BY ZACHARY CORMIER
After a week of fun and competitive curling, the Lacombe Curling Club is calling the 2016 Senior’s Bonspiel a success.
From Monday through Friday last week, seniors ranging in age from the mid-50s to 89-years-young took to the ice at the curling club for a week of curling action.
“The week has been fabulous. We had one little setback in that the plant went down on one day and we missed an afternoon draw and the teams all decided that they would just take it high. So it didn’t hurt our bonspiel at all and it didn’t hurt any of the standings,” said Bonspiel Chairperson Ken Brown.
One of Lacombe’s most popular bonspiels, the tournament fills up almost a year in advance most years, with many teams registering to return next year as soon as they come off the ice.
“Our out of town teams have said it’s really great,” said Brown, adding the banquet, which was catered this year by Leto’s restaurant in Lacombe was top notch.
“Every draw started basically on time, we had no problems. The ice has been very, very good and everybody was very, very positive about how good it went.”
The tournament was organized into four divisions with six teams in each. Each division has a sponsor who donates towards the prize money. Participants get cash prizes for each win and a final cash payout based on placings at the end of the week.
In the Mixed-A division, Lyle Lorenz’s rink came out on top, followed by Red Deer’s Brian Ziegler.
The top payout in the stick division was taken by Glen Grover followed by Chris Jenson while Lacombe’s Calvin Swarbrick’s team took home the top prize in the Mixed-B division with Bob Pecharsky and Doug Carritt tied for second.
“It’s fun but it’s competitive. Everybody’s pretty competitive in the division that you go into,” said Swarbrick, who has been a consistent competitor at the bonspiel since it started 17 years ago.
He added the bonspiel is a ton of fun to go to every year because of the camaraderie and the good times that can be had by all. “You get to meet the people that you curled against last year and other years. The same ones come back year after year, it seems like.”
It was a good week of curling for Swarbrick’s team, who finished first in their division after their round robin matchup.
“We did have a good week. We had some close games,” said the skip, who is also a member of the planning committee for the ‘spiel.
This isn’t his first time winning a division at the Senior’s Bonspiel, either.
“I’ve won our division before. I see on facebook, I won it three years ago and I can’t remember how last year went,” he laughed, adding that he gives a great amount of credit to Brown and his wife, Lynn, for putting on the ‘spiel year after year.
Meanwhile, Al Knight took the top prize in the Master’s division with Ken Brown’s team coming in second.
In addition to the on-ice action, teams at the bonspiel were also treated to lunches, which were provided every day by the Lacombe Curling Club’s senior members.
And as if that wasn’t enough, each team received a door prize at the banquet which was donated by one of the tournament’s sponsors.
In fact, the bonspiel has become so popular in Central Alberta that there is already a waiting list in place for next year’s event.