Eagles set to take flight in Canmore

Alberta Winter Games: Badminton power Edison School prolific in Rockies

By: Remy Greer

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 08:53 pm

DeWinton's Mark Lisoway is one of seven Edison Eagles competing at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games this weekend in Canmore.
DeWinton's Mark Lisoway is one of seven Edison Eagles competing at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games this weekend in Canmore.
Wheel File Photo

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Foothills athletes at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games

Badminton — Parker Antal
Badminton — Kyle Halewich, Mark Lisoway, Laura Spengler
Ringette – Nici Bogstie
Volleyball — Female, Teisha Vogel; Male, Rijel Hunley
Archery — Reilly Carlson
Badminton — Emma Finnegan, Jacob Glen, Nicholas Murray
Curling — Miki Becker, Nicole Vachon
Figure skating — Talia Sargent
Gymnastics — Jordyn Bahr, Camille Hutka, Olivia Keegan
Female hockey — Halle Bodnarchuk,
Kennedy Brown, Lacey DiMaulo, Janae Ramsay, Breanne Trotter.
Male hockey — Riley Bodnarchuk, Peyton Krebs, Zachary Okabe, Kirby Proctor, Jake Ruigrok, Jaevon Buschlen
Judo — Max Brown
Synchronized swimming — Keelin Fenske, Jordan Kobelka
Volleyball — Ally Bymak, Mikayla Welykochy
Wrestling — Sadie Watkins

A pair of Edison Eagles are packing some veteran savvy for their return trip to the Alberta Winter Games.

Eagles badminton stars Emma Finnegan and Laura Spengler lead a group of seven classmates shooting for gold at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games in Canmore this weekend, the second trip through the youth showcase for the foothills pair.

“I really felt special because it’s not like a normal tournament, it’s very professional, it’s very different,” said Finnegan, a Grade 11 student, on her 2012 Games experience. “Going in the first time we were really scared and really nervous, but going in this time we’re much more confident in our play.

“It’s just going to be a more fun experience. We know what’s going to be happening there and how it works.”

As long time partners, Finnegan and Spengler know how to work together and hope their experience will guide them in the women’s doubles competition.

“We know how to communicate to each other very well on the court without giving away what we’re going to do to the opponents. I can say that I don’t like playing against her, but I love playing with her,” Finnegan said with a laugh. “I’m more powerful than (Laura), but her shots are much more precise. When we go together our play is quite perfect.”

All told, Edison badminton coach Billy Gilliland will be leading seven Eagles, six from the foothills, on Zone 2 as Big Country competes in boys’ and girls’ singles and doubles as well as in the team event.

“We’ve been telling them everything about the first experience. What to expect, what to look forward to,” Finnegan said on preparing the first-time competitors. “They’re all really excited, definitely nervous like we were, but I think that’s normal.”

Grade 11 Eagle Mark Lisoway’s games debut look quite promising. The DeWinton resident pitched a perfect 3-0 record at trials in Edison to punch his ticket to Canmore where he’ll be looking to improve upon the provincial silver medal he won last year at the high school championships.

“It will give me a bit of confidence, yeah,” said Lisoway. “I’ve never been to this type of an event before. (I want) gold if possible, to get that team banner. That’s what we’re gunning for.”

Cayley’s Parker Antal is the whippersnapper of Edison contingent, a fact the Grade 9 Eagle didn’t get in the way of navigating through the challenging trials process for Zone 2.

“I’m really not sure what to expect. On one hand I think the competition is going to be pretty intense,” said Antal, 14. “Two years ago some of the students went and said it was really cool, they said it was like a mini-Olympics so I’m really excited to go.

“Not just to play, but to be there in it all.”

Antal finished second to Edison teammate Nicholas Murray, a Grade 10 student, in the men’s singles at trials. The two will now be joining forces as men’s doubles partners in Canmore.

“A couple years ago we played in tournaments together and we’re really good friends,” Antal said. “We play together at lunchtime and after school, too.”

Also competing in Canmore are Edison’s Jacob Glen from Okotoks and Emily Chan from Calgary

DeWinton’s Kyle Halewich rounds out the local contingent, but there’s a twist to his qualification. He wont be competing for Big Country.

“At trials I got second in doubles and third in singles so I didn’t make it for Zone 2, but got picked up by Zone 1 (Lethbridge),” said Halewich, a Grade 11 student at Holy Trinity Academy. “They didn’t have enough players come tryout for their team so they had to pick up players from other zones.”

Halewich, no stranger to the provincial stage as a Junior mixed doubles Alberta champion in 2013 with HTA Knights teammate Krysta Nagel, found out a month after trials he would be getting the second chance to make his debut at the Alberta Games.

“It’s really exciting,” said Halewich, 16. “It’s going to be a fun experience, for sure.”

The badminton competition is held at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy in Canmore.

For more information go to 2014awg.ca


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