Erik Colwell (kneeling) calls the shot during Tuesday night men’s curling in preparation for the coming junior provincials in Vernon. (John K. White/Morning Star)

Vernon’s Colwell sets focus on home provincials

The provincials are the biggest stage in the game for B.C. curlers.

The provincials are the biggest stage in the game for B.C. curlers and usually bring the most pressure, but for the Vernon junior men’s reps, the recent playdowns were a step above.

“Qualifying is always a stressful time. I always find playdowns way more stressful than provincials because just the thought of not being at provincials, especially when we knew our hometown was hosting it this year, we were kind of nervous,” skip Erik Colwell said Tuesday night before playing in a men’s league game at the Vernon Curling Club. “If we don’t capitalize this year we’re kind of letting down our home club.”

The young skip has been around long enough to have seen a dramatic improvement in the level of play.

“When we qualified it was a big step for us because it is tough to qualify at playdowns. Competition in curling has gone up so much since my first juniors. Every year it just gets stronger and stronger,” Colwell said.

“The quality of junior curling has gone way up because you see junior teams nowadays going into men’s and women’s and competing with them. You have Bruce Mowat who won the world juniors two years ago and now he’s like one of the top five teams in the world and he’s 22 years old. The training, and the coaching, and the practice is way more dedicated from the players and it can really show.”

Like most athletes competing at the top levels of sport, maintaining the focus on execution versus the potential result is the key to dealing with nerves.

“We’re just trying to think about each shot individually and not overthink it and play our game. You never want to be thinking about ‘if we make this we get three,’ it’s just another draw, it’s just another hit. You just think of it as you’re just throwing because we’ve all thrown the shot before,” Colwell said.

RELATED: BC Junior Curling Championships field complete

RELATED: Home, sweet home for Vernon provincial curling reps

Competitive familiarity and respect have combined to inform Team Colwell of certain strategies heading into provincials play.

“We definitely have a strategy coming into provincials. We’ve played all of these teams before, we know how they play, and we practice specific areas [based on] what happened at playdowns, where we struggled, where our strengths are, and really play our best coming into provincials and have a good plan going in against each team,” the skip said.

Colwell’s squad knows they’ll be in tough against two rinks in particular.

“Tyler Tardi. I’ve been playing him since I was 12. He’s one of the best players in the world at the junior level, so we’re always looking at him, not just as a role model but as a big competitor because we know that he always performs on the biggest stage,” Colwell said. “Team Sato, they’re really young, they’re really good, they were last year’s U18 provincial champs, so we always look at them as stiff competition. We’re just going to have to take it one game at a time.”

A common thread among all competitive curlers is the lure of one day representing Canada at the Winter Olympics. Many point to this ultimate carrot as the catalyst for the heightened focus, intensity and commitment to the game, especially at the junior level.

“Olympics are a big thing for curlers, especially here in Canada where there’s such stiff competition. To be representing your country in the Olympics, it’s a big step and it’s tough to get there, so I think players are always looking for that,” Colwell said.

The 2019 junior men’s and women’s provincials go in Vernon from Dec. 27 to Jan 1.

The complete list of teams that have qualified for the BC Junior Men’s Curling Championship is as follows:

– Team Tardi (BC Junior Curling Tour)

– Team Carpenter (BC Junior Curling Tour)

– Team Sato (Coastal playdown)

– Team Umbach (Coastal playdown)

– Team Colwell (Thompson Okanagan playdown)

– Team Marshall (open playdown)

– Team Yamada (open playdown)

– Team Silversides (open playdown)

To report a typo, email:

Follow me on Twitter @johnkwhite
Email me
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Logan Miron watches his rock during Tueday men’s league play. (John K. White/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Vernon Panthers roll to final four; Fulton Maroons eliminated

Panthers dispatch North Van’s Windsor Dukes in high school football quarterfinal; Maroons lose 46-0

Flavours abound at soft open for hard Coldstream cidery

Tony’s Craft Cidery is open for free taste tests all month, will have grand opening next spring

Vernon Vipers stymied in shootout

The Vipers fell 3-2 to the Langley Rivermen Friday night in their second shootout in as many games

Vernon firefighters snuff out basement fire in single-family home

The residents were not home at the time of the fire, which resulted in no injuries

Vernon firefighters, councillors push new trucks into service

Vernon Fire Rescue Services ceremony took place at Station 1 Saturday morning

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read