A pair of rookie teams from Vincent Massey will represent Brandon at the provincial high school curling championships in Rivers and Minnedosa from Feb. 20-22, and they’re looking forward to the chance to compete on the big stage.
Provincial championships aren’t anything new for Kaitlyn Payette, who’s skipping Alyssa Cooley, Shae Arnold and Catherine Beaupre in the girls’ event. Last year, Payette was at the under-18 provincials and narrowly missed representing Westman in the girls’ event at the upcoming Manitoba Winter Games. She will play in mixed doubles instead.
None of her teammates have experience at a provincial curling event, which means they may lean on Payette, a Grade 11 student, a little more. However, she’s not sure what to expect next week.
“I don’t think it will be as much competition, but I believe it’s still a big opportunity to go out and try your best as you will come up against teams that will have a little more experience and have a better chance at winning,” said Payette, whose team went undefeated en route to the city title.
The provincial field will also include Kahli Wedderburn of Rivers, Carberry’s Dori Vince and Dauphin’s Hanne Jensen.
Payette feels her team can be solid and make a run at provincials, but she doesn’t want to set unrealistic goals, either.
“I would really like to try our best and I would like to win at least one game. That would be really good,” she said.
Meanwhile, Vincent Massey’s Cameron Beaupre will represent the city in the boys’ field. Beaupre and his team of Austin Bates, Connor Broome and Ian Eikanger are all in Grade 10 and weren’t expecting to make it to provincials this year, but went undefeated in the Brandon league.
With such a young team, Beaupre is looking forward to debuting on the provincial scene and getting some experience.
“It’s really good if we go there because we can learn and improve on what we don’t know now, so we can always get better,” he said. “… I think we’re all really excited to go to provincials and we’ll have a real good time there.”
Cory Gill of Rivers has also made the men’s field.
JUNIOR CAMP: CurlManitoba will host a junior high-performance ID camp at the Brandon Curling Club on Sunday. The camp is open to curlers born between 1996 and 2002 who are interested in training year-round. The cost for the camp is $36.75. To register, email Connie Laliberte at email@example.com.
SENIOR PROVINCIALS: Organizers of the Manitoba championships, which will be held at the Brandon Curling Club from Feb. 20-24, are looking for volunteers. Call the club at 204-726-3560.
EXTRA ENDS: Hamiota’s senior mixed bonspiel will run from Feb. 24-26. Call Linda Wilson at 204-764-2642, or contact Sharon Hebert at 204-764-0430 … Killarney’s senior mixed event is set for Feb. 26. Call Sandra Lockerby at 204-523-4519.