2021-2022 MCA President’s Letter

Midwest Curling Association Member Clubs and Members:

Like many of you, I am keen to get back on to the ice…and the curling season is right around the corner! As the new MCA President, I’m excited to build upon the great work done by Jeff Wright and continue to expand the MCA and help our member clubs. To improve MCA transparency, I wanted to highlight some of  the MCA’s recent goals:

Return to Safe Curling and Increased Number of Events: Improving upon lessons learned from last year, all of our member clubs are excited to return to a more ‘normal’ curling and events. Clubs are working collaboratively to share best COVID safety practices, and the Midwest Curling Association continues to provide support and resources to our regional clubs during this time. Our goal is to ensure all curlers feel comfortable and to see an increase in participation in member club and MCA-sponsored events. For a list of member club and MCA events, please visit the 2021-2022 MCA Calendar.

Improve Member Club Support: While the Midwest region faired better than other regions, we understand that most of our clubs were hit hard by the 2020-2021 season. Our goal is to support our clubs and help them capitalize on the upcoming Olympic year.

As a first step, the Board of the MCA approved the continuation of the MCA Grant Program at a pre-COVID membership rate. Available to all MCA clubs, the grant money determined by each club’s annual membership can be used to enhance or promote the sport of curling. Secondly, the MCA is committed to promoting member club events and sharing best practices so each club can return to levels of pre-COVID success. Examples of these initiatives include:

If you haven’t already, we highly recommend following the MCA’s Facebook Page to receive the latest news and the MCA’s Facebook Warm Room to share your club’s and member’s curling success stories. Reach out to your MCA Representative with any ideas to improve curling in our region.

Finally, the MCA Board established a sub-committee to examine future opportunities to give back to member clubs. The committee will look into what can be funded (e.g., money for dedicated ice or capital improvements), how much can be funded, and so forth.

Strengthen Our Region’s Curling Potential: The Midwest is filled with dedicated and passionate curlers.  We want to harness that commitment and build towards a better Midwest curling community. The MCA is currently looking into:

  • Hosting USCA Level I/II Instructor Clinics within the region to increase the number of certified instructors and, as a result, improve the Learn2Curl experience for juniors and new curlers.
  • Hosting USCA Level I/II Officiating Clinics within the region and grow our network of officials. Without these certified volunteers, our regional playdown events would not be possible.
  • Providing resources and in-person timing instruction for upcoming competitions. We need timers for multiple competitive regional events this season, including all MCA Playdowns, USCA Men’s & Women’s National Championships, and USCA Senior Men’s National Championships.
  • Improving ice conditions at our clubs. We want all of our clubs to make great ice and for all curlers to enjoy it. The MCA Board approved a sub-committee to examine regional ice technicians’ opportunities and develop resources for them to learn best practices. We hope improved conditions will increase opportunities for all our member clubs.

We look forward to a successful curling season, and we hope you and your families stay safe during this time! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your MCA Representative or myself. We are glad to help!

Good Curling,

Sara Gaum

President, Midwest Curling Association

midwestcurlingassociation@gmail.com

Capitalize on Curling Night in America

2021 MCA Women’s Club Playdowns

From April 26-28, two teams participated in the 2021 MCA Women’s Club Playdowns at Chicago Curling Club. Teams played a best-of-three format with 8-end games. COVID safety protocols were enforced and Sara Gaum, one of our MCA officials, graciously donated her time to facilitate the games. After two great games on Saturday, the third, tiebreaker game came down to an extra-end, and Team Collins from Chicago Curling Club came out victorious. Thanks to all the teams, coaches, and MCA board members who made the MCA Women’s Club Playdowns possible!

Team Collins from Chicago CC (Winner): Elisabeth Collins, Kailey Meyer, Laurie Longee, and Ellen Dickson

Team Hagenbuch from Windy City CC (Runner-Up): Bella Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Mae Hagenbuch, and Brianna Massey

2021 MCA Mixed Playdowns

From April 16-18, ten teams participated in the 2021 MCA Mixed Playdowns at Windy City Curling Club, our largest participation in years! The event’s format was a two-pool, single round-robin (single elimination) with the top two teams from each pool advancing to the semifinals. COVID safety guidelines were in place, games were timed, and a USCA-certified official oversaw the event.

Pool A: Round-Robin Results

3-1 Team Klus (Chicago CC)

3-1 Team Axelsson (Chicago CC and Detroit CC)

2-2 Team Van Eeckhout (Kettle Moraine CC, Cedar Rapids CC, Windy City CC)

2-2 Team Salander (Waltham CC)

0-4 Team Reithel (Windy City CC and Chicago CC)

Pool B: Round-Robin Results

4-0 Team Brundidge (Chaska CC, Windy City CC, Fargo CC)

2-2 Team Miller (Chicago CC)

2-2 Team Dickson (Chicago CC)

1-3 Team D’Arco (Windy City CC)

1-3 Team Torkelson (Windy City CC)

Based on their records, Team Klus, Team Axelsson, and Team Brundidge were awarded spots in the semifinals. A tiebreaker game was held to determine whether Team Miller or Team Dickson would be awarded the second slot from Pool B. Team Miller secured a victory and advanced to the semifinals. After some close games, Team Miller and Team Brundidge moved onto the finals of the MCA Mixed Playdowns. Team Brundidge was declared the winner of the MCA Mixed Playdowns after finishing the event undefeated, while Team Miller secured second place.

We look forward to having Team Brundidge represent the MCA at the USCA Mixed Nationals. Thanks to all the teams, coaches, and volunteer timers who attended the MCA Mixed Playdowns. Thanks to Windy City Curling Club for hosting such a great event. Also, as always, we want to extend our gratitude to David Haverick for officiating!

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

Team Miller: Adam Miller, Sara Gaum, Matt Sherry, and Kailey Meyer

 

 

75th Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

From April 10-11, Exmoor Country Club hosted the 75th Annual MCA Dar Curtis Bonspiel. Twelve teams from four regional curling clubs participated in this two-day bonspiel. Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. The event is aimed at curlers who play as leads, seconds, and newer vice skips. The Midwest Curling Association would like to thank Exmoor Country Club for hosting this event, and we would like to extend our gratitude to all the curlers who attended!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 76th Dar Curtis Bonspiel!

1st Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Raymond Stone, George Collins, Carol Collins, and Ben Lovaasen

1st Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Matt Anderson, Lisa Murray, Barb Hesterberg, and Geoff Murray

2nd Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Anthony D’Arco, Scott Maples, Jeff Elborne, and Barry Hutchings

2nd Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Jim Millspaugh, Steve Goldman, Chad Waynee, and Jim Draths

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Matt Peterson, Tycho Spadaro, Micah Singerman, and Eric Bertram

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club and Chicago Curling Club

Michael McHugh, Ryan Tucker, Tamara McHugh, and Kent McKenzie

4th Event Winner: St. Louis Curling Club

Mikhail Kurbatov, Marina Sogrina, Dan Sovar, and Steve Young

4th Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Pete Barber, Elaine Burns, Patty Charhut, and Carol Morita-Torcivia

2021 MCA Men’s Club Playdowns

From March 26-28, seven regional teams participated in the 2021 MCA Men’s Club Playdowns at Exmoor Country Club. Teams from Exmoor Country Club, Chicago Curling Club, Windy City Curling Club, and Waltham Curling Club played a single round-robin (double elimination) format with 8-end games. COVID safety guidelines were in place, games were timed, and a USCA-certified official oversaw the event.

Team Wright was declared the winner of the MCA Men’s Club Playdowns after finishing the round-robin with a 5-1 record. Five teams ended with a 3-3 record post round-robin. In accordance with USCA Competition Guidelines, the head-to-head record of all five teams was compared, and Team Rutherford from Windy City Curling Club secured second place. Thanks to all the teams, coaches, and volunteer timers who attended the MCA Men’s Club Playdowns. Thanks to Exmoor Country Club for hosting such a fantastic event. Also, we want to extend our gratitude to David Haverick for officiating the event!

Team Wright: Jeff Wright, Steve Waters, Steve Wright, Russ Brown, Ken Brown

Team Rutherford: Scott Rutherford, Greg Stewart, Matt Galas, Anthony D’Arco

Round-Robin Results

5-1 Team Wright (Exmoor Country Club)

3-3 Team Rutherford (Windy City Curling Club)

3-3 Team DeGagne (Windy City Curling Club)

3-3 Team Mackinson (Chicago Curling Club)

3-3 Team Salander (Waltham Curling Club)

3-3 Team Tobkin (Chicago Curling Club)

1-5 Team Brown (Exmoor Country Club)

 

13th Annual Five Year & Under

From March 20-21, Windy City Curling Club hosted the MCA 5 Year & Under. Twelve teams from four regional curling clubs participated in this fun, two-day bonspiel. Established in 2007, this open event is free to all MCA members who have played less than five full curling seasons. The event aims to give newer curlers the opportunity to gain more experience and curl against their peers. The Midwest Curling Association would like to thank Windy City Curling Club for hosting such a wonderful event, and we would like to extend our gratitude to all new MCA curlers who attended!

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

1st Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Anthony D’Arco, Scott Maples, Jeff Elborne, and Barry Hutchings

1st Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Nick Schallmo, Koen Brown, Henry Skarecky, and Sam Long (not pictured)

2nd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, Philip Ledbetter, Tim Herrmann, and Ryan Tucker

2nd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Jim Sikma, Max Henderson, Jon Henderson, and Eric Sikma

3rd Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Bella Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Mae Hagenbuch, and Brianna Massey

3rd Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Rob Stonitsch, Dale Burke, Rudy Stonitsch, and Dan Arickx

4th Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Scott Seymour, Oivind Naess, Janet Naess, and Giovanna Seymour

4th Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Magnus Naess, Jack Kinsey, Jan Erik Naess, and Henrik Naess

2021 U18 MCA Regional Playdowns

On February 20th, two girl’s teams and two boy’s teams from the region competed at the 2021 U18 Regional Playdowns at Exmoor Country Club. Teams played a best-of-three format with 8-end games. COVID safety protocols were enforced, games were timed, and a USCA-certified official was present. Established in 2017 by the USCA, the U18 National Championships was created as a regional curling competition for individuals under 18 years old. After a full day of competitive play, Team Hagenbuch from Windy City Curling Club was designated as the champion of the girls’ division, and Team Schallmo from Exmoor Country Club was awarded first in the boys’ division. Thanks to all the coaches and family members who supported their teams! 

We look forward to seeing our regional U18 curlers back in late 2021!

Windy City CC Girl’s Team (Winner): Isabella Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Mae Hagenbuch, and Brianna Massey

Exmoor CC Boy’s Team (Winner): Nick Schallmo, Koen Brown, Henry Skarecky, and Sam Long

Exmoor CC Girl’s Team (Runner-Up): Faith Geake, Kasia Kassner, Noa Yedlin, and Angelina Kassner

Waltham CC Boy’s Team (Runner-Up): Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Logan Fahr, and Dagen Setchell

 

2020-2021 MCA President’s Letter

Midwest Curling Association Member Clubs and Members:

While the curling season might look different this year, for our curlers and clubs, we are excited to get back on the ice! Regionally, we are fortunate that all MCA clubs plan to open their doors this season. Clubs are working diligently to establish safety procedures based on state and local guidelines, and the Midwest Curling Association has been providing support and resources to our regional clubs during this time.

To start the 2020-2021 season, Windy City Curling Club hosted their Food Truck Bonspiel in August with a set of new curling stones. The club ran the event with 15 teams and social distancing guidelines in place. In other news, Chicago Curling Club was able to complete some much-needed upgrades to their ice-making system via an impressive fundraising campaign, which is still ongoing. Cedar Rapids Curling Club, unfortunately, experienced damage to one of their arenas during a recent storm. While damages have caused a delay to their season, Cedar Rapids CC continues to prepare for the 2021 USA Curling National Championships, scheduled for January. Exmoor Country Club also aims to hold the 2021 Men’s Senior National Championships in late January.

Throughout the regular season, the MCA coordinates three bonspiels for their regional members. The Prairie State Challenge, initially scheduled for November, has been canceled due to COVID concerns; however, we plan to move forward with our two other bonspiels pending state and local guidelines. The 5 Year & Under, hosted by Windy City CC, will occur in mid-January, whereas the 75th Dar Curtis Bonspiel, hosted by Exmoor CC, will be held in late February. In addition to annual bonspiels, the MCA coordinates regional playdowns for the U18 Junior Nationals, Club Nationals, and Mixed Nationals. These playdown events are a fantastic opportunity to represent your club and curl competitively against local teams. With a unique curling season ahead, stay up to date on local and regional events by following the MCA Facebook and by visiting the MCA Website.

The Midwest Curling Association is eager to support our members during these times. To give back, the Board of the MCA approved the continuation of the MCA Grant Program. Available to all MCA clubs, the grant money determined by each club’s annual membership can be used to enhance or promote the sport of curling. In addition, the MCA Board approved a one-year 50% reduction in MCA dues based on the current curling climate and the cancelation of one MCA Bonspiel. Earlier this year, the MCA also expanded their stone rental program by purchasing three more complete sets of stones. These stones are now available for use by our regional clubs.

On behalf of the entire MCA curling community, I would like to thank Russ Brown for his hard work and dedication over the last 15 years on the MCA Board. Most recently, he served as our USCA Representative. Moving forward, the Midwest Curling Association and Great Lakes Curling Association will share a representative. We are excited to welcome our new USCA Representative, Courtney Schmidt, from the Great Lakes Curling Association in October.

We look forward to a successful curling season, and we hope you and your families stay safe during this time! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your MCA Representative or myself. We are glad to help!

Good Curling!

Jeff Wright

President, Midwest Curling Association

midwestcurlingassociation@gmail.com

Photo Credit: Marilyn Wilson

74th Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. This year, 16 teams played in the two-day event hosted by Chicago Curling Club. Thank you to all the clubs who attended the bonspiel and congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 75th Dar Curtis Bonspiel!

1st Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Jim Millspaugh, Anthony Fowler, Gloria Chao, and Jack Manierre

1st Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club 

Nate Lenzini, Nick Koch, Zack Hill, and Lis Collins

2nd Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club and Exmoor Country Club

Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Faith Geake

2nd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club and Exmoor Country Club

Audrey Gottschild, Kasia Kassner, Angelina Kassner, and Noa Yedlin

   

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Adam Baxter, Steve Gadlin, Kristina Mitton Baxter, and Matt Miller

3rd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, Brian Keto, Aaron Knowlton, and Kat Wiacek

4th Event Winner: St. Louis Curling Club

Mitch Stoddard, Mitch Sovar, Gina Johnson, and Donald Johnson

4th Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Eric Clifford, Zac Wiles, Brian Jenner, and John Sabatino