Broncos reconnect with teammates and community
Over 30 alumni returned to the city to reconnect with their former teammates and community at the 2013 WW Smith Insurance Swift Current Broncos Alumni Golf Classic.
Alumni Jeremy Rondeau was putting the finishing touches on the event Friday afternoon as the practice round got underway.
“It feels good because some guys are starting to roll in now, so it starts to build a little bit of excitement. Guys are coming back to town and seeing some of their old buddies that they played with. We have all kinds of ages here too, from the old boys to the young boys. It is pretty exciting just to see it come together again.”
He said it was another good turnout.
“Last year we had about 34-35 and we are at about that same mark again this year. I have 34 on my list, assuming that they all show up. Hopefully that becomes an average for us and we can expect to have 35’ish every year.”
Rondeau and his wife took over the event a few years ago.
was going to turn over and they needed somebody to get involved Kirstin and I jumped on board just because we had been there and we wanted to keep it going and wanted to try and get more and more of these guys back in the city just to reconnect and have fun. Then to reconnect with the city and the hockey club and whether it is billets or friends that they had made during their time here and to give a little bit back also.”
He said he was exposed to the alumni tournament during his playing days in Swift Current from 1995-99.
“For me, coming back to Swift Current it was an opportunity to get back involved with the hockey club. When I played here I had the opportunity to play in the golf tournament, that was my first exposure to it. So I saw lots of these guys back in the day. I was at tournaments where it was full and it was just awesome. It was so much fun to get back together and share some stories and some laughs.”
One of the alumni out on the course was Michael Stickland, who skated for the Broncos from 2008-10.
“It is good. There are all the familiar faces and you get to see people that you haven’t seen for a year or longer, so it is always nice to come back,” said the Red Deer native.
He was reuniting with former teammates such as Derek Claffey, Jordan Evans, Spencer McAvoy, Matt Tassone and Justin Dowling.
“I just think it is important to stay in touch with those guys that you had such a close bond with on the team. People underestimate the power of that friendship with the guys that you played with. It is just nice to keep in touch.”
Stickland says he keeps in touch with many of his Broncos teammates.
“Even if it is just a message here or there. It might be that often but just to keep up on who’s where and how everyone is doing.”
Stickland is currently studying business at St. Mary’s University and completed his third season with Huskies.
“Our team was actually really good. We overachieved probably in a lot of people’s eyes. We got to go to Nationals in Saskatoon and came up just short in the final game. It was a pretty neat experience.”
Swift Current Broncos Hall of Famer Andy Schneider (1989-93) was also out on the course over the weekend.
“It is nice to come back and see a lot of the players that you played with,” said Schneider, who is now a scout with the Columbus Blue Jackets. “Darren McLean is here this year for the first time and I haven’t seen him in 20 years since the Memorial Cup, the last tournament that we played in. It is just a great thing to come back and talk about old times and see a lot of old friends.”
McLean played two seasons in Swift Current from 1992-94 and was a member of the 1993 WHL Championship team.
“It has been 20 years since I have been in this town so there has definitely been some nostalgia coming back and driving into town.