Morning Star Staff
Thomas Love of Vernon will represent the Okanagan at the Tim Hortons B.C. Junior Men’s Curling Championships, Dec. 29-Jan. 3, in Kamloops.
Love, supported by Eric Colwell at third, Brendan Chapple at second and Jonathan Schwartz at lead, went 3-0 at the Okanagan playdowns in Vernon. The foursome is coached by Dean Chapple.
Love shaded Jesse Monette of Vernon 6-5 Saturday morning, ambushed Ramsay Murray of Kelowna 12-3 later that afternoon and iced Monette 9-4 Sunday morning.
There were three teams in the playdowns with Monette dispatching Murray 9-4 Saturday night.
Monette was backed by third Matt Schiman, second Ben Morin and lead Adam Raber. Monette’s crew is coached by Dale Hofer.
Team Buchy, from Kimberley Curling Club, also qualified last weekend. Skip Alysha Buchy, third Kaila Buchy, second Haylie Farquhar and lead Arissa Toffolo are coached by Tom Buchy (Alysha and Kaila’s father), a two-time BC Mixed Champion who is regularly a contender in the BC Men’s Championship. Tom got his competitive career started playing out of Vernon.
Vernon’s Winter Harvey is in the provincial junior women’s field in Kamloops. Third Jaelyn Cotter, second Megan McGillivray and lead Cassidy Schwaerzle round out the foursome, coached by B.C. men’s champion (and Jaelyn’s father) Jim Cotter.
The M&M Meats Canadian finals go Jan. 23-31 in Stratford, Ont.
Meanwhile, Jim Cotter began play Tuesday against Saskatoon’s Steven Laycock at the 16-team, $100,000 Meridian Canadian Open Grand Slam of Curling event at the Gallagher Centre in Yorkton, Sask.
Most of the heavyweights are in the World Curling Tour event, including Kevin Koe and Pat Simmons, both of Calgary, Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, Niklas Edin of Sweden and Glenn Howard and Brad Jacobs, both of Ontario.
Finals in the triple-knockout affair go Sunday afternoon.
Cotter is supported by third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatzky.
McEwen leads the WCT points table with 930, followed by HGushue at 818, Jacobs at 763 and Koe at 661.
They have locked up an automatic berth to the Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. men’s championships Feb. 10-14 in Nelson as defending champions.
They’ll be joined in the field by the team they beat in the 2015 final at the Vernon Curling Club – Dean Joanisse of the Royal City club in New Westminster – and Sean Geall of Royal City.
Joanisse and Geall earned their spots in Nelson for their success in collecting Canadian Team Ranking System points at World Curling Tour events.