A curling team that includes a Cloverdale teen is headed for the BC Winter Games next month in Penticton.
Team Drexel – representing Coquitlam, Cloverdale and Chilliwack – has qualified for the 2016 BC Winter Games, taking place Feb. 25-29.
It’s the only girls curling team from Zone 3 to register for the playdowns, giving them automatic entry to this year’s championships.
Coached by Peace Arch Curling Club’s Al Smith, the team consists of three veterans and one relative newcomer to the sport.
Skip Heather Drexel of Coquitlam is 16 and has been curling for six years, as have third Everly Royea of Chilliwack, also 16, and second Bailey Burke, a 15-year-old from Cloverdale who’s in Grade 10 at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.
Lead Madeline Britz of Chilliwack, 14, is in her second year of curling.
It’s Drexel’s third provincial event, and the second for Burke and Royea, who was on the team that won the BC Winter Games in 2014.
Last year, Burke and Drexel were undefeated in the lead up to winning the B.C. Juvenile championships. Royea, Drexel and Burke also took part in the U18 International championships sponsored by the Optimist Junior Interleague.
Burke curls out of the Cloverdale Curling Club, where she’s registered in the junior curling program and acts as a spare for several adult leagues here.
“The curling community is relatively small so many of the girls know each other either from playing with or against them in competition, says Hilary Drexel, mom of Heather Drexel. “Heather found Bailey rather serendipitously two years ago when her team was looking for a fourth player.”
The girls left that team in April 2015 to form this new team and are “very excited about going to the BCWG together.”
The other two players became friends at previous curling events, with Royea bringing in Britz when her team was looking for a lead. “In spite of their short time together, the girls have connected on and off the ice and are enjoying success as a juvenile team,” she said.