Athletes and coaches from Stettler and neighbouring communities are bound for the Alberta Summer Games this week in Lethbridge.
The Games begin Thursday and run through Sunday morning, with about 2,600 athletes and coaches participating as part of teams representing eight zones.
Most of central Alberta is known as Zone 4, or the Parkland region.
The Stettler-area contingent includes girls’ softball players Kennidy Fisher, Jamie Ternes and Erskine’s Jessie Anderson, girls’ soccer player Reesa Garez, and a four-man football contingent: Jeremy Kirk, David McCann, head coach Mike Roach and assistant coach Brian Matchett.
Roach and Matchett are each coaching in the Summer Games for the third time. Both have been minor football coaches in Stettler — most recently, Roach guided the bantam Cougars and Matchett was part of the coaching staff with the provincial Tier 3 high school champion Wildcats.
Meriah Wiart, a provincial high school high-jump champion from Gus Wetter School in Castor, is part of the Zone 4 track and field team that’s competing in Lethbridge this week.
Three athletes from Delburne are also in the Zone 4 mix — Kendra Rusaw in girls’ softball and Samantha Overwater and Janelle Volker in girls’ basketball.
U16 boys eliminated from provincial mix
The soccer season came to a crushing end for the Stettler FC Tier 3 under-16 boys as they dropped back-to-back games at the central Alberta three-team provincial qualifying tournament in Camrose.
Cole Bailey and Taylor Chase scored for Stettler in its 3-2 loss to Camrose. Just a few hours later, the short-staffed Stettler side fell 7-1 to Lacombe. Frank van Ommeren, the Stettler keeper, scored his team’s lone goal on a penalty kick.
Playing in 30 C heat and without a few regulars who were unavailable for the tournament proved to be a daunting challenge for Stettler, which had an otherwise solid season in its first year of Tier 3 competition.