100 Mile House’s Junior Girls curling team beat out 16 teams to take the championship in a great weekend of curling (March 3-5).
The annual Ladies’ Bonspiel was held at the 100 Mile Curling Club to the delight of players, coaches and curling fans.
“Sixteen teams made for a lot of great curling,” says Joanne Doddridge, president of the club. “We’re really proud of our junior girls. We’ve been expecting them to basically beat the more mature teams for a long time, but this was really great.”
The bonspiel was the junior team’s first major win.
“Everyone was so happy. It was just surreal. We didn’t go in expecting to win, we went in for fun, to have some playing time,” says junior skip Ashley Holyk.
At 16, Holyk is the oldest on the team. Rachel Sikiric (lead), Chloe Mitchell (second) and Hailey McNabb (third) make up the rest of the winning junior curlers.
“Everything just clicked this weekend. Everyone made their shots, we didn’t really mess up at all, everyone did just perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything better from all of them,” says Holyk.
As skip, Holyk calls the shots and strategizes for the team. Did she do a good job?
“That’s what everyone told me,” she says with a laugh.
According to the girls, the first game, and the game needed to stay in the A division, was the most challenging.
“We were down by one or two going into the last end and we were able to pick up a point,” she says. The team forced the game into an extra end which they stole from the other team.
The tournament has given Holyk more confidence going forward.
“I underestimate our team,” she says. “All those people, they’re so good, they’re so advanced, they’ve had so much practice, but we can play against them. We can win.”
Their coach, Jim Mitchell, says he’s quite proud of the girls.
“They are in the process of transforming from learning the mechanical aspects of the game to learning the strategy of the game, so this is huge. This is the first time they have really successfully put the two together,” he says.
“They knew in theory how things should be done and this is the first time they have done it in practice, and it all worked for them.
The juniors, for their part, credit their coach.
“He’s the main reason that we definitely won that. He’s been with us for so long and he’s taught me so much and he’s helped us so much. Without him we wouldn’t have even been close to winning,” says Holyk.
The bonspiel marked the end of the season for the young curlers, but their hopes are high for next year.
“This is an extremely good starting point. Now that they’ve had this success, now we can go over it and analyze why they were successful. Up until now, I’ve only been able to talk to them strategy wise,” says Mitchell.
The tournament was a success not only for the junior team — much fun was had at the Saturday night dinner and dance and teams have promised to come back next year.
Because of the Juniors’ win, Doddridge said the bonspiel also gave a special thank you to the parents, coaches and the junior co-odinator.
“All of us are volunteers trying to help the juniors along and they finally pulled out a big win,” she says.
“They are always cheering for us,” says Holyk. “It’s always so good to have that support. It makes us feel so much more confident.”
Article from 100 Mile Free Press