- BC Games
Kelowna's MacKenzie back in the hack
With a focus on family life and other personal interests, curling had pretty much slipped off the map for Kevin MacKenzie.
Largely absent from the competitive side of the game since 2010, MacKenzie, a former B.C men's champ, never even threw a single rock all of last season.
But when he watched the Brier from Edmonton on TV last spring, the 39-year-old from Kelowna realized the sport still held the same allure it had for the past three decades.
"I thought, you know, that really looks like a lot of fun," MacKenzie said of the Brier, the Canadian men's curling championship. "That's the pinnacle for me, the Brier…it always has been. It sort of got me thinking about curling again. So here I am, back at it and I'm having fun doing it."
Safe to say, MacKenzie was having fun on Monday night as the Grant Dezura rink celebrated a big win at the Crown of Curling in Kamloops.
With MacKenzie throwing last rocks, Dezura claimed the 18-rink World Curling Tour event with a 5-4 extra end win over Victoria's Dean Joanisse in the final and, with it, the $8,000 first prize.
MacKenzie can count on one hand the games in which he's thrown fourth rocks in the last decade. Still, after three WCT events this season, the experiment seems to be working well.
"We sure made some good last rocks in the final, it was nice to go out there and steal one in the extra end for the win," said MacKenzie, the older brother of Kelowna women's curler, Kelly Scott.
MacKenzie's decision to return to the ice came after a call this summer from Dezura, who lives in Maple Ridge.
When all was said and done, MacKenzie and fellow Kelowna curler Jamie Smith had joined forces with skip Dezura and Port Moody's Kevin Recksiedler.
So far, MacKenzie said it's been a good fit, both on and off the ice.
"We're all old enough and have been around long enough not to get too upset, too down on ourselves when things don't go well," said MacKenzie, who went to the Brier with Pat Ryan in 2002 and 2003. "You spend a lot of time with three guys, you have to get along with them. This is a good group of guys."
Playing a lighter schedule this season than many of the top teams, the Dezura rink will head back on to the tour Nov. 1 to 4 at the Red Deer Curling Classic.
And if all goes as planned, MacKenzie and his new rink mates will be in the mix when the 2014 B.C. men's championship is contested Feb. 4 to 9 in Vancouver.
Richard to semis in Kamloops
Kelowna's Jeff Richard and his new rink are enjoying some success early in the 2013-14 curling season.
Richard, third Tom Shypitka, second Jay Wakefield and lead Dave Harper made it as far as the semifinals at the Crown of Curling, before going down to defeat in an extra end, 6-4 to Dean Joanisse on Monday.
Richard, who made it as far as the quarterfinals at the Vernon Curling Classic, picked up $4,000 for his efforts.
Morris to quarters in Winnipeg
John Morris and his Okanagan rink mates made it as far as the quarterfinals before going down to defeat at the Canad Inns Prairie Classic in Winnipeg.
Morris, with Vernon's Jim Cotter throwing last rocks, and Kelowna's Ty Griffith and Rick Sawatsky on the front end, lost 6-5 in an extra end to Ontario's Glenn Howard on Monday.
The Morris rink went 5-3 at the 32-rink, $32,000 event and picked up $4,000.
Morris, who left the Kevin Martin rink in the off-season to join forces with Cotter, will be in Kitchener, Ont., next month for the Canadian Olympic pre-trials.