Category Archives: Loreburn

Senior teams take top honours at badminton districts

Loreburn Central School’s senior badminton teams are pictured with their district gold medals: from left, Austin Daniluk, John Dodds, coach Grant Abbott, Shane Lafontaine and Karissa Rendall.
Loreburn Central School’s senior badminton teams are pictured with their district gold medals: from left, Austin Daniluk, John Dodds, coach Grant Abbott, Shane Lafontaine and Karissa Rendall.

By Joel van der Veen

ROSETOWN — Two senior badminton teams from Loreburn Central School were among the champions crowned at the West Central districts on Saturday, April 25.

John Dodds and Austin Daniluk were victorious in the boys doubles category, while Shane Lafontaine and Karissa Rendall took top honours in mixed doubles.

Other competitors from Kenaston and Loreburn took part in both junior districts, held at Kindersley Composite School, and senior districts, held at Rosetown Central High School.

Also competing from Loreburn were Grade 7 student Alyssa Glubis and Grade 9 student Dodge Long, who competed in the girls and boys singles categories.

“They won everything except for their final matches,” said Grant Abbott, who coaches badminton at Loreburn. “I’m quite proud of their accomplishments.”

Abbott noted that Glubis will have two more years to compete as a junior, observing, “The future looks pretty bright for her.”

The two senior teams went undefeated in districts, each winning their medals.

Abbott said another senior Loreburn team — Brianna Jess and Tori Rendall — had qualified to compete in girls doubles. Both players are also on the DLK Attack 15U girls club volleyball team, which took part in provincials on Saturday, and so did not compete in Rosetown that day.

“It was a tough decision,” said Abbott, adding that he had been given advance notice. “I knew that ahead of time.”

Evan Pasternak, one of Kenaston School’s badminton coaches, reported that the school sent one junior team to districts, while others were unable to attend due to a leadership conference being held in Marengo.

Brody Yelich and Nolan Haugen competed in the boys doubles category, winning one game and losing two.

Pasternak said it was “a fun year” despite the drawback of such a short season, adding, “I think a lot of the students definitely started to improve their skills.”

Players competed in pre-sectionals and sectionals the previous week, determining their eligibility for the district championships.

Davidson School had planned to send a junior boys doubles team, Clay Murfitt and Derek Schmiedge, to Kindersley, but ultimately they were unable to attend due to a lack of transportation.

Senior champions were eligible to compete in regional championships, scheduled to take place in Regina, Melville, Carrot River and Meadow Lake on Saturday, May 2.

The provincial championships will follow on May 9 at Moose Jaw’s A. E. Peacock Collegiate.

Junior badminton players prepare to wrap up season

Davidson’s Clay Murfitt (left) and Derek Schmiedge compete in a doubles match against Kenaston’s Cole Sanderson and Jackson Firby on Thursday.
Davidson’s Clay Murfitt (left) and Derek Schmiedge compete in a doubles match against Kenaston’s Cole Sanderson and Jackson Firby on Thursday.

By Joel van der Veen

KENASTON — It’s down to the wire for junior badminton players in the district, but regular play between local schools has given them a solid foundation leading up to the end of the season.

Juniors from Davidson, Loreburn and Outlook met at Kenaston School on Thursday afternoon to face off in the last exhibition match of the regular season.

The four schools will compete in pre-sectionals this Tuesday, followed by sectionals on Thursday.

The junior district championships will be held at Kindersley Composite School on Saturday, April 25, while Rosetown Central High School will host the senior districts the same day.

Over the past month and a half, the four schools have hosted each other’s junior players in exhibition matches, allowing them to make the most of the short season.

The schools in Kenaston, Davidson, Loreburn and Outlook take turns serving as host, allowing students time on the court to take part in boys and girls singles, and boys, girls and mixed doubles competition.

Grant Abbott, a retired teacher who coaches the six junior badminton players from Loreburn School, said the program has been beneficial for them.

“The juniors are getting lots of games because of the exhibition program,” he said. “The whole process is to develop their skills . . . then they can put those skills into practice.”

Dodge Long, a Grade 9 student who plays in the singles division, had to miss the exhibition games last week as he got ready to compete with the Zone 5 bantam hockey team at the Sask First Bantam Tournament in Regina.

Abbott highlighted him and Grade 7 student Alyssa Glubis, also a singles player, as two of his most promising competitors.

As the coach of the Prairie Central district badminton team that took home gold from the 2014 Saskatchewan Winter Games in Prince Albert, Abbott said he’s also keeping an eye out for young players who could develop their skills and possibly join the team in 2018.

Evan Pasternak and Brian Johnston coach the junior badminton players from Kenaston School, with a total of 18 students taking part, an impressive number given the school’s smaller size.

Pasternak said that group represents a significant portion of the school’s students in grades 7 through 9, but added that the program didn’t get underway until mid-March.

“It’s been a bit of a learning process due to us starting a little bit later,” he said, adding, “We haven’t reached our potential . . . (but) the kids are improving and they’re having a lot of fun.”

Despite the group’s struggles, Pasternak said he can envision some of their players reaching the district level if they can maintain a high standard of play this coming week.

Ian Osmond coaches the Davidson junior badminton players, a group of 11 students. In addition to the weekly exhibition matches, they have also competed against players from Craik.

“For those who have shown up consistently, there’s definitely been progress,” said Osmond, adding that he has worked to build consistent teams but also switches up the partners sometimes.

Three area boys competing with Zone 5 bantam team in Regina

REGINA — Three local boys will represent the region this weekend as part of the Zone 5 team competing in the 2015 Sask First Bantam Tournament in Regina.

The roster includes Dean McNabb and Reegan Taylor of Davidson, as well as Dodge Long of Loreburn.

The Zone 5 team is one of eight competing in the provincial tournament, running from Thursday, April 16 to Sunday, April 19 at the Cooperators Centre in Regina.

The team, which has never played together as one unit before, will have two opportunities to practise on Thursday and Friday before the tournament begins on Friday afternoon.

Reegan Taylor, who turns 15 during the tournament, is the son of Linda Haas and Gord Taylor, and played with the Davidson Huskies last season.

He has been playing hockey for six years. Asked to describe his reaction to being named to the zone team, he said, “I was pretty pumped about it.”

Taylor said he hasn’t been on skates since the regular season ended in late March, but added he has been preparing for the tournament with weight training.

He said the short time allotted for practice will make it challenging to develop the team together, but added, “I think (it’s) more of a personal skill-based tournament . . . I guess it’s whatever you put out there.”

Dodge Long, 14, who joins Taylor on the team’s offensive roster, is the son of Rick and Jill Long of Loreburn. Last season he played for the Saskatchewan Valley Vipers, based in Martensville and Warman.

He said he has been playing hockey since the age of three but now plays on the city team, due to the lack of a local team in his age bracket.

His father, Rick, said that entails a “horrendous” volume of driving, but noted that the results have been good, adding, “It’s a great opportunity for the boys to make that zone team.”

Dodge Long also competed on the zone bantam team in the Saskatchewan Winter Games in Prince Albert in 2014. He said he has kept active since the end of the regular season, taking part in midget AAA and junior A training camps.

Also representing the local district is Dean McNabb, 15, who played for the Notre Dame Hounds last season. The son of Kim and Jeannine McNabb of Davidson, he will serve as one of the team’s two goalies.

His older brother, 24-year-old Brayden McNabb, is currently on a two-year contract with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.

Of the 20 players on the Zone 5 bantam roster, a total of nine played with the Saskatchewan Valley Vipers this past season, giving them a degree of familiarity with each other’s playing patterns.

Zone tryouts were held in the beginning of February with the rosters announced shortly afterward. The teams are restricted in the amount of time they can spend practising together, in an effort to provide a more even playing field for all teams.

The tournament finals will be held beginning Sunday morning.