Two valley curling teams will be heading to regionals in Creston and Nelson, respectively, next week.
In Creston, the Invermere juvenile men’s team of Ian Redeker (skip), Sam Gaspar, Logan Powell and Garrett Kashuba will be facing off against a formidable Grand Forks team led by rival skip Evan Turgeon. The team with two wins in three matches will advance to B.C.’s provincial competition.
“We just need to focus, and work hard at finding out how our opponents work, and find a way around that,” Redeker said. “For the team, we just have to make sure we have fun and play our best.”
The team has had a generally successful season under the tutelage of coach Dave Gaspar, who says that the boys have had a good learning experience this year and are looking forward to a hopefully strong performance come the weekend of January 6.
The team generally trains twice a week and has participated in a couple of local bonspiels, and Dave says they’ve been working on emulating game situations in practice.
“On the mental side, some of the boys have been there before and so they know what to expect,” Dave added.
“I also have a couple new ones and so I’m relying on the other guys to kind of clue them in.”
“I just say, what are my possible outcomes,” Redeker said. “If we were to win, and what good can come of it.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the Senior Women’s team will also be headed to regionals the same weekend, except in Nelson.
The team is led by long-time skip Marilyn Berry, and also features Barbara Fassnidge, Sandra Quinn-Boyes, Cindy Stevenson and Glen Ortt as coach.
The team has also participated in a few bonspiels, including the Grey Cup bonspiel in Invermere where they netted second place.
The team is in a bit of a reorganizing year, in which they have a new member and in which only Berry is playing the same position, but Berry says that the changes have been working out for the best.
“The change has been a good thing, and I think people are playing where they should be,” she said. “We’re playing to our strengths and adapting to our weaknesses.”
The team has been curling together once a week in the local mixed league, and also tries to train once a week on top of that.
The Berry rink will face off against three other Kootenay teams for the chance to go to provincials, and Berry says she’s actually glad to see so many teams participating, because in the past representation for the Kootenay region has come mostly from the West Kootenays, whereas this year the Invermere team will also be joined by a team from Sparwood.
“If we come out and play as well as we can we should be successful,” Berry said.
“On any given day, any team can be beat—there’s going to be two teams qualifying for provincials, so we’ve got a fifty fifty shot—we may as well go in there and say, “hey, we’re going to provincials.”