Top News

Smith takes the hack into national spotlight


Greg Smith admits he’s a bit on the wild side, but apparently he has nerves of steel.

The junior men's provincial curling team, from left, Greg Smith, Ryan McNeil-Lamswood, Kyle Barron and Craig Laing haul the last of their gear into the Greenwood Inn & Suites on Thursday evening. — Star photo by Chris Quigley

The 18-year-old St. John’s native is the skip for the Caribou Curling Club foursome representing Newfoundland and Labrador on the men’s side at the 2015 M & M Meat Shops national junior men’s curling championship getting underway Saturday in Corner Brook.

His rink includes Stephenville products second Kyle Barron, third Ryan McNeil Lamswood and lead Craig Laing.

Smith, son of Geoff and Diane Smith of St. John’s, found himself without a team to curl with last winter. His former teammates were too old to compete in the provincial Under-18 men’s tournament so he was left out in the cold until he joined forces with the Stephenville boys who were looking for another player to form a team.

It was instant chemistry as the boys won the provincial Under-18 crown and this year it was mutually agreed upon all the gang to have Smith come on board for a shot at the provincial Under-21 crown.

It was a perfect ride in Stephenville with the foursome posting a perfect 6-0 record to earn the right to represent the province on the national stage in Corner Brook.

Barron served in the skip role for the Under-18 crown, but the decision was made to have Smith take over the skip position when they joined forces this year.

It’s a role he embraced because he had success in the skip role before and hadn’t done it since 2012.

No big deal for him.

“I’m very decisive and I don’t crack under pressure so I think that’s why I think it was a good idea to put me at skip,” Smith said.

The team has bonded nicely along the journey to the big stage. He said they all have a flare for the game and value each other’s opinions so things have worked out quite nicely.

“They have a lot of faith in me and I don’t let them down very much,” he said.

It’s been a bit of a challenge to plan strategy when he lives on the other side of the province, but he said the group is talking almost every day and he’s made a couple of trips to Stephenville to hit the ice with the boys.

Their record speaks for itself, really. They haven’t lost a game since they became a force. They all have their own thoughts on where they would like to be when the last rock is thrown, but he’s not going to get caught up things out of his control.

“We’ll take it one rock at a time and one game at a time, and hopefully it will pan out in our favour,” he said.

Two years ago he didn’t envision throwing stones on the national stage. It’s something he believes every competitive curler dreams of when they pick up the sport. Of course, he didn’t see his parlay into the national spotlight coming to fruition with a bunch of young guns from the west coast his supporting cast.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to be the home team in Newfoundland and to look up into the stands and know that there’s Newfoundland flags there and people cheering for you. That’s just an amazing feeling,” he said.

The following is a look at the schedule for both Newfoundland and Labrador teams competing in the 2015 national junior men’s curling championship Jan. 24 to Feb. 1 in Corner Brook:

Men’s Division

Newfoundland and Labrador men’s champion

Caribou Curling Club

Pool A

Skip Greg Smith of St. John’s

third Ryan McNeil Lamswood

second Kyle Barron

lead Craig Laing

Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 24

Game 1 — 10 a.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet D (Nova Scotia)

Game 2 — 7:30 p.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet B (Ontario)

Sunday, Jan. 25

Game 3 — 7 p.m. — Corner Brook Curling Club Sheet H (Quebec)

Monday, Jan. 26

Game 4 — 10 a.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet A (British Columbia)

Game 5 — 7 p.m. — Corner Brook Curling Club Sheet G (Nunavut)

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Game 6 — 2:30 p.m. — Corner Brook Curling Club Sheet F (Manitoba)

*Men’s seeding pool begins Tuesday

Men’s Final

Sunday Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at Pepsi Centre

Women’s Division

Newfoundland and Labrador women’s champion

Pool B

Re/Max Centre of St. John’s

Skip Sarah Hill

third Danielle Wiseman

second Sarah Ford

lead Heidi Trickett

Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 24

Game 1 — 2:30 p.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet C (Saskatchewan)

Game 2 — 7:30 p.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet D (P.E.I.)

Sunday, Jan. 25

Game 3 — 2:30 p.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet A (British Columbia)

Monday, Jan. 26

Game 4 — 10 a.m. — Corner Brook Curling Club Sheet G (Nova Scotia)

Game 5 — 7 p.m. — Corner Brook Curling Club Sheet H (NewB)

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Game 6 — 2:30 p.m. — Pepsi Centre Sheet D (Northwest Territories)

*Women’s seeding pool begins Tuesday

Women’s Final

Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. at the Pepsi Centre

Recent Stories