The Smithers Secondary School’s curling team is headed to provincials for the fifth year in a row.
The team defeated Charles Hayes Secondary School during regionals in the best-of-three series in Prince Rupert, winning both games 8-2 and 8-3 earlier this month to lift the team to provincials.
“The boys played really well, they’re very consistent players even on a new ice surface,” said head coach Laurence Turney. “There were some really nice shots late in the game to make it work for them.”
Prince Rupert was the only team the team had to defeat to move on to provincials in February since no other regional teams were available to compete.
All five players, Evan Doyle, Sean Turney, Adam Hartnett, Matthew Steventon and Glyn Doyle who travelled west were able to get experience playing.
“We played very well against Prince Rupert. They’re a weaker team for sure, it wasn’t much of a challenge, but it was still good to get those games done,” said senior Glyn Doyle.
This year, the team has set their sights on winning it all with a core group of players who have made numerous appearances at provincials.
“They’re pretty keen, they came in third last year in provincials, so they’re hoping to at least go that well. They’ve got the skills, I think, to go all the way this year,” said Turney, adding that Hartnett, Steventon, Doyle and Turney all have experience competing at provincials.
“They know what to expect, they know the teams, they know it can go sideways, but they also know how to actually win, which is a big part of it.”
In the coming weeks, Turney said the team will continue to practice and stay sharp.
“Over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to work on how to deal with pressure,” he said. “There are a number of teams who have done well, teams out of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are strong.”
Doyle believes their experience will give the team from the North an advantage.
The team will travel to Creston on Feb. 18-22.