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Wolverines in the hack

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The West Kildonan Wolverines girls curling team in action against Lord Selkirk.

PHOTO BY JARED STORY Enlarge Image

The West Kildonan Wolverines girls curling team in action against Lord Selkirk. Photo Store

It’s not going to give Jennifer Jones a run for her money any time soon, but the West Kildonan Collegiate girls curling team is in the hack and giving it its best shot.

The Wolverines — made up of skip Sydney Beck, Kara Sachvie, Krystin Timmerman, Annette Mold and Tessa Bortoluzzi — started its season with an 8-0 loss to Lord Selkirk on Thurs., Nov. 21 at East St. Paul Curling Club.  

"We have a very inexperienced team this year, so it’s going to be interesting season," said Mark Gilchrist, who supervises the team along with coach Kim Link.  

"They’re just a great bunch of kids, who are either trying to learn more about the game or trying to learn the game literally from scratch. We had one girl out on the ice for the first time last week, trying to learn how to play."

Gilchrist said beyond Beck as skip, the team is still trying to figure out who fits best at which position.

The Wolverines’ season goes until the middle of February, after which is provincials, if the team qualifies.

While provincials is a bit of a long shot for the inexperienced squad, that’s not going to stop Gilchrist and Link from helping their players get good with the granite.

"(We need to work on) just understanding the game better," Gilchrist said. "I think they’re always working on all of the skills, but I would say understanding the game and strategy would be the biggest ones."

This is Beck’s second year curling for the Wolverines. The Grade 12 West Kildonan student said she really enjoys watching curling on TV and got into the sport to have fun with friends.

"It’s just really fun to play together and it’s not super competitive or anything, but at the same time you’re always trying to win," Beck said.

If the Wolverines want to win, Beck said there are few specific aspects of the game the team needs to work on.

"Just slide out to the broom more and really control your weight and know what shot to play at the right time, stuff like that," Beck said.

The season may be short, but the team has lots of time to improve. Gilchrist said curling isn’t something you have to quit doing after school.

"Curling is one of those sports where it’s more of an activity you can do for a lifetime," Gilchrist said. "It’s more of a social game than others. It’s something they can continue in the community when they leave high school."

Beck said she’d like to continue curling after graduation, but is concentrating on softball. Currently she plays A-level softball for the Smitty’s Terminators and is looking to get a scholarship from somewhere in the U.S.

And, even if she doesn’t continue curling, Beck can always watch her favourite curler on TV.

"I really like Jennifer Jones," Beck said. "She’s really good and she’s from Winnipeg so that’s a bonus. I’ve always liked her. She’s so competitive and so passionate about what she does."

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