Bron­cos re­con­nect with team­mates and com­mu­nity

The Southwest Booster - - SPORTS - STEVENMAH SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

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.

“When I

knew it

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.

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