By Shane Jones News Staff

No other sporting standouts have done as much to put Sherwood Park on the map as the Ferbey Four.

The curling team of Randy Ferbey, Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque was quite steadfast in informing all those that would listen that they were a Sherwood Park team, not an Edmonton team, as they dominated the sport for most of the early 2000s.

Along with fifth Dan Holowaychuk and coach Brian Moore, the Ferbey Four won the Alberta Championship five times, the Brier Canadian Championship four times and the World Championship three times, in addition to a multitude of other tournament titles and honours.

As a result, the Sherwood sweepers could not have been more deserving of the honour when they were amongst a group of four to go up on the Millennium Place Sports Wall of Recognition earlier this month.

Ferbey, Nedohin and Pfeifer all reside in Sherwood Park and St. Paul native Rocque went to Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School for a year and lived with his aunt so he could curl at a higher level.

The Ferbey Four previously won the county’s highest honour, the Mayor’s Award, during the 2002 Pride of Strathcona Awards, but it was obvious being permanently enshrined on the Wall of Recognition was something even more special.

“I would like to thank Strathcona County for nominating us for this wonderful award,” Ferbey said. “It is an absolute honour to be included on this wall along with these other recipients. As everyone knows, you can’t achieve the goals that we did, or any other athlete in sports does, without the support of your family and friends. I’ve done a few good things in my life, but I’ve always said the two most important were to marry my wife and move to Sherwood Park. The support we got in Sherwood Park resonates and was second to none. It’s a wonderful place to live and to raise a family and I look forward to my kids looking at our picture up on this wall for years to come. Even though they won’t admit that and are probably quite embarrassed by it.”

Pfeifer said he is very familiar with Millennium Place and is looking forward to getting the added boost from seeing his picture prominently displayed in future visits.

“I moved here about 11 years ago when this facility was being opened and we’ve experienced how wonderful a place it is over the years,” he said. “I remember coming here many times and looking up at this wall and seeing all the people that have had a positive contribution on the county. I can’t tell you how honoured I am, and our team is, to be included up here. We still frequent this facility and every time we walk in here it will be neat to look up and be really proud of what we accomplished and think of how much Strathcona County supported us.”

Nedohin credited the strength of competitive curling in the region for driving his team forward to national and international success.

“There is an incredible curling community in Sherwood Park and the Edmonton area,” he said. “I probably should be thanking Randy Ferbey for letting me curl with him and all of our success, but I’m not. I’m actually going to thank Kevin Martin. That might sound weird, but the curling around here is so good that success inspires other people to be successful. It inspires you to work harder and to commit yourself. Kevin Martin set the bar when this team first came together. We knew he was the team we had to beat and we set our minds to doing everything possible to do that. We were able to do that. We had an incredible run of success and I know that has inspired other teams from the area as well. There are fantastic curlers from Sherwood Park like Olympic medalist Carter Rycroft and world champions like Don Walchuk. The list goes on, and on the women’s side as well. Having these pictures on the wall is just going to inspire more people to try and have similar success in their sports.”

It was only the second time new names have gone up since the initial 11 inductees in 2001.

Four additional names were added in 2007.

 

Luke Coley – Curling Examiner

As another calender year is set to turn the page, the curling season builds toward some major events in 2012. The month of January has many exciting events for curling fans to look forward to after another successful year of curling.

As another calender year is set to turn the page, the curling season builds toward some major events in 2012. The month of January has many exciting events for curling fans to look forward to after another successful year of curling.

The 2011 curling season brought us the trial of the five rock rule at the Canadian Open, the second grand slam of the event of the year, to try and create more scoring and excitement in games. The scoring went up but the jury is still out on whether the new rule will be implemented into more events in the future.

Before that experiment, the first two teams into the 2013 Canadian Olympic curling trials were declared at the Canada Cup of Curling. Kevin Martin topped Glenn Howard and continues to have Howard’s number in head to head battles. Martin will have the opportunity to play for another Olympic trip in 2014. On the women’s side it was Jennifer Jones getting the first spot when she beat fellow Winnipegger Chelsea Carey in the final. The 2013 trials will be held in Winnipeg.

With those events behind us, the focus is on January events which include the beginning of provincial playdowns in Canada and national playdowns all over the world. For provincial updates in Canada follow curling.ca.

Before some of the men’s teams get into the provincial championships, the third grand slam of the year hits Dawson Creek, BC beginning January 25th. Mike McEwen and his team will try to win their second straight slam after winning the Canadian Open in December.

The Grand Slam event will have some European teams taking part as they extend their stay in Canada after playing for the Continental Cup in Langley. In a tremendous field, Team World will look to make up for an embarrassing loss last year. The team features the recently crowned European Champions from Scotland skipped by Eve Muirhead. Joining Muirhead will be the team they beat at the Europeans in Sweden’s Anette Norberg along with China’s Bingyu Wang. On the men’s side, European silver medallist Niklas Edin will join Scotland’s Tom Brewster and European champion Thomas Ulsrud of Norway.

The team from North America tasked with trying to win in back to back years will be led by World Champion Jeff Stoughton, joined by the team he beat to win last season’s Brier, Glenn Howard and from the States will be Pete Fenson. On the women’s side of things it will be a Saskatchewan duo representing Canada in Canadian Champion Amber Holland and Stefanie Lawton. Joining them from south of the 49th will be Patti Lank. North America holds a 4-3 record over the World all time.

As we say goodbye to another great year of curling in 2011, 2012 is sure to have more memorable moments in the roaring game. January’s busy schedule will help to welcome in the new year, as we watch the rocks fly in 2012.

 

 

By Sandra Johnson – Yahoo! Contributor Network

Those in charge of USA Curling’s Sport Education program are taking strides to help novice and elite curlers alike improve curling techniques.

The book is designed to help coaches and athletes gain “world-class knowledge and expertise,” according to a press release from USA Curling. The book, which addresses the technical aspect of the sport, is the first in a series of books that will present five core components that are essential for curling success.

The Five Elements manual from USA Curling Sport Education is the most comprehensive technical manual on the curling delivery ever put together,” 2010 Olympian John Benton told USA Curling. “There is no longer one way to throw a curling stone. The truth is that there have been, and always will be, many ways to slide the granite down the sheet. But (co-author and coach) Roger Schmidt figured out that the best curlers, regardless of their delivery type, all had the same five principles or ‘elements’ in common.

“This manual explains those elements and helps us to understand how to teach and apply them in any situation with any curler. Breaking down the delivery process in this way is a groundbreaking method, which allows for differing ages, genders, and body types to have more immediate success delivering the curling stone. Not to mention that it gives coaches and instructors a common language and method for teaching a delivery to anyone who wants to learn.”

In the future, The Five Elements of Curling Techniques also will be used as part of the USA Curling certification program, according to the press release.

The book will be available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Google Books. The second part of the series, which will focus on shot-making, will be available in the fall of 2012, according to the press release.

Those wishing to read a preview of the book can do so by visiting usacurl.org.

Sandra Johnson is a long-time Olympic fan. She had the opportunity to learn about every Olympic sport while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By Warren Henderson – Kelowna Capital News

January

• Kelowna junior curlers Justin Nillson and Jenn Gerow both place third at the B.C. Junior Curling Championships held in North Vancouver.

• Kelowna curler Bob Ursel is sidelined due to injury after a knee ailment keeps him from being able to curl. Jim Cotter replaces Ursel as skip at the B.C. Championships.

• Kelly Scott captures her fourth B.C. Curling Championship since 2005, winning the B.C. Scotties Championships in Cloverdale.

February

April

• The Garry Gelowitz rink wins the 2011 Canadian Masters Men’s Curling title with a 6-3 win over Manitoba in Winnipeg.

 

 

By Frederick Melo – Pioneer Press

The St. Paul Curling Club’s auxiliary site, the Biff Adams Arena in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, has a new tenant that looks much like its previous tenant, but isn’t.

Ramsey County Parks and Recreation is entering into a five-year lease agreement with TC3 Inc., otherwise known as the new “Biff Adams Curling Club,” to oversee the arena’s operation.

The Biff Adams curlers are former members of the St. Paul Curling Club who incorporated to establish their own identity and help the sport grow.

“They’re on their own this year,” said curler Scott Jerylo of White Bear Lake, a 20-year veteran of the sport. “They used to be an offshoot of us.”

Given waning interest in hockey and ice skating in urban, multicultural areas such as Frogtown, municipal leaders have spent long hours pondering how to save ice arenas such as Biff Adams from closing for good.

As suburban hockey fans sought facilities closer to home, the 1970s-era county hockey arena lost about $70,000 in 2010.

Then along came curling, an old sport generating renewed interest. The past few Winter Olympics have spawned a resurgence in curling, a 500-year-old Scottish tradition that lands somewhere between shuffleboard and chess on ice, with touches of broomball.

“I’m thrilled. I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Ramsey County commissioner Janice Rettman, who had struggled to get hockey groups and tennis clubs to show interest in the Biff Adams arena.

“I didn’t want to lose the facility. I didn’t want it to be mothballed and become this relic, when it’s got great ice,” Rettman said.

In curling, players push large, round puck-like objects, or “stones,” across the ice toward target areas and win points for positioning stones closest to the heart of their targets.

Sweepers use brooms to alter the ice in front of the stones as they glide, affecting their trajectory.

“It may look like, ‘What are they doing?’ But it’s work! It’s real work,” Rettman said. “You’re going to be sweating, working out there.”

The lease at 743 N. Western Ave., which begins New Year’s Day, is set at a monthly rate of $1,250 for the first two years, $1,400 for the third year and $1,500 for years four and five.

The rental fees will be placed into a capital improvement fund to pay for updates to the building and grounds. The Biff Adams club will be responsible for the curling program, ice operations, routine building maintenance, snowplowing of the parking lot, mowing and general grounds maintenance as well as utilities and other operating expenses.

The county first entered into a use agreement at Biff Adams with the St. Paul Curling Club in 2010, then updated the lease through Dec. 31, 2011.

With more than 1,100 members, the St. Paul Curling Club is believed to be the largest in the country. The club was established in 1888 and is based at 470 Selby Ave., which has been “busting at the seams” with people on the waiting list, Rettman said.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.