Okanagan rink to defend B.C. title

Jim Cotter team, with John Morris, Ty Griffith and Rick Sawatsky are tuning up for run a Brier berth

Tyrel Griffith (left) and Rick Sawatsky are the front end for Jim Cotter’s Okanagan curling foursome.

With John Morris back in the mix, the Jim Cotter rink will take a run at its fourth consecutive B.C. men’s curling title, Feb. 8 to 12 at the Abbotsford Curling Club.

Also featuring Kelowna’s Tyrel Griffith at second and lead Rick Sawatsky, the Okanagan-based foursome will be one of 12 teams competing for the championship and a spot at the 2017 Brier in St. John’s, NL.

The Cotter crew is coming off a big win last weekend on the World Curling Tour, claiming the Abbotsford Cashspiel and the $6,000 first prize.

The Okanagan rink is gearing up not only for another run at a Brier berth next spring, but a spot at next December’s Canadian trials for the 2018 Olympic Games.

When Morris last played with Cotter, Griffith and Sawatsky in 2013-14, they reached the finals in both the Brier and Olympic trials, but came up just one step short on both occasions.

Reunited for the next two seasons and with some definite goals mind, Griffith said the Cotter team’s 2016-17 season is rounding into shape.

“I’d say we’re getting stronger with each event,” said Griffth, who has played at four previous Briers with Cotter. “Having John back, expectations are high. It’s been fun and we’ve found our groove as of late.

“It’s a different dynamic this time in that we’ve all been through this together before,” he added.

“It wasn’t the easiest coming together before, so now we know better what to expect. We’re way ahead of where we were last time.”

With the 2018 Olympics beckoning, the Cotter team has a full schedule planned over the next 12 to 18 months, including a busy December this year.

Next up for the Vernon-Kelowna-Calgary crew is the Boost National Grand Slam event, Dec. 6 to 11 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. A deep field of teams includes Kevin Koe, Brad Jacobs, Mike McEwen, Niklas Edin and Brad Gushue.

Immediately after, the Cotter team will head to Japan to for the Karuizawa Invitational, Dec. 15 to 18.

Kelowna trio with Geall…

Three Kelowna curlers will join skip Sean Geall on the Abbotsford-based team for the B.C. men’s curling championship next year.

Third Jeff Richard, second Brendan Willis and lead Dave Harper, all from Kelowna, round out the Geall foursome for the provincials, Feb. 8 to 12 at the Abbotsford Curling Club.

Richard won the B.C. men’s title as a skip in 2010.

The Geall team qualified by virtue of points collected to date on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).

Dean Joanisse from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge has also qualified due to CTRS points.

The nine remaining rinks for the B.C. championship will come from the winners of four regional playdowns this month and one open playdown in January.

Just Posted

Experts gather to discuss Okanagan water needs

Kelowna environmental water flows conference Oct. 17-18 has global reach

UBC Okanagan nursing students host gala fundraising event

Medical clinics in Ghana and Zambia will benefit from the gala

UBC Okanagan welcomes alumni and the community to campus event

Homecoming is a chance to rediscover and reconnect with the campus

Kelowna still waiting for first legal pot shop application

Despite anticipating ‘hundreds’ of applications, the city has yet to receive one

Kelowna RCMP look for alleged theft suspect

The alleged theft of a wallet was committed inside a Kelowna business

Sunny skies for the week ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting clear skies for the Okanagan and Shuswap

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Shuswap goat delivery way above quota

Hillside Dreams Callekno produced sextuplets, a rare event among goats

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read