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

Team Wright brings home Bronze Medal from 2018 Senior Worlds

Congratulations to Team Wright, the bronze medalists at the 2018 Senior Worlds Curling Championships! Team members include Jeff Wright (Libertyville, IL), Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, IL), Sean Silver (Grosse Point, MI), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, IL), and Steve Waters (Evanston, IL).

Twenty-eight men’s teams from across the world competed in the World Senior Curling Championships held in Östersund, Sweden from April 21-28. With four men’s round-robin groups, Team Wright began with a solid 6-3 win against Team Finland on Saturday evening. In their next game on Monday evening, Team Wright was bested by Team Norway who made some great shots and ended up beating them 4-7. On Tuesday, a close game against Russia resulted in a 3-2 extra end victory for Team Wright. Another close game on Wednesday resulted in an 8-9 loss to Team Ireland. Team Wright regained control over their record with a great 8-6 win against Latvia. In their final round robin game, Team Wright won against Team Croatia with a final score of 12-2.

With their 4-2 record and second overall finish in their round robin group, Team Wright qualified for the playoffs as the #8 seed. On Friday, Team Wright played a qualification game against Team Finland (#9 seed) and won with a score of 6-2. Later that evening, Wright secured another win against Team Switzerland (#1 seed) with a score of 7-3. In the semi-finals, Team Wright met Team Sweden and experienced a tough loss 4-6. In their final game of the Senior World Curling Championships, Team Wright won 7-2 against Team Scotland securing themselves a bronze medal.

The 2018 Senior Curling World Championships marked Team Wright’s second appearance at the world’s level. The team was excited to return to Illinois with a bronze medal, and they were proud of how they played in Östersund, Sweden. Next to them on the podium, Team Canada (Gold) and Team Sweden (Silver).

Also, congratulations to Team Smith for not only taking home silver but also playing in the U.S. women’s first gold-medal game at the World Senior Curling Championships. Team members include Margie Smith (Shoreview, MN), Norma O’Leary (Silver Bay, MN), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, MN), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, WS). During the championship, Team Smith competed against 15 other women’s teams in Östersund, Sweden. Next to them on the podium was Team Canada (Gold) and Team Switzerland (Bronze).

Written by: Shannon Brown

72nd Annual Dar Curtis Bonspiel

Beginning in 1947, the Dar Curtis Bonspiel is the oldest statewide curling competition held in Illinois. The event allows players who are generally leads, seconds, and new vice skips the chance to compete together and to dictate their strategic game. Both men and women curl in the open event sponsored by the Illinois Curling Association.

This year, 12 teams played in the two-day event hosted by Exmoor Country Club. After four-end games on both Saturday and Sunday, teams enjoyed popcorn, drinks, and lively conversations at Exmoor’s Oakhouse. 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 

Nick Koch, Michael Graef, Eliot Zeissler, and Jimmy Klus

1st Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Steve Goldman, Gordon Buntrock, Pete Barber, and Jay Koziarz

2nd Event Winner: Windy City Curling Club

Anthony D’Arco, Scott Maples, Megan Maples, and Heidi Osborn

2nd Event Runner-up: Exmoor Country Club

Jeff Warner, Steve Worth, Anthony Fowler, Gloria Fowler, Jim Millspaugh, and Matt Anderson

3rd Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Lorna Cagann, Matt Hiller, Cassie Stark, and Adam Esch

3rd Event Runner-up: Windy City Curling Club

Tonya Henderson, George Collins, Jon Henderson, and Carol Collins

4th Event Winner: Chicago Curling Club

Staffan Axelsson, Jinnel Choiniere, Randy Choiniere, and Chris Hadac

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

Annie Saltarikos, Eric Pauls, Mitch Stoddard, and Donna Farver

Learn2Curl at Park at Wrigley

In early February, one-hour Learn2Curl classes were hosted at the Park at Wrigley for six nights. Instructors from Chicago Curling Club, Exmoor Country Club, and Windy City Curling taught new curlers from 3-7 pm and played a short exhibition game on the outdoor ice from 8-9 pm. As part of the event, instructors joined the learn2curl participants at Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern where they shared a beverage and watching Team USA in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The Learn2Curls were an amazing opportunity for local curling clubs to collaborate and share their passion for the underappreciated Winter Olympic Sport. Instructors taught etiquette, rules, scoring, delivery, and sweeping. While the ice may have been a little frosty on some evenings, the event was a wonderful way for children, couples, families, and friends to spent their evening in Chicago.

Thanks to all those who volunteered!

Written by: Shannon Brown