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Young curlers excited about playing for provincial crowns close to home

Sarah Cassell, third for Sarah McNeil-Lamswood’s U18 female curling foursome, gets in some practice Thursday at the Caribou Curling Club. Stephenville will host to the provincial 16U and 18U male and female curling championships Feb. 14-18 at the Caribou Curling Club.
Sarah Cassell, third for Sarah McNeil-Lamswood’s U18 female curling foursome, gets in some practice Thursday at the Caribou Curling Club. Stephenville will host to the provincial 16U and 18U male and female curling championships Feb. 14-18 at the Caribou Curling Club. - Frank Gale

Throwing rocks will be the thing to do in Stephenville next week with 22 curling teams converging on the Caribou Curling Club.

The Caribou Curling Club is the venue for the 2018 provincial U16 and U18 male and female curling championships Feb. 14-18 in the airport town.

Some of the young curlers from the west coast will be making their debut at a provincial curling event. Others will be looking to win a medal after several years of being denied.

The entries in the 18U division will be gunning for the right to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the 2018 national 18U curling championship.

A complete list of teams for the various tournaments can be seen in the Scoreboard on page 14 of Saturday's Western Star..

The Star chatted with the skips for club entries from Stephenville and Corner Brook to get their insight into the 22-team tournament.

Andrew Duffett, Caribou Curling Club

Under-18 Male

What do you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

What I like most about throwing stones is the fact everything can change a game. There’s so many factors in it and it takes a lot of thinking and teamwork for it to turn out right.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I’m always glad to play in provincials and this is my first year as skip so I’m just going to see how good we do. I’m always trying to get better with a new team. I’m excited to compete and hopefully do well and see if we can get up there in the standings.

Sarah McNeil Lamswood, Caribou Curling Club

Under-18 Female

What do you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I love curling because it’s very strategic. It’s a mental and physical game. It’s different from all the other different sports I have competed in.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I’m very excited to skip my own team in my hometown. Hosting provincials this year is a great opportunity for Stephenville.

Mackenzie Mitchell, Corner Brook Curling Club

Under-18 Female

What do you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I don’t know … I just love it. It’s great. I love it with my team because we’re all friends and it’s a place where we can all just go and hang out doing something we love.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship on the west coast?

We started off rocky because we didn’t have any ice, but once we got our ice down we started throwing rocks. We’ve been throwing rocks every day since it opened so we put a lot of time and effort into it and we’re really hoping it’s going to pay off.

James Lewis, Caribou Curling Club

Under-16 Male

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

It’s just fun and you get to make a lot of friends on the ice.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I’m really excited about it. It’s good that it’s in our hometown because that means a lot of people from here will be able to go watch us play.

Will Butler, Caribou Curling Club

Under-16 Male

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

The best thing about curling with my friends is that it gives me an opportunity to just embrace my favourite sport and have fun doing something I love.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I am very excited to be competing on the west coast. We have our hometown crowd, and I know my family and all of my team’s family will be cheering us on when we, hopefully, do well in the tournament this year.

Katie Gallant, Caribou Curling Club

Under-16 Female

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I like curling because it’s fun and I get to hang out with my friends. I also like being able to play against my sister.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I like having it here because my family and friends get to come watch me curl.

Samantha Cassell, Caribou Curling Club

Under-16 Female

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I like the excitement and the achievement when you throw the rock and it ends up where you want it to be. I like winning games and having fun. It’s nice to play with your friends and meet other people from other teams. When you play as a team you really get close as friends and form a special bond.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I think it’s awesome for Stephenville. We have so many teams coming so it will be good for Stephenville. We know our ice a lot better, I don’t have to miss a lot of school and I get to meet a lot of new people.

Madison Dicks, Corner Brook Curling Club

Under-18 Female

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I really enjoy two aspects of it. The socializing aspect, of course, is great like most sports and we have a great socializing aspect for it. The other thing is the exercise you get from it. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re out there sweeping or just standing in the cold you’re working quite a bit, and it takes a lot of brain power to have to curl, along with the physical aspect of it so combining two of those together is perfect.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

I think it’s nice to move the tournament around to different places. It’s nice to have it in St. John’s one year and Gander next year so we don’t have to play in same place all the time. It’s pretty exciting to be able to have my parents come out and watch me. It is easier considering it’s only a short drive away instead of four hours.

Ryan McNeil Lamswood, ReMax Centre St. John’s

Under-18 Male

What is it that you enjoy most about throwing rocks on the ice?

I think what I would enjoy most is the excitement of making the shots. The chance to kind of change the way a game goes and the chance to give yourself opportunities later on. All the shotmaking is what I find the best. It’s a good feeling making the big shot.

How do you feel about competing in a provincial curling championship at home?

It will be bit of an adjustment for guys on my team, but I’m already adjusted. It will be bit of an advantage for me I suppose being that it’s my home club and I know the surface, but it will help also them because I will be able to provide them with some good information on the ice speed and how much it’s curling. For the most part I’m too nervous about (things). With curling I find it’s more about going out and having fun more than nervousness.

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