Months, weeks, days and hours of preparation at the Carlyle Curling Club had been finalized and the Southern Senior Men’s Playdowns, February 9 – 12, 2012, were ready to begin. Sixteen teams from southern Saskatchewan were in Carlyle to compete for four spots at provincials in Foam Lake February 22 – 26, 2012. Max Kirkpatrick of Swift Current, Kelly Yorga of Assiniboia, Garry Kreutzer of Osage, Trent Brister of Whitewood, Larry Kreklewich of Melville, Ray Krupski of Lemberg, Vic Rogers of Fort Qu’Appelle, Bruce Hipkin of Lumsden and John Vallance, Bill Weppler, Al Kehler, Al Schick, Brad Law, Doug Normand, Don Baber and Art Assman, all of Regina, began the four day competition all hoping for wins on the board.
Play began Thursday afternoon with the first draw followed by the opening ceremonies, with master of ceremonies Tom Farnden. The sound of the bagpipes, by piper Regan Miller, started the procession with Cpl. Kelly Guider of the RCMP and flag bearers, Liam Shirley and Gavin Walter of the Moose Mountain Air Cadets, leading the way. Carlyle junior curlers, all wearing matching Carlyle Curling Club t shirts, led the teams onto the ice. It was a great honor for these young curlers to be included and each one was introduced along with their team, and received a Carlyle Curling Club pin and a Saskatchewan Curling Association pin. The Brown family sang O Canada, followed by words of welcome from Souris Moose Mountain MP Ed Komarnicki, Carlyle Mayor Don Shirley, RM of Moose Mountain representative Jack Wilson and Curling Club President Kirk Himmelspach. Teams were introduced by Barb Swallow of Maryfield, SCA Region Director, and Kent and Myrla Holland, event coordinators, were presented with SCA Volunteer pins. Wilbur Hume, representing the more senior curlers, held the broom for the ceremonial first rock, thrown by Kirk Himmelspach. Sweeping hard to bring it into the house were Mercedes Sackman and Lane Newell, two of the club’s junior curlers.
Friday was a full day of curling with teams on the ice by 8:30 a.m. Merit Ford of Carlyle generously sponsored a delicious lasagna luncheon, prepared by Shelley Slykhuis, for over 90 curlers and guests which brought everyone together to enjoy the fellowship of the game. Singer/songwriter, Lorri Solomon of Carlyle, entertained with a number of musical selections during the meal.
Volunteers were kept busy all weekend serving a variety of menu items and supper specials. 50/50 and raffle draws allowed a few lucky people the good fortune of having an extra prize to take home. The Carlyle and District Museum had a display set up at the curling club where everyone was able to read about the history of curling in Carlyle, view pictures and also see first-hand the equipment the game was played with years ago.
After four days of curling, the teams advancing to provincials were A Qualifier, Max Kirkpatrick of Swift Current, B Qualifier Bill Weppler of Regina, and the two C Qualifiers, Trent Brister of Whitewood and Al Schick of Regina.
The Carlyle Curling Club and the host committee were very pleased with the event and were especially grateful to the sponsors and to the many volunteers who put in countless hours to ensure the event was a success. Proof of all this hard work was in the thank yous and compliments extended to everyone throughout the weekend and the Carlyle Curling Club did a fantastic job of promoting the club, the Town of Carlyle and the whole community to the visitors who attended the playdowns.