Sporting success in Ponoka in 2014

Ponoka community enjoyed its greatest successes in sports in summer when Storm FC won both the Battle River

Storm coach Rich Evans sprays his players after the completion of their “double bill” victorious season

Storm coach Rich Evans sprays his players after the completion of their “double bill” victorious season

Ponoka community enjoyed its greatest successes in sports in summer when Storm FC won both the Battle River Men’s League Soccer Championship and the League Cup for the first time, ending the several year championship streak of Menaik of Wetaskiwin just a few weeks after Ponoka’s U16 soccer team lost the provincial championship in a post-overtime penalty shootout.

Follows a look at the other major sports highlights of 2014:

Baron Brothers win local curling championship (Jan. 1)—The Legacy Ford Super League Curling season wrapped up Wednesday, Dec. 18 with the Baron team winning the championship after defeating the Riske team in a close game.

Young cowboy takes Ultimate Cowboy title (Jan. 8)—After finishing last year’s Rodeo Masters Ultimate Cowboy Challenge in a second/third place split, bull rider Clay Elliot came back for the second annual event and claimed the Ultimate Cowboy title.

Two Peewee boys to show up at Winter Games (Jan. 8)—The careers of two young hockey players are steaming ahead, as the boys have skated their way into the Alberta Winter Games, Feb. 6 to 8, 2014.

Ponoka speed skater returns for second Winter Games (Jan. 22)—Lauren Bussiere has had her eyes on the Alberta Winter Games since 2012 and her hard work and dedication has paid off.

Ponoka earns gold and bronze medals at Alberta Winter Games (Feb. 12)—Two Ponoka athletes have returned jubilant from their strong performance at the Alberta Winter Games (AWG).

St. Augustine Queens win championship in style (Feb. 19)—Senior Queens of St. Augustine won the championship of the Girls Shine Tournament over the weekend with emphatic victories in all of their three games, thanks to an ironclad determination, smart coaching and team solidarity.

Ponoka has a Zone 4 champion (March 5)—the Midget A Wolves are in the next round of playoffs after beating Stettler in the series last weekend while Peewee A Stampeders won the Zone 4 championship.

Broncs boys make it to zone championship (March 12)—Ponoka Secondary Campus’ senior boys’ basketball team has made it to the zone championships for the first time in nearly a decade.

Narrow gold medal win for Ponoka’s bantam team (March 19)—As hockey provincials are played around Alberta, one Ponoka team is retuning victorious with a gold medal win.

Broncs bring home Zone 4 championship (March 19)—Despite all the odds, including being without a gym they could practice regularly for the whole season, senior Broncs boys have completed the task they set out to achieve and brought home the Zone 4 championship in varsity basketball after winning their best-of-three series against Wetaskiwin Sabers 2-1.

Midget B wins league banner in two straight games (March 26)—You couldn’t have a more fitting end to the hockey season for Ponoka’s Midget B Stampeders Tier 3 hockey team. They won the league banner in Ponoka last week.

Lacoka Midget B girls win silver at provincials (March 26)—It was a bittersweet return for Lacoka’s Midget be Rockets after winning silver at provincials in Lloydminster last weekend.

Ponoka barrel racer wins Don Laing Trailer series (April 23)—The story behind the winner of the Don Laing Trailers barrel racing series is one that may be remembered for years to come.

Badminton medals shine at PSC (April 30)—Junior high students scooped quite a number of gold medals at last Thursday’s (April 24) Wolf Creek North badminton tournament in Lacombe, with promises of more success coming in this week’s zone competition.

Central Rage volleyball prevails after battle for gold (May 14)—Heading onto nationals, ranked sixth in the province, the girls of the Central Rage Volleyball Club team, comprising players from Ponoka, Red Deer and Bashaw among other communities, finished the aggressive tournament with newly earned gold medals shining around their necks.

Ponoka’s Storm bring to town the first soccer gold medal of the season (May 28)—Ponoka’s U16 Storm have proved rain or shine, they would not let the season’s first gold medal opportunity slip though their hands when they defeated Camrose, one of the strongest teams in their league, on their own turf by a score of 7-1 on Thursday, May 22 to claim the Sunbreaker Tournament championship title.

Three Ponoka girls picked for Summer Games soccer team (June 4)—Ponoka will be well represented on the girls’ Zone 4 soccer team heading into the Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie this year.

Filipino community hosts summer basketball series (June 18)—the basketball court near Diamond Willow Middle School was full of shouts and cheers last weekend for the third Invitational Summer Basketball league kickoff.

PBR memorial boosts children’s amenities in Ponoka (July 2)—The 12 annual Jace Harty Memorial PBR Bull Riding, the richest PBR event in Canada, is contributing $7,000 back to community-minded projects in the spirit of a central Alberta bull rider who died much too young.

Jaw-dropping rodeo action during showdown (July 9)—A week of serious rodeo action brought some of the best cowboys and cowgirls to Ponoka during the Ponoka Stampede, but in the end only one rodeo athlete would be able to win the coveted Ponoka Stampede jacket and buckle.

Second place driver wins Dash for Cash (July 9)—This year’s Ponoka Stampede $50,000 Dash for Cash was a little more exciting and controversial than most, as the first driver to cross the finish line was not crowned the victor.

Storm U16 lose gold medal penalty in shoot-out (July 16) — Ponoka’s U16 Storm came to the very edge of completing their season with a full set of medals but it was luck that turned them down when they lost the gold medal game in a penalty shoot-out to Cold Lake at the provincial championship tournament in Three Hills.

Buccaneers improve record with major win (July 16) — The Central Alberta Buccaneers improve to 3-2 July 12 with a big 22-6 win over their Edmonton rivals, the Stallions.

Ponoka wins over Wetaskiwin in high-stakes game (July 23)—Men’s soccer saw a heated battle July 20 in Ponoka, where the hosts, Storm FC, faced strong rivals Diablos FC of Wetaskiwin and narrowly defeated the visitors with a score of 4-3.

Ponoka athletes return with medals from summer games (July 30)—Ponoka had strong representation last weekend during the 2014 Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie with young athletes returning with gold, silver and bronze medals.

Stampeders honour teammate in the best way possible (Aug. 6)—The loss of Stampeders Junior B hockey player Damian Pannenbecker won’t be forgotten easily and the team he played for wants to ensure he is remembered in the best possible way.

Race enthusiasts put airport runway to the test (Aug. 6)—Racers put the Ponoka Industrial Airport runway to good use during the second Ponoka 1/8 Mile Drag Racing Association event last weekend.

Olympian passes on his experience to Ponoka Swimmers (Aug. 6)—Members of Ponoka’s swim clubs were in for a once-in-a-lifetime with Olympian Brent Hayden, who brought his swim camp to the Aquaplex last week.

Hundreds of teams compete in Black Elk Cutting Classic (Aug. 13)—Some of Alberta’s best ranchers competed at the Calnash Ag Event Centre last weekend during the Black Elk Cutting Classic.

Ponoka Storm men’s league champions (Aug. 13) — Ponoka Storm F.C. won the Battle River Men’s Soccer League championship with an impressive 4-0 on the road over Leduc F.C. in their final regular season game on Monday, Aug. 4, becoming the first team to break the championship streak of Manluk in recent history.

Storm clear hurdle to reach cup final this weekend (Aug. 20)—Ponoka’s representatives in the Battle River Men’s Soccer League defeated Camrose 3-2 on Sunday Aug. 1t to place themselves in this weekend’s final game for Wetaskiwin for the League Cup, only one week after winning the league championship.

Ponoka FC Storm achieve “double bill” (Aug. 27)—with the league championship already under their belt, Ponoka’s Storm managed to clinch the second title of the Battle River Soccer League, that of the cup winners, in an away game, Sunday, Aug. 24 by beating their arch rival Manluk in a penalty shoot-out, thanks in no small measure to spectacular goalkeeping of Wouter Opsteen and the very enthusiastic and loud support of Ponoka fans who drove to Wetaskiwin for the game.

Ponoka fastballer brings home the gold (Aug. 27)—Amy Lank returned home from the Canadian Fastball Championship, wearing a gold medal around her neck.

High School rodeo celebrates 25 years of work (Sept. 3)—Members of the Battle River High School Rodeo Association (BRHSRA) can give themselves a pat on the back when they celebrate their 25th anniversary.

A game to remember for local golfer (Sept. 3)—On Monday Aug. 23 Ponoka golfer Jared Nicholls had the game of a lifetime during the McLennan Ross Junior Golf Tour at the Wolf Creek Golf Resort.

Alberta cowboy inducted into the U.S. hall of fame (Sept.3) -When old time cowboy Bob Robinson heard he was nominated as an inductee into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK, he felt proud and excited.

Equestrian gymkhana group enjoys first Ponoka show (Sept. 17)—The Alberta Provincial Gymkhana Association  (APGA) finally managed book a spot at the Calnash Ag Event Centre last weekend after trying for two years and made it a fun weekend for all competitors.

Sr. Broncs lose first game but raise a lot of hopes (Sept. 17)—Sr. Broncs opened their football season last Thursday, Sept. 11, losing 15-8 an away game they could have won against Wetaskiwin Sabers, but they still inspired a lot of hope and made their coaching staff proud.

Junior Broncs keep improving with every game (Sept. 17)—Ponoka’s Junior Broncs lost their third game in a row but their “monumental improvement” over the last three weeks has given the coaching staff a lot of reason to expect much better results in the week ahead.

Broncs boys win volleyball home game (Sept. 24)—After spending a whole season on the road because the Ponoka Secondary Campus gym was under renovations, the school’s senior boys’ volleyball team was ale to play a home game on Wednesday, Sept. 18, in which they won three out of four sets.

Stampeders remember Damian Pannenbecker, lose home opener (Oct. 1)—Stampeders home opener of the season ended with an 8-3 win for the visiting Blackfalds Wranglers, the second loss in as many days; and while the game showed some promise of hope for the later stages of the league, there also appeared to be quite some room for improvement.

Kings volleyball team smashing their way to success (the senior boys volleyball team at St. Augustine Catholic School is seeing successful despite the program being in the early stages.

Twin Ponoka golfers make top 10 provincials (Oct. 8) The 2014 high school golf season has been good for twins Daria and Shaye Leidenius who both placed in the top 10 at school provincials.

Broncs end season without a win (Oct. 15)—Ponoka’s Senior Broncs hosted Stettler’s Wildcats on Thursday, Oct. 9 in the last regular season game, and as in previous games, a bold defensive effort was not enough to secure a win, with the visitors taking home a35-0 victory before the start of the playoffs.

Barrel racers save earnings for Leaves and Fishes (Oct. 22)—Barrel racers came together last weekend to compete in a fun jackpot but also to raise some money for Loaves and Fishes in Red Deer.

Queens take home the tournament with a narrow win in the final (Oct. 22)—The sixth annual Turkeyburner volleyball tournament hosted by the at St. Augustine Catholic School Queens turned out to be a resounding success for the home team.

Mecca Pride ends season on a personal strong note (Oct. 29)—It was a season of growth of Mecca Glen’s junior girls’ volleyball team.

Senior boys’ Broncs guaranteed a spot in volleyball zones (Nov. 5)—Winning their last home game of the season took little effort for the Ponoka Broncs senior boys’ volleyball team.

Ponoka floods CFR with competitors (Nov. 5)—For the first time in history Ponoka is sending a competitor for every event of the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR), including bull fighting and the Miss Rodeo Canada competition.

Ponoka marathon runner going the distance (Nov. 5)—Andrew Jacobs is one Ponoka marathon runner who has lost count of the number of miles he has run in the 2014 season.

Vold win s big at CFR (Nov. 12)— This year Ponoka has a competitor in every event at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which lasted Nov. 5 to 9, and two cowboys representing the town came out of the prestigious competition with a national championship title.

Stampeders finally win at home (Nov. 12)—Ponoka Stampeders have finally ended the multi-year home win drought with a narrow 3-2 victory of the High River Flyers, Saturday, Nov. 8, raising hopes that there will be more to come before the end of the season.

Queens clinch first spot in league (Nov. 12)—The St. Augustine Queens senior girls’ have clinched fist place in their league.

Ponoka Sharks devour home meet, earning many rewards (Dec. 10)—It was a weekend of personal achievements as many of the Ponoka Pool Sharks beat their best times during their home meet, Dec. 6 and 7.

Broncs football players recognized for strong athletics (Dec. 17)—Despite a winless season, players with the Ponoka Broncs senior football team are receiving recognition for their efforts.