Team Tesch Attributes Success to Realistic Expectations

November 29, 2023

After their Bronze medal win at Arena Nationals, Cale Tesch, skip of Team Tesch from Cedar Rapids Curling Club, had some positive words to share.  “We tried to go into the event with realistic expectations.  We really just wanted to play well and have fun.  If we won a couple games along the way, great.  If we got 2 wins, we were going to be happy.  Dallas was in our pool and we had to play them first, and we knew they were multiple time champions.”

Tesch states that after Dallas took 4 in the first end, the rest of that game didn’t go their way.  They were able to regroup as a team, and won the next four games against Rochester, Atlanta, Oval, and La Crosse to finish pool play 4-1.  “At this point, we had already exceeded all expectations we had, so we just wanted to have fun going into the semi-finals.  Due to tiebreakers Dallas was the #1 seed and we were the #4 seed, so we had a rematch with Dallas in the first game.”

Going into the Bronze medal game, Team Tesch knew they would face a tough team, but still held no expectations and were happy with how their event had gone that far.  Cale gave the game breakdown:  “We gave up a steal of 2 in the first end this time, but were up 5-2 at the break.  They came out and tied it up after 6.  We got 2 in the 7th and played a good 8th end to leave them really tough shots to try to score 2.  Everything fell our way to get the bronze.”

Team Tesch also would like to note, “We seriously can’t thank enough all the support from friends in Cedar Rapids and all the MCA clubs.  The countless texts, messages, posts, and people watching the live streams on Facebook was amazing and completely unexpected.  The whole event was an absolutely amazing experience in every aspect.”

When asked about the future of the team, Cale noted, “Unfortunately, the team is probably going separate ways.  Parker and Stephen’s fiancées are both expected to finish up grad school at the University of Iowa this spring.  Both will probably be moving out of the Cedar Rapids area depending on where future jobs take them.  Greg and I will have to figure out plans for next year.”

Team Tesch’s line-up includes Cale Tesch, Parker Abbott , Stephen Spence, and Greg Schmitt.

Check out the Midwest Curling Association for more information about curling near you.

MCA Announces Playdown Dates

The Midwest Curling Association is pleased to announce the upcoming dates for regional Playdowns for U18s (men and women), Club Playdowns (men and women), and Mixed Playdowns.

  • Men’s and Women’s U18 Playdowns, hosted by Windy City Curling Club in Villa Park, will be December 9-10, 2023.  Registration closes Nov. 15, 2023.
  • Men’s and Women’s Club Playdowns are being hosted at Chicago Curling Club in Northbrook on January 26-28, 2024.  Registration closes Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Mixed Playdowns will be held at Exmoor Curling Club in Highland Park on February 9-11, 2024.  Registration closes Jan. 9, 2024.

All registrations are open at . Visit the Midwest Curling Association page for more information regarding eligibility.

2023-2024 Event Calendars Available

The calendar ticked over to August this morning.  That means that our first Midwest Curling Association events are on the horizon.  We are looking forward to a jam packed year full of member club bonspiels, MCA hosted events like Prairie State Games, and many MCA Playdowns.  Because of all of the amazing events we offer throughout the region, we have separated the calendar by member club events and MCA hosted events.  Keep an eye on our Midwest Curling Association page for more information and registrations.

2023 MCA Arena Playdowns

From May 13-14, the MCA Arena Playdowns were hosted at ImOn Ice Arena by Cedar Rapids Curling Club. Four men’s teams and two women’s teams participated in the event. We want to thank Lon Peper for officiating the event, Kari Kozak for her event coordination support, and Phil Burian for coordinating the ice crew volunteers. Also, thank you to all the teams, ice volunteers, and spectators. Congratulations to the winners, Team Allison (Women’s Division) and Team Tesch (Men’s Division). Both teams will head to the 2023 USA Curling Arena National Championships in Eveleth, MN, from November 9-12, 2023

MCA Club Arena Winners:

Team Allison (St Louis Curling Club): Flannery Allison, Becky Reale, Marion Skillman, Ashley Alojipa

Team Tesch (Cedar Rapids Curling Club): Cale Tesch, Parker Abbot, Greg Schmitt, Stephen Spence


MCA Arena Playdown Runner-Ups:

Team Tamboli (Cedar Rapids Curling Club): Addie Tamboli, Emily Nelson, Lynn Benkusky, Beth Hinson

Team Allison (St Louis Curling Club): Michael Allison, Joseph VanArtsdalen, Caleb Bennett, Sam Pilla

Inaugural MCA Arena Bonspiel

The MCA Arena Bonspiel was established to create a fun, no-frill event for MCA regional arena curlers to compete against each other. The event will rotate between the arena clubs and be hosted simultaneously with the MCA Arena Playdowns, a new competitive national qualifier. Sponsored by the Midwest Curling Association, this event is offered at a low cost and allows curlers to socialize, curl, and watch some great games.

This year, we had three teams from Cedar Rapids Curling Club and St Louis Curling Club participate in this two-day, three-game guarantee event at ImOn Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids, IA. We look forward to welcoming more curlers and hopefully more regional arena clubs at the event in 2024!

1st Place:

2nd Place:

3rd Place:

2023 MCA Mixed Playdowns

From March 10-12, four teams participated in the 2023 MCA Mixed Playdowns at Chicago Curling Club. The event format was a double round-robin (double-elimination) format. Thanks to Will Hsiung who officiated this event; in addition, thank you to the ice crew, timing volunteers, teams, and spectators. Congratulations to Team Brundidge for winning the 2023 MCA Mixed Playdowns! They will represent the Midwest Curling Association at the 2023 USA Curling Mixed National Championships in Denver, CO from April 12-16, 2023.

Team Brundidge: Jed Brundidge, Bella Hagenbuch, Cameron Rittenour, Mae Hagenbuch

Team Cagann: Lorna Cagann, Phil Ledbetter, Brooke Borowiak, and Aaron Knowlton



Seeking Candidates for 2023-2024 Midwest Curling Association Board

The Midwest Curling Association is seeking applicants for several MCA Board Positions, including President, Vice President, Media & Communications Director. In addition, regional clubs are always looking for interested candidates for their MCA Representative position.

Volunteering for the Midwest Curling Association is a fantastic way to help grow curling in the region, contribute to region-wide events, and connect with a wonderful network of curlers. These positions all open in May 2023. Interested candidates need to send a message to by April 15, 2023

Job descriptions for all available MCA positions are below. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

2023 MCA Men’s and Women’s Club Playdowns

From February 3-5, the MCA Men’s and Women’s Club Playdowns were hosted at Windy City Curling. Six men’s teams and two women’s teams participated in the event. We want to extend our gratitude to Will Hsiung for officiating the event; in addition, thanks to all the teams, volunteer timers, and spectators. Congratulations to the winners, Team Rittger (Men’s Division) and Team Yaple (Women’s Division). Both teams will head to the 2023 USA Curling Club National Championship in Wausau, Wisconsin in March 2023.

MCA Club Playdown Winners:

Team Rittgers (Windy City Curling): Colin Rittgers, Keith Mandeville, Spencer Tuskowski, and Matthew Lewis

Team Yaple (Chicago Curling Club): Haley Yaple, Sara Gaum, Katherine Stewart, and Ellie Loughlin


MCA Club Playdown Runner-Ups:

Team Wright (Exmoor Curling): Jeff Wright, Steve Wright, Ken Brown, and Matt Brown

Team Collins (Chicago Curling Club): Elisabeth Collins, Kailey Meyer, Laurie Longee, and Ellen Dickson

2023 U18 Nationals – MCA Junior Teams

From January 12-15, the 2023 USA Curling U18 Nationals will be held at Rock Creek Curling in Colorado. This is a regionally-based, geographic championship that determines the top teams under the age of 18 years old. Team Hagenbuch (Windy City Curling) and Team Schallmo (Exmoor Country Club) represented the Midwest Curling Association.

Team Hagenbuch: Windy City Curling

Bella Hagenbuch, Rilee Kraft, Mae Hagenbuch, and Lauren Hein

Team Schallmo: Exmoor Country Club

Nicholas Schallmo, Joey Pieracci, Gideon Heltzer, and Tristian Knoll

2022 Arena Nationals – MCA Arena Teams

From November 3-6, 2022, one women’s team (Team Kozak from Cedar Rapids Curling) and one men’s team (Team Allison from St. Louis Curling Club) represented the Midwest Curling Association at the 2022 USA Curling Arena National Championships hosted by Curl Mesabi Curling Club.

Team Allison: St. Louis Curling Club

Dan Sovar, Joseph VanArtsdalen, Michael Allison, and Sam Pilla

Team Kozak: Cedar Rapids Curling

Kari Kozak, Emily Nelson, Anne York, and Lynn Benkusky