Action gets underway at 2009 US Senior Men's Nationals

Feb. 11, 2009, 7:11 p.m. (ET)

STEVENS POINT, Wis. - David Russell's defending champions started off the 2009 U.S. Senior Men's National Championship right where they left off last year, posting an 8-3 win to get in the win column in the opening draw of action this morning at the Rice Lake (Wis.) Curling Club.

Russell (La Crosse, Wis.) and teammates Bill Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.), Mark Swandby (Madison, Wis.), Dave Carlson (Portage, Wis.) and Mike Fraboni (McFarland, Wis.) won bronze last year at the 2008 World Senior Championships. In this morning's action, the Wisconsin team scored in four straight ends against Walter Ehlert's Wisconsin team to cruise to victory.

Philip DeVore led his team to a big win over James Jerylo Sr. of Minnesota, 13-1. After scoring four points with the last-rock advantage to begin the match, DeVore (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Larry Sharp (Rice Lake, Wis.), Jeffrey Erickson (Proctor, Minn.) and Bill Kind (Rice Lake, Wis.) stole four points in the second end to leave Ehlert chasing. Another steal and Jerylo was behind 9-0 with just three ends played. After Jerylo posted just a single in the fourth end, DeVore's team rattled off four more points to put the game in six ends.

Stuart Graves led his East Coast team to a 7-2 win over the Jeff Wright rink of Illinois. Graves (Pembroke, Mass.) and teammates Paul Sofuolis (Dover, Mass.), Daniel Dacey (Boston), Tony Steiert (Boston) and Pete Rossetti (Framingham, Mass.) scored in the first three ends to build a 4-0 lead. Wright's team added singles in the next two ends but wouldn't score again.

In the only close match of the morning, Mark Arnold led his Minnesota team to a 7-5 win over Ken Neidhart of Lodi, Wis.

Action continues with games at noon, 4 and 8 today.

Live scoring of the 2009 U.S. Senior Men's Nationals can be found online at Click on the scoreboard link from there.

The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Senior Championships April 24-May 3 in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Game scores: Arnold 7, Neidhart 5; Russell 8, Ehlert 3; DeVore 13, Jerylo 3; Graves 7, Wright 2


Pool A
David Russell (Wisconsin) 1-0
Philip DeVore (Wisconsin) 1-0
Mark Arnold (Minnesota) 1-0
Stuart Graves (Massachusetts) 1-0
Walter Ehlert (Wisconsin) 0-1
Jeff Wright (Illinois) 0-1
Ken Neidhart (Wisconsin) 0-1
Jim Jerylo Sr. (Minnesota) 0-1

Pool B
Larry Anderson (Wisconsin) 0-0
Paul Pustovar (Minnesota) 0-0
Dale Gibbs (Minnesota) 0-0
Seppo Sormunen (Minnesota) 0-0
Dwayne Jacobson (Wisconsin) 0-0
Leland Rich (Alaska) 0-0
Scott Edie (Maryland) 0-0