The draws are set and the Trail Curling Association organizers ready for the 2019 BC Senior Curling Championships that kicks off tonight at the Trail Curling Club.
All 16 teams (eight senior men’s teams and eight senior women’s teams) will be in action at the Trail curling facility Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the first draw of the senior provincial championships.
This year’s Senior’s title is especially appealing, with the 2019 Canadian Senior Curling Championships taking place in Chilliwack Mar. 22-28, giving the provincial champions a chance to represent the province in front of a home crowd.
The Kootenay is represented by two men’s teams and two women’s teams, with both men’s Teams, Bill van Yzerloo and Tom Buchy, and the women’s, Team Nichol, supplying some local content.
Team Nichol is skipped by Castlegar curler Heather Nichol with third Marnie Matthews of Trail, second Lee Bedard of Christina Lake, and Castlegar’s Joyce Maloff lead.
The other Kootenay women’s team consists of Cranbrook curlers Joy Romeo (skip), Tracey Amy (Third), Lynn Lee (second), Lisa Matheson (lead) and Traci Jensen (fifth).
With this being their first year together as a competitive team and being able to go to provincials, Amy said they are all really excited.
“It was the ultimate goal when we put this team together was to try and go to provincials this year, especially because the regionals were so close and provincials are in Trail, so not a long travel time for us. We are pretty excited to represent the club, and it would be another ultimate goal if we could get to nationals.”
Among the senior women’s athletes are 2016 BC Senior Women’s champion Cindy Curtain (playing on Team Richter) and 2015 Canadian Senior Women’s bronze medallist Wendy Cseke (playing on Team Anderson).
And as the luck of the draw would have it, Team Anderson faces Team Richter in the first draw on Tuesday, while Nanaimo’s Team Shearer plays Team Cowan from Royal City/Delta Thistle, Lisa Duputan’s rink from Chilliwack faces Team Nichol, and Team Romeo from Cranbrook goes against Team Ernst from Quesnel.
On the men’s side, skip van Yzerloo and third Myron Nichol hail from Castlegar, second Alex Coutts, lead Richard Faunt and fifth Brian LeMoel are Trail curlers. Kimberley’s Tom Buchy rink enlisted the help of Trail curler Rob Ferguson as third, while Buchy will skip the team, with Dave Toffolo as second and Darren Will lead.
“There are no easy games, but there are definitely a lot of hard ones,” said Faunt, who is also co-chair of the event. “Buchy just turned 50 this year, so he’s going to be tough, and he’s playing well, so we hope there is at least one of us (Kootenay teams) if not both of us make the playoffs.”
There are many notable names on the senior men’s side, with teams led by skips such as three-time BC Senior Men’s and three-time BC Mixed champion Wes Craig, three-time BC Senior Men’s, three-time BC Mixed and 2018 BC Masters champion Craig Lepine, and three-time BC Men’s and former BC Mixed and Masters champion Rob Koffski.
Last season the senior men’s competition was won by Craig Lepine’s team of Stan Walker, Craig McLeod, and Mike Pelech, and the senior women’s competition was won by Lynne Noble’s team of Penny Shantz, Colleen Robson and Karen Lepine.
The first draw will showcase a heavyweight match-up right off the start with the Lepine versus Wes Craig foursomes going on sheet E, and Buchy playing Team Wright, Marshall facing Koffski, and van Yzerloo versus Macdonald.
The round robin continues on Wednesday with an 11 a.m. draw, followed by Opening Ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. and the third draw at 7 p.m.
The round robin will continue through Friday, with any necessary tiebreakers and the semifinals going on Feb. 23. Both finals will take place on Feb. 24 at 11 a.m. Admission is free.
“We encourage everyone to come watch, and again I’d like to thank the whole executive for their hard work,” said Faunt.
See scoreboard on Pg. 9 for Draw times.