EDMONTON, Alta.- The NAIT Ooks curling team is kicking off their 2019-2020 season as they travel to Lloydminster to compete in the fall regional tournament this weekend at Lakeland College.
Last season the men's team, skipped by Trygg Jensen and teammates Jonah Tobinski, Brett Winfield, John Ritchie, and John Crowder, were going into the gold medal game 16-0 and lost a hard-fought battle 5-3 and taking home a silver medal. All four members voted to the ACAC All-Conference team. Trygg Jensen was voted as the ACAC male curler of the year. At the CCAA National Championships, they had a 6-3 record and won a CCAA bronze medal. Jonah Tobinski was selected to the CCAA's first all-tournament team.
The women's team skipped by Emily Clark and teammates Dana Algot, Madison Graham and Nicole Sawiak battled hard throughout the season. The team put their best game together in the bronze medal game-winning in extra ends. At the CCAA National Championships, they ended up in a four-way tie for the third spot and missed the playoffs through the tie-breaking formula. Ironically the team beat the gold medal finalist in the round-robin. Madison Graham was selected to the CCAA second all-tournament team.
The mixed team skipped by Jacob Rahm and teammates Jenna Bruce, Ryan Saville, and Shelby Van Den Brink were the cinderella team of the year. Finishing first at the provincials round-robin and cruising in the playoff round, bringing home the gold medal. Ryan Saville was voted to the ACAC All-Conference team.
"The curling teams should be proud of their season. Not only did three teams qualify for the provincials, but all three teams also medaled earning gold, silver and bronze. Five players were named to the ACAC All-Conference teams and one was the ACAC Male Curler of the Year. We finished the season with a 36-13 record. At the National Championships, the men won a bronze medal and the two teams had a 10-6 record. Two players were named to the CCAA All-Tournament team" said head coach Jules Owchar
This season, the men's team is expected to be very competitive with three returning members from last year's solid team, the lone new member to the team brings valuable experience from playing and winning high school provincials and Placing 3rd in U18 Provincials. The women's team has always been competitive and the expectation for this year is no different. With only one returning player, the mixed team will have big shoes to fill this year. The mixed team has always been competitive as they will be looking at repeating as ACAC Champions.
"The ACAC curling teams have always fielded competitive teams and the expectation for this year is no different," said Owchar.