While neither the local boys’ nor girls’ teams won a game, they put up a great fight during the 2016/17 U18 Curling Zone playdowns in 100 Mile House on Jan. 14.
Boys coach Maxine Todhunter says the 100 Mile boys’ rink – skip Ethan Sikiric, third Eric Schuurman, second Logan Sikiric, lead Dirk Schuurman and fifth man Jordan Conway – curled well and she was pleased with their performances.
In the first game against Prince George, Todhunter says it was a “very close” and it was anybody’s game to win.
“They had one bad end that they should have won.”
Their second game was against Smithers, during which the coach says “they got behind early and just couldn’t come back.”
She adds the local lads have a couple of more years of eligibility, and they were playing against older boys this year.
Todhunter explains Curl BC made a couple of changes this year, including reducing the number of zones from eight to five.
It also changed the age of eligibility to under 18 (U18) from U16. This meant boys and girls aged 17 and under as of June 30, 2016 were eligible to play.
“The [local] boys were playing against boys who should have aged out [moved into an older age bracket].
“We don’t know exactly how it’s going to go next year – whether it will go back to juvenile or whether it will stay at U18.”
Todhunter says the boys are still enthused and they will be entering the men’s bonspiel this weekend.
Girls coach Jim Mitchell says the team – skip Ashley Holyk, third Hailey McNabb, second Chloe Mitchell and lead Rachel Sikiric – also faced older girls in the playdowns who would have aged out if Curl BC had not changed the age eligibility for players.
The local girls lost both games to Prince George, and they got thumped in the first game.
However, they played much better in the second game, Mitchell says, adding the 100 Mile House girls controlled the game right up to the seventh end when Prince George started a comeback to win the game.
“It was great. The crowd was cheering loudly for our girls and they were playing really well.
“I was quite happy with their performance.”
The Prince George boys’ and girls’ rinks moved on to the provincials in Nanaimo on March 16-19.