped the barrel racing field with a 14.456 second run.

Texan, Ty Harris, made his first CFR cheque a good one with an 8.0 in the tie-down roping.

In the novice events, which wrap up today, the round wnners were Chett Deitz in the bareback riding and K’s Thomson in the saddle bronc – both with 76.5 point scores.

Griffin Koester marked 75 to claim top spot in the junior steer riding.

CFR performance number three takes on a Halloween theme at 7 p.m. this evening at Westerner Park.

(With file from story by Barb Poulsen – CPRA)