Junior curlers hurry hard on the ice

As 100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith comes in to officiate (front left) Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott celebrate a successful throw while classmate Reichert Sanford (back) and teacher Kameron Taylor watch. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)As 100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith comes in to officiate (front left) Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott celebrate a successful throw while classmate Reichert Sanford (back) and teacher Kameron Taylor watch. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Devon Wisdom practices throwing a rock at the 100 Mile House Curling Club. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Devon Wisdom practices throwing a rock at the 100 Mile House Curling Club. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School student Cameron Scott sweeps in front of a curling rock while his class learns the basics at the 100 Mile House Curling Club last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School student Cameron Scott sweeps in front of a curling rock while his class learns the basics at the 100 Mile House Curling Club last week. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Devon Wisdom throws a rock under the guidance of 100 Mile House Curling Club member Karen Smith. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Devon Wisdom throws a rock under the guidance of 100 Mile House Curling Club member Karen Smith. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Carson Huryn grins as he throws a curling rock during a pickup game last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Carson Huryn grins as he throws a curling rock during a pickup game last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
With his tongue stuck out, Mason Pincott casts a curling rock down the ice in a bid to land pn the button. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)With his tongue stuck out, Mason Pincott casts a curling rock down the ice in a bid to land pn the button. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Mason Pincott and Gibson Fast race ahead of a curling rock while learning to play the game last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Mason Pincott and Gibson Fast race ahead of a curling rock while learning to play the game last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith instructs Carson Huryn how to properly call a shot as skip. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith instructs Carson Huryn how to properly call a shot as skip. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Gibson Fast threw the rock in an untraditional but surprisingly effective way at the 100 Mile House Curling Club last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Gibson Fast threw the rock in an untraditional but surprisingly effective way at the 100 Mile House Curling Club last Friday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
As Carson Huryn (left) and Gord Smith watch as Mason Pincott and Gibson Fast celebrate guiding their rock sucessfully into the house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)As Carson Huryn (left) and Gord Smith watch as Mason Pincott and Gibson Fast celebrate guiding their rock sucessfully into the house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Payton Ryder and Reichert Sanford hurry hard as they sweep the ice ahead of a curling rock still short of the house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Payton Ryder and Reichert Sanford hurry hard as they sweep the ice ahead of a curling rock still short of the house. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott yell as they sweep the ice in front of their rock. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott yell as they sweep the ice in front of their rock. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
As 100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith comes in to officiate (front left) Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott celebrate a successful throw while classmate Reichert Sanford (back) and teacher Kameron Taylor watch. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)As 100 Mile House Curling Club president Gord Smith comes in to officiate (front left) Gibson Fast and Mason Pincott celebrate a successful throw while classmate Reichert Sanford (back) and teacher Kameron Taylor watch. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Tyler Guimond (left) calls one of the final shots during a pickup game last Friday at the 100 Mile Curling Club alongside classmate Carson Huryn and club president Gord Smith. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Tyler Guimond (left) calls one of the final shots during a pickup game last Friday at the 100 Mile Curling Club alongside classmate Carson Huryn and club president Gord Smith. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

The 100 Mile House Curling Club’s junior curlers are back on the ice.

Club president Gordon Smith said despite not having any junior curlers last year due to COVID-19, he, his wife Karen and local curler Richard Minato are mentoring seven young curlers aged eight to 13. They’re also actively recruiting from the community and last week taught the basics to two classes from Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School.

“We are seeing more younger people coming out and we’re trying to encourage events like this where the schools come and we build a base of future curlers, whether they end up curling here or somewhere else,” Smith said. “I enjoy working with younger people and seeing them learn a new skill. I take a great deal of pleasure when someone tries something and then achieves it.”

The biggest hurdle facing new curlers is learning how to keep their balance on the ice, especially when throwing rocks, Smith said. However, it was no issue last week for members of PSO’s physical education hockey class, who quickly picked up the game.

Grade 11 student Mason Pincott was one of the loudest players on the ice whooping with delight whenever his team successfully threw a rock into the house. Pincott’s team won 2-0.

“We’re just absolutely dusting kids out here. Our team was obviously the best and we might come back and get better before Christmas break and we’ll be better each time we get out here,” Pincott said. “I haven’t really tried curling before but I’m kind of just the best now.”

READ MORE: Wranglers win one, lose one last weekend

Pincott said he and his friends had a good time learning to curl, noting he particularly enjoyed the friendly competition aspect of the sport and “grinding the gears on the boys a little bit.” He wouldn’t even mind starting his own team for fun or having a school-wide intramural style curling league.

“It would get more people out from our grade and school to try curling with a little tournament,” Pincott said.

Cassidy Wall, 14, would welcome some new faces at the junior league, which meets every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and accepts new players throughout the season. Although her league only has enough members to form two teams, Wall said it’s great to be back on the ice.

“I find it to be a fun game. Something I like to call it is ‘darts on ice’ because that’s pretty much what it is,” said Wall, who has been curling for three years. “It’s also kind of like a puzzle, there’s a lot to think about (strategy-wise.)”

Meanwhile, despite having to cancel last year’s season early, Smith said the overall club numbers are at about 94 curlers across all leagues. He said the fact they have been able to maintain their base and attract new curlers, especially younger players, is encouraging.

Anyone interested in giving curling a try can come to the club’s Monday night drop-in league at 6:30 p.m. Participants on the ice must be fully vaccinated and wear masks while in the change room but are welcome to remove their masks on the ice.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile HousecurlingLocal Sports