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The year that was in sport for 2013

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Taber Times

Each and every year, a number of sports stories grab our attention. Whether it is a team that comes out of nowhere to overachieve and take a league title, or an individual that rises to the top, sports has a way of captivating us. Here are the top local sports stories of 2013.

JANUARY: Taber’s girls basketball teams head into 2013 on a strong note. The W.R. Myers Rebels win the consolation final of a tournament in Coaldale, with a 54-51 win over the Magrath Pandas. The St. Mary’s Auroras finish 2012 strong with a tournament title in Vauxhall. A 3-0 record included a 60-45 victory against the host Queens.

The Taber bantam Golden Suns start 2013 with a 4-2 win over the Red Deer Steel Kings. Meanwhile, the Southern Central Alberta Hockey League names its all-stars, and a number of Suns are represented. Kolten Heins and Landon Veluw make the cut as forwards from the peewee team, as the team’s goalie, Carl Tetachuk, is also selected. From the bantam ranks, Kaden Fujita earns an all-star nod, along with Logan Middleton. Rounding out the all-star selections are midget players Wyatt Macleod, Matt Kaga and Matt Perin.

Jan Seweryn is named Taber’s new recreational facilities manager. Born and raised in Poland, Seweryn comes to Taber after a stint as a facilities manager for Estevan in Saskatchewan, after he also spent time in Kelowna.

The Auroras and Rebels girls continue hot starts to 2013, as Myers wins another consolation tournament title, highlighted by a 50-44 win over Crescent Heights, while St. Mary’s made it to the final of its home tournament, only to fall 61-47 to a powerhouse squad from Pincher Creek, the St. Michael’s Dragons.

The atom Tier 1 Oil Kings travel to Moose Jaw and take home the tournament title. Taber dominates with wins of 15-0, 16-0, two 9-0 wins and a 6-0 victory, as Brayden Peters records all five shutouts.

An injury-depleted Rebels squad pushes Cardston to the brink, and has the game tied at 58 at one point, before the wheels come off and the W.R. Myers boys basketball team falls 81-63 at home.

Skip Ron Hawkins and his rink of John Lohues, Tom Bond and Greg Schenkel win the 2013 Men’s Open Bonspiel in Taber. Ken Hirsche takes second in the first event, while Steve Andrews takes the second event, and Kevin Leahy earns first in the third event.

FEBRUARY: The Rebel Classic proves to be a shot in the arm for the W.R. Myers Rebels girls basketball team, as a championship title is the end result. The Taber team caps off the weekend with a 56-43 win in the final over Coaldale’s Kate Andrews. The Rebels boys finish third.

The Taber recreation board gets a first-hand look at home much the M.D. of Taber contributes for recreation for the community. The board learns the M.D. has approved $151,787 for 2013 grant funding, plus an additional $5,000 to assist in utilities costs. The funding is equal to the M.D.’s 2012 contributions.

Only one Taber Golden Suns team makes the playoffs, as the midgets settle for sixth place in the south division with a 7-23-3 record. The bantams fail to make it to the postseason after a 3-1 loss to Foothills. With the team’s season on the line, Taber drops the contest and falls to seventh place in the south. The peewees end the year on a high note with a 4-3 win over Airdrie, but finish with a 6-23-3 record, good enough for seventh place.

Numerous medals are won by locals at the Canadian Indoor National FCA Archery Championships in Medicine Hat. Pete Lehman takes bronze, Nathan Sekura earns gold, Monica Higgins shoots her way to silver, George Vayro earns silver, Linda Sekura takes home silver, Connie Milan wins bronze, Frances Kadoyama brings home silver and Nick Sekura caps it off with another silver.

MARCH: The Barnwell Lady Trojans make history as the Tier 1 girls basketball team becomes the first small 2J school to win the 4J unlimited enrolment south zone banner. After a regular season where the team lost only once, toy Regina’s 5A Campbell Collegiate, the 24-1 Trojans cruised to the south zone title, which h started with a 69-14 win over Medicine Hat’s Crescent Heights.

Emily Burke of the W.R. Myers wrestling team earns silver at provincials in Edmonton in the 90-kilogram division. Sonja Waeckerlin, Lucas Scribner and Dylan McMurdo also competed for Myers.

The Taber atom “A” Oil Kings team earns silver at provincials after a dramatic 7-6 overtime loss to Drayton Valley. Taber trails 3-0 in the first period and fell behind 5-1 before rallying to send the game to extra time.

The St. Mary’s Auroras host the 1A girls basketball provincial tournament, and emerge with a .500 record. Taber did take an opening-round victory over the Hay Lakes Tigers to start the tournament.

APRIL: The W.R. Myers Rebels prepare for a new season on the baseball field with a former players as its head coach. Mitch Schaafsma takes over as coach, as the team enters Southern Alberta High School Baseball Association play for 2013.

A new pilot project is launched in an attempt to get mini rugby off the ground in Taber. Organizers issue flyers around town and in the schools to try and attract players for teams in grades 305 and grades 6-8. Co-organizer Andrew Llewelyn-Jones said the teams will feature no-contact play, and focus on developing rugby skills.

Several locals make their mark in teakwon-Do, as six students from Merritt’s Ultimate Teakwon-Do compete in regionals in Regina. Mark Planger earns a silver in sparring while Jocelyn Planger brings home gold in patterns and silver for sparring. Renae Mandel take gold in patterns and silver in sparring, Torrance Gedny takes gold in sparring and Montana Berezay earns a silver in patterns and bronze in sparring.

The W.R. Myers Rebels junior varsity rugby team takes two wins at the tournament in Medicine Hat. Myers blanks Medicine Hat 17-0 and shuts out Cardston 7-0.

MAY: The Taber bantam Rebels football team start spring camp, with an eye on developing skills and attracting a few more players to the ranks for the 2013 season.

St. Mary’s School student Tatum Nagai plays in Medicine Hat in the U16 Alberta Cup. Hockey Alberta puts on the tournament, and Nagai was one of the southern Alberta players selected for the local squad. Nagai’s team went 2-2-1 on the weekend.

Locals react to the decision by Hockey Alberta to take checking out of peewee hockey. Hockey Alberta says player safety is at the foundation of the decision, as the provincial organization says evidence suggests removing checking at that age will reduce risks of concussions and injuries overall.

The W.R. Myers Rebels football team starts spring camp with 28 players, and starts thing off with a controlled scrimmage against Coaldale, where Taber scores five times and gives up one score.

Registrations heat up for the Summer Games, as the June 7 deadline looms. Taber prepares to host the games in July.

The W.R. Myers Rebels junior varsity rugby team finishes its season in style with a 2-1-1 record at the JV Wrap-Up Festival in Medicine Hat, which features a 14-5 win over Medicine Hat High and a 7-0 victory over Vulcan.

Brandi Merritt comes out of retirement and takes two golds and a bronze at the 2013 National Teakwon-Do Championships in Quebec City. She qualifies for the world championships in October in Spain.

JUNE: The team of Mason and Kaleb Muller, Kevin Turner, Gavin Hoskins and Bartek Zukowski take third place in the under-40 category at the Cactus Coulee Crawl in Lethbridge, despite the fact not one runner on the team is over 14 years old. The team takes fifth overall in the event.

The Taber Viper Swim Club takes fourth in total team points in the first meet of the season, held in Brooks.

The Barnwell Trojans track and field team rolls to its first straight 2J zone championship. Barnwell earns 49 points, while the second-place team has only 29.

Emily Bradbury headlines a class of all-stars selected from the W.R. Myers Rebels rugby team, as the Grade 12 is also in consideration for the East Division MVP award.

St. Mary’s honours its athletes, as Josh Cruz and Chalsea Kerner win the male and female athlete of the year awards. Kalen Muller and Jordan Oleksyn share the junior male honour, while Rae-Anne Vayro wins the female award.

JULY: The M.D. of Taber takes first place overall as Taber hosts the 2012 Southern Alberta Summer Games. Taber leads the way in athlete participation, medal count and total points. The Games are held successfully despite a late-Friday hail and rain storm that puts a damper on things, and forces the cancellation of one event.

Over $1,400 is raised for Alberta flood victims as the Taber Agri-Plex hosts the 3rd Annual Barrel Race.

Josh Burks is the big winner at the Taber Pro Rodeo, as the cowboy takes home $1,145 for his first-place finish in the bullriding event. Kyle Bowers takes the bareback riding, and $959, while Josh Harden wins $1.135 for his steer-wrestling win. Kale McKenzie earns 1,052 for winning and saddle bronc, while Jose Brodoway and Casey Weerstra share $2,086 for winning the team roping.

The Taber Police Service soccer team falls 3-1 to a Taber U16 team in a charity game that raises funds for the food bank.

Vauxhall Spurs baseball team players and coaches shave off their long locks of hair in support of teammate Riley Martin, who is set to undergo chemotherapy treatments for cancer.

Later in the month, the Spurs earn a spot in the State tournament after a solid showing in districts, which the team hosted. Vauxhall defeats the Great Falls Electrics 13-8 in the “B” side eliminator to advance to the next stage of play.

Stefan Adams beats the odds and records two hole-in-ones on the golf course in Taber in July. He accomplishes the feat on hole No. 6 and hole No. 2.

AUGUST: Brett Kuryvial three-pats as the Taber Golf Club men’s club champion, with rounds of 74 and 73.

Entering his seventh season in the NHL, Taber’s Devin Setoguchi prepares to take to the ice with a new team. The former first-round pick of the San Jose Sharks prepares for life back in Canada as a new member of the Winnipeg Jets. Setoguchi is traded to the Manitoba team from the Minnesota Wild.

Cathy Fisher wins yet another women’s title during the Taber Golf Club’s Ladies Club Championship tournament. With rounds of 76 and 83, Fisher runs away with the win by a commanding 12 strokes.

The foursome of Danielle Wright, Genna Wright, Renae Saunders and Isabelle Bennett win bronze at the ASSA summer swimming provincials. The Taber Viper Swin Club members medal in the 14-and-under 200-metre free relay.

Enchant’s Randy Howg is part of a group whose horse, Broadway Empire, wins the Canada Derby at Northlands Park. The win came with a purse of $200,000. Howg and two co-owners bought the horse for $25,000.

SEPTEMBER: It is announced the Taber Aquafun Centre is to be closed for an extended period of time to replace the PVC liner in the lap pool and in the waterside landing pool. The facility is to be closed Sept. 16-Nov. 17.

Several Taberites take part in the 2013 Senior Men’s and Women’s Slo-Pitch Canadian Championshios. For the first time, Alberta won both the men’s and women’s titles, as Jeff Zanolli helps the men’s team claim gold with 21-19 and 21-20 victories over Ontario.

The W.R. Myers Rebels football team drops a 30-6 game to the Winston Churchill Bulldogs, after two earlier victories in preseason play. Myers did pitch a shutout in the second half, after spotting the city team to a 30-point lead.

OCTOBER: The St. Mary’s Auroras junior varsity volleyball team earns silver at a tournament in Vulcan. The team also carried a 4-0 record in the weekend after league play.

The wheels are in motion for a potential agreement between the Vauxhall Academy of Baseball and the Sendai Ikuei Gakuen School in Japan,w which may see the programs participate in player and coach exchanges.

Claresholm defeats the W.R. Myers Rebels football team 27-7, using a passing attack, as three long pass plays allowed the Cobras to steal a win in Division “B” action.

The recreation board outlines keep priorities for the future, and comes up with two top priorities — a multi-use sportsplex to maximize the use of singular facilities and the completion of Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park, including washroom facilities.

The midget “AA” Golden Suns finally break into the win column to improve its record to 1-6. The win comes against the north division leaders, Red Deer, by a score of 5-3. Red Deer was 7-0 heading into the game.

The W.R. Myers Rebels football team takes a 14-7 win over Coaldale at the team preps for the playoffs. The win puts the Rebels over the .500 mark.

Town council receives a Summer Games wrap up, and is told 2,113 athletes participated, along with 153 athletes. The Taber team alone had 479 athletes.

NOVEMBER: Barnwell Trojans boys volleyball team continues its dominance by taking the 2J zone banner. The team also won five of the six tournaments it entered.

Four Taberites competed in the AAU World Powerlifting and Feats of Strength Championships in Las Vegas. Brad Wilson, Braden Gardner, Clay Sparks and Randy Sparks all took top finishes in their categories.

Kaleb and Mason Muller won medals at the Western Canadian Single Distance Meet in Saskatchewan. The speedskaters combine for four golds and two bronze medals.

Sam Bennett receives the coach-of-the-year award at the Southern Alberta Girls Volleyball League awards ceremony. Bennett coached the W.R. Myers girls team on the season, which also had Caroline Steinborn represent the team as a second-team all-star.

The St. Mary’s Storm makes it two years in a row as champions in the junior varsity and varsity volleyball County of Lethbridge leagues for both genders. The varsity Storm end the season with a 35-9 record.

DECEMBER: The Taber Gymnastics Club pitches its case to town council for funding for a new building. The club says it has gown to serve almost 200 children, and has purchased land downtown for a new building.

Taber’s Billie-Jo Ferguson competes in the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Las Vegas, and covers a distance of 42.2 kilometres. She hopes to use the marathon, and future events, to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Rebels basketball teams have early-season success, as the W.R. Myers girls win the tournament title at Sturgeon Composite near Edmonton. Myers wins the final 65-30 over Louis St. Laurent. The boys win the Kate Andrew Christmas Classic with a 75-74 win over Immanuel Christian.

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