After wearing his coaching hat over the Christmas holidays, Jim Cotter has donned his playing cap again.
Cotter and teammates John Morris, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky begin play Wednesday afternoon at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling’s Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford, Sask.
The Morris rink opened against Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen in the event, which features 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams playing a triple knockout format.
Teams must win three games before losing three to qualify for the playoffs, which will feature eight rinks.
The winners of this event will receive invitations to the Champions Cup, which is the final event of the season.
Cotter, Griffith and Sawatsky will be looking for their fourth straight B.C. Men’s title, joined by Morris for the provincial finals Feb. 8-12 in Abbotsford.
Cotter guided the Megan McGillivray Vernon-Kelowna rink to a 2-5 mark at the B.C. Junior Women’s Curling Championships at the Royal City Curling Club in New Westminster over the Christmas holidays.
McGillivray, from Kelowna, backed by third Winter Harvey of Vernon, Cotter’s daughter Jaelyn at second, lead Katelyn McGillivray and fifth Cassidy Schwaerzle of Vernon, won her final two games of the round-robin.
The Okanagan squad defeated Mariah Coloumbe of Victoria 7-4 and knocked off Alyssa Connell of Prince George 9-2.
Corryn Brown of Kamloops won her third provincial junior title in five years, beating defending champ Sarah Daniels of Delta 7-4 in the final.
Tyler Tardi of Langley won his second straight B.C. Junior Men’s crown, downing Kyle Habkirk of Victoria 11-5 in the championship.
Tardi and Brown advance to the Canadian finals Jan. 21-29 in Victoria.
Vernon’s Thomas Love ended up 3-4 after the preliminary round, which saw the local squad get off to a 3-1 start.
However, the rink finished with consecutive losses, 7-6 to Tyler Proctor of Royal City, 9-3 to Habkirk and 8-7 to Matthew McCrady of Royal City.
Love’s rink included third Erik Colwell, second Brandan Chapple and lead Logan Miron, and was coached by Dean Chapple.