MCA: How to Get Involved

73rd Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. This year, 12 teams played in the two-day event hosted by Waltham Curling Club, the oldest curling club in Illinois. Thank you to all the clubs who attended the bonspiel and congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next Dar Curtis Bonspiel!

1st Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club 

Todd Mackinson, Patrick Schuster, Jimmy Klus, and Brian Keto

1st Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Liberty Salander

2nd Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club and Waltham Curling Club

Anthony Fowler, Gloria Chao, Cameron Rittenour, and Bradley Anderson

2nd Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Grant Scrits, and Mason Videgar

3rd Event Winner: Waltham Curling Club

Nick Haws, Angela Haws, Ryne Krall, and Scott Tiezi

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Tom Arra, Linda Arra, Lori Cassidy, and Chris Arra

4th Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

James-Grant Robertson, David Shore, Katharine Wiacek, and Phil Ledbetter

4th Event Runner-up: St. Louis Curling Club

Mikhail Kurbatov, Ana Paris, Emma Rohrbach, and Sam Smith

Get to Know the 2019 MCA Board and Representatives

The Midwest Curling Association (MCA), a regional association of the United States Curling Association (USCA), was founded in 1945. The purpose of the MCA is to promote the game of curling at the nine regional curling clubs located in Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.

The MCA Board is composed of four main positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. On top of that, each club within the region has a representative. Lastly, a USCA representative rounds out the team. The president of the MCA has a two-year team, whereas, all other positions are up for election every year.

We asked our board members and representatives a few questions so the regional curling community could get to know the individuals behind the Midwest Curling Association. Please enjoy reading their responses below.

David Jamros – MCA President

Where are you from?
Resides in Downers Grove, IL. Member of Windy City Curling Club.

How long have you been curling?
David has been curling for 12 years. After watching the Olympics in college, he decided the sport would be fun. He attended a group outing at Waltham Curling Club, and the rest is history.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
David has been a part of the MCA Board for six years in various capacities. One year as the Waltham representative, one year as the Windy City representative, two years as Vice President, and two years as President.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
David enjoys helping grow the sport at the regional level. In addition, he likes providing another avenue (i.e., MCA bonspiels) for regional clubs to compete against each other.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning the Dar Curtis Bonspiel

 

Jeff Wright – MCA Vice President

Where are you from?
Resides in Libertyville, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Jeff has been curling for 45 years and began after being introduced to the sport by his family.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Jeff has been on the MCA Board for several years. He was initially the Exmoor representative for one year before moving up to Vice President.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Jeff enjoys watching the sport of curling grow at a regional level.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning gold and earning the title of Team USA twice at the USCA Senior National Champions. And winning the bronze medal at the 2018 World Senior Curling Championships.

 

Mark Striblen – MCA Treasurer

Where are you from?
Resides in Glenview, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Mark has been curling for ~18 years. His friend, John Winand invited him to the Golfspiel at Northshore. Mark then attended a learn2curl where his main instructor was Ann Brown. After learning, Mark signed up for a league and after a few nights was hooked.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Mark has been the MCA treasurer for 10+ years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Mark is delighted by the growth of regional curling. He is pleased to watch as clubs gain new members every year and as more clubs are added to the region. In addition, Mark enjoys watching as some MCA clubs transition from arena ice to dedicated ice.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
During his first mixed curling experience, Mark made it to the first event finals at the old Northshore Early Bird Mixed Bonspiel. Also, at his first men’s bonspiel, the Exmoor Men’s Continental, Mark, and his team won the third event.

 

Tonya Henderson MCA Secretary

Where are you from?
Resides in Naperville, IL. Member of Windy City Curling Club.

How long have you been curling? And what got you involved with curling?
Tonya has been curling for three years. She bought her husband a learn2curl session for Christmas and was immediately hooked.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Tonya’s first year on the MCA Board.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
As a new member of the board, Tonya looks forward to learning more about how the MCA supports the region’s curling programs.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Meeting some of the greatest broomstackers in the world

 

Philip Burian – Cedar Rapids Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Iowa City, IA.

How long have you been curling?
Philip has been curling for five years. He started by attending a learn2curl out of curiosity. His main goal for attending the session was to get a picture with a broom as a gag. It turned out he enjoyed the sport so much that he became instantly enamored.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Philip has been a representative for one year.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Philip appreciates the exchange of local information and advice that comes along with being apart of the MCA; in addition, he enjoys the opportunities offered by the MCA to curl on dedicated ice at MCA events.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
While Philip’s most embarrassing accomplishments come to mind more quickly, he was most proud when he watched Cedar Rapid’s club members take the day off work to volunteer at a corporate mini-spiel that raised over $5,000 for United Way.

 

Jim Wilson – Chicago Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in the Winnetka, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Jim has been curling for 50+ years. His parents belonged to the Madison Curling Club, which was the hub of their social life. In high school, he played on the boy’s varsity curling team for three years.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Jim’s first year as an MCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Jim likes the idea of helping curling evolve and grow in our area at an opportune time due to last years Olympic success. He believes that if we can help individual clubs and events thrive, then the MCA is doing their job.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
The 1985 Men’s National Championship win and the subsequent semi-final finish at the World Championships, the Silver Broom.

 

Michael Sible – Des Moines Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Winterset, IA.

How long have you been curling?
Michael saw curling in the Olympics many years ago and threw his first stones at St. Paul Curling Club in 2002.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Michael has been a representative for two years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
He appreciates how the MCA allows him to get perspectives from other clubs on their operations and goals.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Taking Des Moines Curling Club from 24 members to 66 members

 

Steve Wright – Exmoor Country Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Libertyville, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Steve has been curling since he was 16 years old and was introduced to the sport by his father, Jeff Wright.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
This is Steve’s first year as an MCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Steve looks forward to learning more about how the association is comprised and how it can help grow the sport of curling.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
His 2nd place finish at the Club National Championships and his 8-ender

 

Becca Walters – St. Louis Curling Club Representative
 
Where are you from?
Resides in St. Louis, MO.

How long have you been curling?
Becca has been curling for 12 years. She was introduced to curling after attending an open house with a coworker in Seattle. A year after the open house, she signed up for a novice league and has been curling ever since.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Becca has been a representative for two years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Becca has enjoyed getting to know and become friends with curlers from other clubs in the MCA. She has also appreciated the opportunity to participate in the MCA Illinae Bonspiel.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
On Ice: Winning the A event at the Illinae Bonspiel and being runner-up in the A event at the Granite Curling Club Women’s Spiel and the Waltham Mixed Bonspiels. Off Ice: Contributing to the growth and expansion of St. Louis Curling Club which had no ice for several years prior to her arrival, but after much hard work now has 80+ members, runs multiple leagues, and hosts several bonspiels.

 

Steve Parke – Waltham Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Bloomington, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Steve has been curling for 13 years. He was first introduced to outdoor curling on a ski trip to Zermatt, Switzerland. That trip was immediately followed up by a group trip to Waltham Curling Club.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
He has been on the MCA Board for a year. Previously, he served as a club representative for Illinois Central Curling Club.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the Midwest Curling Association?
Steve appreciates being able to call into MCA meeting by phone and learn about the progress of curling in the region.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Teaching new people and watching them enjoy the sport

 

Walter Burns – Wilmette Curling Club Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Lake Forest, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Walter has been curling for 25 years and was introduced to the sport during a guest night.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Walter has been on the MCA Board for 15 years in various capacities. He has served as a marketing specialist, club representative, and president.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Walter appreciates how the MCA encourages club collaboration which weaves the curling community together.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Walter is still waiting for an eight-ender

 

Jeff Sampson – Windy City Curling Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Downers Grove, IL.

How long have you been curling?
Jeff has been curling for eight years. His co-worker, David Jamros, got him involved by inviting him to a group outing at Waltham Curling Club.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Jeff has been a representative for five years.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the Midwest Curling Association?
Jeff loves the comradery that each club has with each other and their willingness to help, not only the sport but the individual curlers. From veteran curlers to the brand, spanking, new ones.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Getting Windy City Curling up and running

 

Russ Brown – USCA Representative

Where are you from?
Resides in Lake Forest, IL. Member of Exmoor Country Club.

How long have you been curling?
Russ has been curling for 44 years and was introduced to this sport by his parents and grandparents.

How long have you been on the MCA Board?
Russ has been on the MCA Board for 12 years in various capacities. He has been the Exmoor representative, Vice President, President, historian, and now USCA representative.

What is your favorite part about being involved with the MCA?
Russ enjoys watching new curlers progress in the sport.

What is your proudest curling accomplishment?
Winning the gold medal at Senior Nationals and earning the title of Team USA (twice). Winning the bronze medal at the 2018 Senior World Championships.

Thanks to all the members of the MCA Board for their contributions to our regions curling programs!

Written by: Shannon Brown

2019 MCA Club Playdowns

Congratulations to Team Wright, the winners of the 2019 Midwest Curling Association Men’s Club Playdowns. In March, this team from Exmoor Country Club will compete in the USCA Club National Championships held in Lakeville, Minnesota.  Team members include Jeff Wright, Russ Brown, David Geake, Steve Wright, and Ken Brown.

Between January 11-13, four men’s teams competed in a double round robin at the 2019 MCA Men’s Club Playdowns held at Chicago Curling Club. Team Murphy (Chicago Curling Club) and Team Wright (Exmoor Country Club) began strong with solid victories over Team Stoddard and Filipiak (St. Louis Curling Club), respectively. As gameplay continued, Team Wright and Team Murphy continued to play well and dominated the round robin event. On Saturday, Team Wright pulled out victorious with a 12-9 finish against Team Murphy.

Playdown Results:
5-0   Team Wright (Exmoor Country Club)
3-2   Team Murphy (Chicago Curling Club) 
2-3   Team Filipiak (St. Louis Curling Club) 
   0-5   Team Stoddard  (St. Louis Curling Club)

The Club National Championships began in 2005 and was established to determine the top teams from each region. This year, since only one women’s team registered for the playdowns, Team Gaum from Chicago Curling Club will automictically be sent to nationals as the MCA representatives. Team members include Sara Gaum, Kelly Zahn, Kailey Meyer, and Eleftheria Loughlin.

We look forward to cheering on Team Wright and Team Gaum at the Club National Championships! Thanks to all the teams and spectators who attended the men’s club playdowns. Thanks to Chicago Curling Club for hosting the event. Also, we want to extend our gratitude to Tracy Lawless for officiating the event and to all the volunteers who helped as timers during the competition.

By: Shannon Brown

A Permanent Facility for Windy City Curling Club

Established during the 2014-2015 season, the Windy City Curling Club has utilized arena ice to support their 60 members. Windy City Curling Club is excited to announce that they will be opening their own dedicated curling facility in April 2019. The facility, located in Villa Park, will host three sheets and a full bar offering various beverage options.

The club reached this spectacular goal by partnering with a 3rd party group composed of club members who graciously shouldered the bulk of the financial burden required to construct the facility. Members of the Windy City Curling are excited for the additional opportunities that this new ice will bring. Currently, due to the restrictions involved with arena ice, participation is often capped at 48 curlers. The new facility will allow the club to host more events, welcome more members, and offer a wide variety of leagues to the community. Windy City Curling Club also looks forward to hosting several Midwest Curling Association events at their new facility in the upcoming years!

The Midwest Curling Association is enormously happy for Windy City Curling Club and wants to pass along our congratulation. We look forward to visiting the new club in the upcoming year, and we are eager to attend future bonspiels held at your new facility!

 

Construction in progress at the new facility

 

 

Written by: Shannon Brown

U18 MCA Regional Playdowns

Congratulations to the girl’s team from Waltham Curling Club and the boy’s team from Exmoor Country Club for winning the 2019 U18 MCA Regional Playdowns. In March, both teams as representatives of the MCA will travel to Chaska, Minnesota to compete in the 2019 U18 National Championships.  The girl’s team from Waltham includes Mae Hagenbuch, Genevieve Salander, Bella Hagenbuch, and Liberty Salander. While the boy’s team from Exmoor includes Max Kassner, Nick Schallmo, Koen Brown, and William Ortell.

Waltham Girl’s Team (Winner): Liberty Salander, Genevieve Salander, Mae Hagenbuch, and Bella Hagenbuch

Exmoor Boy’s Team (Winner): Nick Schallmo, William Ortell, Max Kassner, and Koen Brown

On December 27th, three girl’s and three boy’s teams from the region competed at the U18 Regional Playdowns at Exmoor Country Club in Illinois. To determine who would represent the Midwest Curling Association at nationals, teams played a round robin (8 end games). In the morning, the Waltham girls began strong with a 10-2 win against the girl’s rink from Exmoor. The Exmoor boys won 9-0 against the Waltham boy’s team. Teams from St. Louis Curling Club and Exmoor Country Club curled against each other in the next draw. Both the Exmoor girls and boys won with a score of 10-4 and 16-2, respectively. In the afternoon draw, the Waltham girls played secured their spot at Nationals with a 12-3 win against the girl’s team from St. Louis. The Waltham boys beat the team from St. Louis with a score of 12-1. After finishing 2-0, the girl’s team from Waltham Curling Club and boy’s team from Exmoor Country Club secured their spot at the U18 National Championships. With a 1-1 finish, the runner-ups at playdowns were the girl’s team from Exmoor (Faith Geake, Audrey Gottschild, Kasha Kassner, and Audrey Zimmerman) and boy’s team from Waltham (Max Salander, Logan Brandner, Aaron Reddin, Mason Videgar, Dagan Setchell).

Exmoor Girl’s Team (Runner-Up): Audrey ZimmermanFaith Geake, Audrey Gottschild, and Kasha Kassner

Waltham Boy’s Team (Runner-Up): Dagon Setchell, Aaron Reddin, Logan Brandner, and Max Salander

Established in 2017 by the USCA, the U18 National Championships was created as a regional curling competition for individuals under 18 years old. Twelve girls and twelve boys teams will compete from March 12-17, 2019 at the Chaska Curling Center in Minnesota. Good curling to all six teams and thanks for a wonderful event! Also, thanks again to all the coaches, family, and friends for making the trip to support their team! We look forward to cheering on the Midwest Curling Association representatives from Waltham and Exmoor in the upcoming year!

Photographs and Writing by Shannon Brown

A New Addition to the USCA Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Andy Anderson for Chicago Curling Club for receiving the incredible honor of being inducted into the United States Curling Hall of Fame. Members of the Hall of Fame are recognized for their outstanding service and significant contribution to curling within the United States.

Andy has been a prominent member of the United States curling scene for many years. He held the position of president, treasurer, and board of directors member for the United States Curling Association (USCA), Midwest Curling Association (MCA), and his own club, Chicago Curling Club. For the last eight years, Andy served a USCA representative to the World Curling Federation; in addition, he has served as the WCF’s first Director of Finance and acted as director of the WCF board.

Friends and family attended his award ceremony held at Chicago Curling Club. Rick Patzke, the CEO of USA Curling, attended the event. Dave Garber, another recent Hall of Fame inductee, Mark Swandby, and Mike Griem was kind enough to speak about Andy’s many accomplishments. And thanks to Marilyn Wilson for taking all the lovely photographs.

Andy’s dedication and willingness to lead is honorable, and the Midwest Curling Association is proud to congratulate him on this wondrous accomplishment. Thank you, Andy, for all the work you have done for curling on both a worldwide and local level!

Written by: Shannon Brown

11th Annual Five Year & Under

This past weekend, sixteen teams from six regional curling clubs participated in this two-day event graciously hosted by Exmoor Country Club. The 5 Year & Under provides new curlers with the chance to compete against other MCA curlers. Established in 2007, this open event allows those who have played less than five full seasons of curling the opportunity to gain more experience and play against their peers. The Midwest Curling Association would like to thank the host club and to extend our gratitude to all the new MCA curlers for a fantastic bonspiel!

Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Hopefully, we see some of you again at the 2019 5 Year & Under!

1st Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Chris Hadac, Travis Hoyne, Steve Gadlin, and Kimberly Grogan

1st Event Runner-up: Waltham Curling Club

Maxwell Salander, Logan Brandner, Aaron Reddin, and Mason Videgar

2nd Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Greg Torkelson, Girithar Reddy, Zac Wiles, and Tom Sikma

2nd Event Runner-up: St. Louis Curling Club

Mitch Stoddard, Drew Todd (not pictured), Dan Sovar, and Steve Leapley

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club 

Jimmy Klus, Eliot Zeissler, Randall Cross, and Lauren Recchia

3rd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club 

Brian Apel (not pictured), James-Grant Robertson (not pictured), Phil Ledbetter, John Roberts, Eric Reithel (sub), and Mike Lerner (sub)

4th Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Anthony Fowler, Jay Kosziarz (not pictured), Kevin Burns (not pictured), and Jim Drath (not pictured)

4th Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Tonya Henderson, Jon Henderson, Michael Jokela, and Jim Schneider

Written by: Shannon Brown

6th Annual Prairie State Challenge

Established in 2012, the Prairie State Challenge was created to give curlers, especially those who don’t have dedicated facilities, the opportunity to get on the ice for a fun weekend of comradery, gameplay, and socialization. This open event, sponsored by the Midwest Curling Association, is free to MCA members and provides curlers the chance to mingle with other teams in the Midwest region at the beginning of the curling season.

This year, 16 teams from seven regional curling clubs played in the two-day event hosted by Exmoor Country Club and Chicago Curling Club. The Midwest Curling Association would like to extend our gratitude to the clubs who hosted the 2018 Prairie State Challenge and the regional curling clubs who sent teams. Also, congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the next Prairie State Challenge!

1st Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

Matt Brown, Sandy Stevenson, Jim Millspaugh, and Jack Manierre

1st Event Runner-up: Wilmette Curling Club

Aaron DeGagne, Adam Wards, Rebecca Tulloch, and Joshua Nordyke

2nd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club/Exmoor Country Club

Russ Armstrong, Russ Brown, Jeff Warner, and Jeff Wright

2nd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Greg Torkelson, Greg Stewart, Scott Rutherford, and Tom Sikma

3rd Event Winner: Exmoor Country Club

EJ Stern, John Beckwith (not pictured), Ken Groover, and Robo Boyle

3rd Event Runner-up: Chicago Curling Club

Jeff Smaha, John Roberts, Claire Potter, and Cheryl Dudeck

4th Event Winner: Cedar Rapids Curling Club

Cale Tesch, Phil Burian, Packy Moran, and Alyssa Hahn

4th Event Runner-up: Cedar Rapids Curling Club

Al Roder, Murray Marple (not pictured), Ken Heitzman, and Adi Heitzman

Written by: Shannon Brown

A Permanent Facility for St. Louis Curling Club

Founded in 2010, the St. Louis Curling Club has relied on two ice arenas to support their bustling club of 80+ members. With their 7th official curling season underway, St. Louis Curling Club is preparing to begin work on their new curling facility. With land purchased in Hazelwood, MO, the club looks forward to building a permanent 4-sheet curling venue with plenty of warm space in the upcoming few years

Raising money to fund a new curling facility is no small feat. After becoming debt free in 2012, St. Louis Curling Club has held five large bonspiels plus two 1-day spiels to raise money for their dedicated ice. In addition to accepting donations for their members, the club has run several fundraising events, including trivia nights and two footgolf tournaments. Another major fundraising source for St. Louis Curling Club has been their packed Learn2Curl sessions. If you are interested in helping St. Louis Curling Club reach their final fundraising goal, donate here or consider attending one of their upcoming events.

Members of the St. Louis Curling Club are excited for the new possibilities that dedicated ice facility will bring. The club currently utilizes arena ice; therefore, members curl once a week on Saturday evenings. Their new facility will allow the club to set their own schedule, and they will offer a range of events including weekend spiels, a youth program, high school league, adult league, open practice, and corporate events. In addition to offering curling seven days a week and welcoming more members, St. Louis Curling Club members are thrilled to have consistent, flat ice with permanent houses and hacks. No more lugging stones to and from the freezer after games!

The Midwest Curling Association is tremendously excited for St. Louis Curling Club and wants to congratulate them on reaching this fantastic achievement. We look forward to hearing more as the building progresses, and we can’t wait to attend the future bonspiels that will be held at your new facility.

“It has been a true team effort from the entire curling club to make where we are today possible” – Becca Walters (President of St. Louis Curling Club)

Written by: Shannon Brown