Senior shuffleboard player Doug Campbell proudly wears a gold medal from last weekend’s provincial tournament around his neck – but he insists it’s his partner Dan Stuehrenberg who truly has the golden touch.
“The star of the show was my partner. I was a total rookie – it’s called ‘luck of the Irish,’” a humble Campbell said with a smile.
“I’ve been at it longer, but he played really well,” countered Stuehrenberg. “He’s a fast learner.”
The spirited Cochrane duo represented Zone 2 at the Alberta 55+ Provincial Games last weekend in Drumheller and shuffled their way to the top of the Under 70 category with a record of six wins and just one loss.
Despite the great numbers, Campbell said the round robin style matches were all nail-biters.
“It was very intense, actually,” he recalled. “We came from behind on three of our games in the last frame.”
This was the first time the pair represented at the provincial level. They qualified in High River in May, and in the months leading up to the competition practised at least once a week at Cochrane’s Seniors on the Bow Centre.
Campbell said he needed it. While Stuehrenberg has played for years in a winter league in Arizona, Campbell only started playing the game recently.
“He’s the real pro,” said Campbell, adding Stuehrenberg’s experience helped him to raise the bar at provincials. “I’m sure I had (Dan) in fits and starts now and again, but we came through together.”
Stuehrenberg began playing shuffleboard when a degenerating spinal cord injury started affecting his balance enough to keep him in a wheelchair most of the time.
Since the game is played using cues to push discs along the floor onto a triangular scoring surface, “it’s one of the things I can do from the chair,” Stuehrenberg said.
He added his seated position hasn’t affected his prowess on the court. “I have to shoot a little harder. I just use my aim.”
While both men love the fun of the game, receiving the competitive honour was a proud moment for them.
“We did get our gold medal … in front of 300 people,” Campbell said. “That was pretty special.”