Four ath­letes head to Al­berta Win­ter Games

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS - Terri Hux­ley

Four in­di­vid­u­als will be a part of the Al­berta win­ter games in Fort Mc­Mur­ray come Fe­bru­ary 16.

The week­end event fea­tures an ar­ray of sports for ath­letes to com­pete. This in­cludes archery, speed skat­ing, snow­board­ing, squash, syn­chro­nized swim­ming, vol­ley­ball, wrestling, ringette, hockey, freestyle ski­ing, fenc­ing, curl­ing, cross coun­try ski­ing, biathlon, bad­minton, and gym­nas­tics.

Hai­ley Ken­ney of Rock­y­ford area and Madi­son Wheeler of Stan­dard will be play­ing on the girls ringette team. The 16 - csyear - old's are ex­tremely ex­cited to be at­tend­ing this year's games.

“I look for­ward to mostly play­ing with my friends, es­pe­cially since they are com­ing to the win­ter games so it makes it more fun,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler is a for­ward and cur­rently plays on the Rock­y­ford U19A Big Coun­try team and at­tends Wheat­land Cross­ing School. She has been play­ing since she was five with 11 years ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing ringette.

This is Ken­ney's sec­ond Al­berta Win­ter Games as she also par­tic­i­pated in Medicine Hat 2016 Win­ter Games with the Zone 2 team. They placed fourth that year. She plays de­fence and also plays on the Rock­y­ford U19A Big Coun­try team and at­tends Wheat­land Cross­ing School. She has played ringette since she was four years old with now 12 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the sport.

“It's re­ally cool be­cause the last time I went, we were rep­re­sent­ing peo­ple from our zone,” said Ken­ney. “Def­i­nitely [look­ing for­ward to] get­ting more skill and ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause it is very high skill from the high­est com­pe­ti­tion so I'm def­i­nitely work­ing my hardest to try and get gold.”

Try­outs be­gan last De­cem­ber in In­dus, Air­drie, and Ch­ester­mere. Each player was re­quired to at­tend all three as each had dif­fer­ent com­po­nents that were fo­cused on.

“The one was all skill and then there's half skill, half play-time, and then one is just full play­ing time,” ex­plained Wheeler.

The eight zones com­pete against each other to win. “The top two out of each pool play off and then the win­ners get to go to the gold medal game and the losers get to go to the bronze medal game,” ex­plained Ken­ney.

Drumheller res­i­dent Brian Cur­ran is act­ing as men­tor for the male hockey team and 12-year-old Chase Walker of Bye­moor will be one of the hockey play­ers un­der Cur­ran's wing.

The win­ter games are ex­pected to run from Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 16 to Mon­day, Fe­bru­ary 19.

Sub­mit­ted.

(l-r) Madi­son Wheeler and Hai­ley Ken­ney stand to­gether to rep­re­sent the Rock­y­ford and Stan­dard area. They were both ac­quired to play ringette in the 2018 Al­berta Win­ter Games held in Fort Mc­Mur­ray.

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