In a relatively short climb to the top, the young but mighty Salmon Arm Secondary Jackson Campus Boys Curling team claimed the title of BC School Sports Provincial Champions on March 4.
Under the guidance of coach Darryl Horne and assistant Kate Horne, the team, consisting of skip Kaiden Beck along with Nolan Beck, Alex Watkins and Nick Metcalfe, played five tough games in Kelowna during the championship.
The Salmon Arm rink won four games March 2 and 3, and then faced Riverside Secondary from Port Coquitlam Friday morning for the championship game. Both rinks headed into the tourney final with a record of 4-0.
“They were all challenging games for them. The last one, we ended up with a big score but it was tied after five ends – or close to five,” Darryl said. “They were challenged and played well.”
A couple of the local boys hadn’t curled competitively, while two had.
“One of our boys joined just before Christmas… We had to pull it all together pretty quick,” Darryl said.
Kate noted the Salmon Arm rink consisted of Grade 9 and 10 students, while the teams they were facing were all made up of curlers in grades 11 and 12.
“With two more years’ experience and two more years size.”
She said the Salmon Arm athletes worked really hard and “are really nice kids.”
Darryl agreed. “It’s a good win for the boys – they played really well.”
He said he and Kate agreed to help when the boys were without a coach.
“We didn’t have expectations this would be the outcome, but pretty exciting it is.”
In order to progress to Provincials, the team from Jackson won the BC Okanagan Valley High School regional playdowns, which featured a nail-biter won by the Salmon Arm rink, 10-8.
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