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John Morris taking break from curling

John Morris, left, in discussion with teammate Jim Cotter of Vernon, has decided to take some time off from curling. The Vernon-Kelowna rink, in its first year together, made it to the finals of the Olympic trials and the Brier. - Morning Star file photo
John Morris, left, in discussion with teammate Jim Cotter of Vernon, has decided to take some time off from curling. The Vernon-Kelowna rink, in its first year together, made it to the finals of the Olympic trials and the Brier.
— image credit: Morning Star file photo

A month after making it to the final of the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship in Kamloops, John Morris has announced he’s taking some time off from the game.

Morris, who joined Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Rick Sawatsky, and Kelowna’s Tyrel Griffith to form one of the most successful first-year teams in history, made the announcement on the teams’ Facebook page.

“After a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided to take a step back from the game of curling next year,” wrote Morris. “I had the tremendous pleasure of playing with three great, genuine teammates as we made it farther than I think anyone would have predicted for a team playing its first year together.”

The foursome finished second at the Roar of the Rings Olympics trials in Winnipeg, losing to eventual Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. They won the provincial curling crown in Vancouver to advance to the Brier in Cotter’s hometown of Kamloops.

Spurred on by a partisan hometown crowd throughout the week, Morris and company made it to the one-two playoff game, beating Kevin Koe of Calgary to advance to the final. Koe got revenge on the B.C. champs by winning the Brier final.

“I am extremely proud of our squad for what we accomplished and would like to thank my guys for helping me recover my passion and heart for the game of curling, and for having one of the most memorable years in my career,” said Morris, who also lauded coach Pat Ryan and alternate players Jody Epp and Jason Gunnlaugson. “I will be taking some time off to pursue an educational course that I’ve been wanting to take for a few years now, as well as to secure a career in the fire service.”

Cotter said the whole team is in a similar situation to Morris.

“We’re all in the same boat in needing to take a step back from the game, we’ve put our lives on hold for about the last 10 years,” said Cotter. “There’s definitely no hard feelings, John’s decision is totally understandable. We’ll just move forward and, because of the success we’ve had in such a short period of time, entertain the thought of all playing together again for sure.”

Cotter said he, Sawatsky and Griffith will likely stick together for next season, but reduce their schedules considerably.

 

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