The doors of opportunity just keep opening for an overabundance of local curling talent.
Three Sudbury based rinks were recently informed of their acceptance within the Next Gen Program of support, as doled out courtesy of the Ontario Curling Council. The Nickel City contingent includes:
Megan Smith U21 team – Kira Brunton, Sara Guy, Kate Sherry
Bella Croisier U18 team – Jamie Smith, Piper Croisier, Lauren Raajala
Tanner Horgan U21 team – Jacob Horgan, Nicholas Bissonnette, Maxime Blais
With Krysta Burns and Laura Masters both having aged out from the junior team that competed at nationals last year, the timing of this announcement was paticularly fortuitous for Smith and company.
“To have so many resources from that program is huge, especially with the new team we are building,” said Smith, helping out with the Amethyst Camp last week. “Fitness training, sports psychologists, a nutrionist, a mentor coach (Morris Wilson), he’s working with me this week.”
Though there is a 50 per cent turnover in the roster of the squad that donned the Northern Ontario colours last January, Smith is confident that the current quartet can reach the same heights. “We’re lucky that we have played together a little bit,” she explained.
“The work will be building that new team dynamic, deciding what our lineup is going to look like, what’s the best lineup for us going forward. Rodney (coach Rod Guy) will have two new players that he’s never worked with before.”
The transition is somewhat similar for the Croisier rink, another team that sees two new faces added to the mix from the roster that competed together in 2016-2017. “I like the fact that we all have similar goals, and that we’re going to be very driven to attain those goals,” said Croisier.
Throwing last stones again this year, she is more than willing to share some of the responsibility, especially in-game, for the benefit of the entire team. “We’re trying to get a consistency going this year, especially…