A season of hard work, long hours and stiff competition paid off for one local curling rink. The James Barkway team from Moose Jaw finished second overall at the juvenile provincials over the weekend in Shaunavon.
“It feels good,” said coach Patrick Ackerman. “The boys started off a little slower than we would have liked, but we won our first game. We lost our second one, won our third, lost our fourth, but then put together a string of three wins. Then lost in the final.”
The rink includes Barkway, Jonathon Wells, Carson Ackerman and Colton Brown and they started curling together late last year, but have put together a strong season in playdowns and in the Original 16 Super League at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre.
“We were hoping to be in the top four so that we would have a chance at playing in a final, so we did that. Then we had a chance to play in that final,” said Ackerman.
The rink opened with a win over Jayden Ellwood (Esterhazy), but then dropped their second match to Logan Wild (Tartan). They defeated Lucas Richards (Assiniboia) before losing to Chad Lang (Granite). The Barkway rink then strung together wins over Kyle Wiebe (Kindersley), Wild and Brayden Stewart (Maryfield). In the final, Lang dropped them 8-3. They were in the game until the seventh end when Lang scored four to seal the victory and title.
“James’ first rocked picked, but threw a really good rock. His last one picked up something going around the guard. We had two tough breaks in a row to let them get four,” he stated. “We played him twice this weekend and we lost the first game with one bad end, but we knew we could play with him. We knew that we could compete with them. They are a great hitting team and they are well coached with high quality players with lots of experience.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.