Team Woollends will represent Quesnel at the B.C. Winter Games next month.
The team is made up of skip Noah Woollends, lead Landon Cherry, second Brycen Trimble, third Kyle Eggert and fifth Caleb Woollends.
The team won a best-of-three series in two games, played over the Jan. 11-12 weekend at the Quesnel Curling Centre. The first game saw a point-for-point shootout, with Team Woollends coming out on top 9-8 in a nail-biter.
The second game had a completely different feel. After surrendering a single point in the first end and a scoreless second, Team Woollends put two points on the board in the third and four in the fourth and never looked back, winning the match 13-1.
Skip Noah Woollends attributed the win to his team’s focus and decision-making.
“Our lead and our second really stepped up,” he said. “They made a lot of their shots, and I guess we just had better decision-making today. We got the weight down on the ice and just started making our shots.”
Team Woollends coach Justin Nillson, who was standing in for the team’s regular coach Lori Deroucher who was out of town, lauded the team’s ability to work together.
“What they’ve really done well this weekend is to each know their roles, lead through skip,” he said. “That’s something we’ve really being practising, each team member knowing their role and doing that really well. From getting ready for each shot and actually executing each shot, they did really well.”
The chance to play at the B.C. Winter Games is something the team isn’t taking lightly. As Woollends was quick to point out, it has been a long-time goal.
“This was our long-term goal for five years; we’ve been playing this sport just to go to the Games,” he said.
Coach Nillson echoed the sentiment, stating that the opportunity to play in the biennial tournament is an excellent experience for the young athletes and one that they are taking very seriously.
“It’s a big deal to get to these Games, and you know it doesn’t happen every year, so it’s a really cool experience for them,” he said. “We will probably be doubling up or tripling up practices to get ready.”
The B.C. Winter Games will see athletes under 18 years old from all over the province represent their region and compete for gold in their individual sports.