Stettler partners Poapst, Stefanik mine silver

Rough roads en route to provincials cause early finish for other Stettler juniors

Stettler Junior Badminton Club members Ryland Stefanik (left) of Big Valley and Kyle Poapst of Stettler teamed up for a silver-medal effort in the under-16 boys’ doubles at the provincial junior B championships Sunday at Olds. In the final

Just like the road conditions that limited participation for out-of-town players, the provincial junior badminton championships last weekend at Olds presented challenges for Stettler entries.

Half-a-dozen Stettler juniors were in the thick of the action — and the storm — as most of them commuted daily for the three-day tournament. For some of them, winter weather nixed their Saturday and Sunday games.

The Stettler delegation competed in the junior B provincials, except for John Langford, who moved up to the junior A level for a test against the best.

“It went all right,” said Langford, 15. “I lost my first one, but then I got a bye and then won. I had a (consolation) final I was supposed to play on Sunday, but I couldn’t go because the roads were too bad.”

Langford’s lone loss came Friday night against Nathan Wong, who won 21-10, 21-17.

“He was a good player,” Langford said. “I know him.

“I played all right. He’s just better than me in some things and I’ve got to work on some things.”

Langford beat Michael Suey 21-15, 19-21, 21-15 to stay alive on the consolation side.

While the club season has ended, school badminton is just beginning.

Langford, a Grade 9 student at William E. Hay Composite High School, is gearing up for his final junior high season, including the CARA tournament and probable CWAJHAA championships.

“It would be a nice end to the year,” he said. “It would be nice to win, especially when you’re done (junior high).”

Last year, he won the Grade 8 boys’ singles championship at the CWAJHAA tournament.

A couple of other CWAJHAA medallists last season, Kyle Poapst of Stettler and Ryland Stefanik of Big Valley, were teammates last weekend at the provincials.

Poapst and Stefanik, both 15-year-olds and Grade 9 students, were the silver-medallists in the under-16 boys’ doubles. In the final Sunday, they lost 21-17, 21-12 to the top-ranked tandem of Brandon Chiu and Mark Lisoway.

“We thought we might have a decent chance against them, because they are just two good players, but they hadn’t played together before,” Poapst said. “But they played well together. They outplayed us in that game — a lot of unforced errors on my part, too. We just didn’t play well as a team.

“I don’t think we warmed up enough, either of us. Both of Ryland’s contacts fell out in his singles game in the morning, and he didn’t have anymore, I don’t think, so that was tough. … But we played all right (overall).”

The second-ranked team of Poapst and Stefanik got off to a solid start in doubles play Saturday, with a 21-14, 21-18 victory over Stephen Martinson and Nicholas Murray. Later in the day, the Stettler clubmates topped Eric McMurphy and Daniel Wensrich 21-19, 17-21, 21-12.

“Our semifinal match was pretty tough,” Poapst said of the three-game win.

Stefanik and Poapst complement each other with an aggressive style. When they’re in sync, “we move the other team around,” Poapst said. “We try to attack a lot.”

The badminton partners were also Stettler bantam B hockey teammates this past winter, and they plan to play baseball together this summer as part of Stettler’s new bantam AA team.

At the badminton provincials, they also competed in under-16 boys’ singles, as Stefanik finished fourth. His 21-18, 21-16 loss in the bronze-medal game came against Wensrich, whom Stefanik had defeated 25-23, 18-21, 21-19 in round-robin action Friday.

“My first game in round-robin, I lost to the kid who finished up getting second (Bennett Yung), and in the quarter-finals, I lost to the No. 1 seed (Lisoway), who ended up winning,” Poapst said.

“We know Mark (Lisoway) pretty well. Him and John (Langford) usually have good games. … This is the last year Mark’s coach is letting him play B.”

Lisoway is a member of the Edison badminton club in Okotoks.

Up next for Poapst and Stefanik is school competition, though they can’t compete as partners because they attend different schools — Stefanik in Big Valley and Poapst at William E. Hay.

Poapst plans to cap his junior high badminton years within a few weeks at the CARA tournament.

“But I won’t be at CWAJHAA this year, because of a band trip to Disneyland,” Poapst said.

High school student Taylor Chase of Stettler performed well at the junior B provincials before Saturday’s storm stranded him at home and put him out of contention.

Competing in the under-19 boys’ singles division Friday, Chase beat Keiran Sawatzky 21-10, 21-14.

Chase is part of William E. Hay’s high school team, which will compete for berths at the provincials, set for May 3 and 4 at Calgary.

Just Posted

Local team wins Halkirk Seniors bonspiel

Yoga classes available in Halkirk area

Parental guide to “Hour Zero” program released

Clearview Public Schools advises parents what to in an emergency

Endiang floor curlers participated in Halkirk Valentine-themed bonspiel Feb. 15

Lots of clever Byemoor people escaping winter to warm destinations

Town of Stettler approves 2018 Capital Budget in the amount of $6,110,582

A new pathway, upgrades to the SRC, and utility and road work improvements are expected this year

Just stop the political correctness stupidity

Seriously, stop ‘peoplekind,’ leave the anthem alone

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Trump says more must be done to protect children

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump indicated he wants to strengthen the background check system, but offered no specifics.

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.