The CURLSASK Under-21 Provincial Curling Championships are now underway at the Swift Current Curling Club, with eight women’s teams and six men’s teams competing for the coveted green jackets.
Fans will have some local curlers to cheer for on the women’s side this weekend, including Andra Todd and her team from the Swift Current Curling Club, Raechel Schlechter skipping a team from the Highland Curling Club in Regina, and Aryn Thibault is playing second for Cara Kesslering from the Sutherland Curling Club in Saskatoon.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been able to play here and it’s a good feeling playing at home, showing them what you can do and having people here that can actually come and watch rather than being three or four hours away,” Thibault said.
Team Kesslering are already provincial champions this season, having won the U18 Championship in December to earn the right to represent Saskatchewan at the national championship in Timmins, Ontario, in February.
“That was pretty amazing,” Thibault said. “We played really good at it, it wasn’t the best ice conditions, but we managed to figure it out, get used to it and adapt.”
Thibault added she got inspired to start curling when she took a chance on it in Grade 4.
“We had a school program, and I was, like, ‘hey, what the heck is this?’,” she said. “I really had never watched curling before, but I did that and kind of got hooked and I hadn’t gotten away from it.”
Team Kesslering fell 5-4 to Elizabeth Kessel in their opening match on Thursday morning, and then dropped a 7-5 decision to Schlechter in a B-event game in the evening to place them in a must-win C-event game on Friday night. Schlechter, who lost 8-5 to Jenna Pomedli in their first match, will continue in the B-event this morning against Madison Kleiter, while Todd will play in the C-event tonight after opening day losses to Kleiter (13-1) and Alyssa Resch (10-9).
On the men’s side, Matthew Drewitz and his team from Saskatoon defeated Joshua Bryden 6-4 and Brayden Heistad 7-3 to finish day one with a 2-0 record in the round-robin event.
Curling continues all day Friday and Saturday with the semi-finals and finals on Sunday. The winning men’s and women’s teams will represent Saskatchewan at the New Holland Canadian Juniors in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, from March 25 to April 2.