Vernon’s Perepolkin sweeps field for provincial berth

Vernon's Trevor Perepolkin advances to B.C. men's curling provincials by winning Okanagan Zone playdowns in Kelowna.

This is probably the first year since he was 14 that Trevor Perepolkin hasn’t played in the local Super Curling League.

The step back doesn’t seem to have diminished his skill level much. Perepolkin, who instead curls Mondays with “a group of buddies,” iced Kamloops’ Michael Smith 9-6 in the A Final of the Okanagan Zone Men’s Playdowns Sunday morning at the Kelowna Curling Club.

Perepolkin – backed by Armstrong’s Tyler Orme at third, and the front end of Kamloops’ James McKenzie and Kelowna’s Chris Anderson – will compete in provincials, Feb. 5-10, in Parksville.

“We’ve been real close in the last few years to qualify, so it’s nice to get back there,” said Perepolkin, the father of six-month-old daughter Hana.

Perepolkin’s rink practises together once a week, and they have stayed competition ready by entering World Curling Tour events in Vernon, Kamloops and Red Deer. With provincials a reality, he added: “We’ll dial it up a notch. We’re just half a step off being a very competitive team.”

Jamie Sexton’s Vernon rink of third Michael Longworth, second Hugh Bennett and lead Jon Gardner, claimed the second B.C. berth by shading Smith 8-7 in the B final Sunday night.

Sexton started the spiel at 1-2, but reeled off four straight wins to advance. The march started with a 7-6 win over Kamloops’ Brent Yamada Saturday afternoon, and continued with Sunday wins over Kelowna’s David Mellof (9-4) and Kamloops’ Scott DeCap (7-6).