Rock the house
With the curling season already underway, it is interesting to note that the University of Regina men’s curling team has only competed once as a unit.
That’s not to say the four team members don’t take the sport seriously. In fact, most of them dedicate significant hours to curling.
Two of those team members, Daniel Selke and Matt Ring, have spent a lot of time on the ice with their Junior curling team.
The two have been travelling and competing against other under-20 men’s curling teams trying to vouch for the coveted spot as Saskatchewan’s Junior Men’s team.
Catlin Schneider, the Cougars current skip, has competed in various men’s bonspiels and is also the champion of the 2013 Regina men’s Bonspiel.
With busy school schedules, travelling for bonspiels, and Schneider continuing his training with the Regina Rams, these four athletes put in their own personal hours as opposed to training together as a group. But, they are looking into practicing once or twice a week to get more comfortable with each other, and to see if their playing styles fit together.
However, Schneider, Selke and Ring are already quite familiar with each other. The curling world can seem very small at times, and the three of them know that all too well; they have been competing both against and with each other for quite some time.
“We want to come out of Westerns and have a good run at nationals, and I think this team we have put together could take it all.” – Daniel Selke
Despite their connections, Garret Springer, who plays lead for the team, was somewhat of a stranger to the group before this year’s U of R qualifying spiel took place.
Springer, who is in his first year of university, comes from Foam Lake. As in most small communities, it is guaranteed he grew up with the sport of curling.
So, when the four boys all met for the first time at the qualifying spiel, they were pleased to see the strong performance by Springer.
“It’s pretty hard to find that certain group of people you are probably going to curl with from within the university,” Selke said. “[Springer] ended up being a shooter. He is not hindering our team at all.”
To be exact, Selke called Springer “a stud out there.”
When a team has only one bonspiel together it is hard to pin point what exactly they need to work on, but as Selke points out “in curling, communication is huge.” Unfortunately, communication comes with time that you invest with each other. Alison Fisher, program assistant of recreation services, said that based on what she sees, the four members of the Cougars men’s curling team will have no problem supporting each other.
The biggest quality Selke has noticed with the new team is their ability to play loose, a characteristic that will surely help this group moving forward.
“We can pull four guys out of anywhere and say we are going to give this a go and see if it is going to work for us, and it did,” he said.
“We know what we can do,” Selke said. “We know we can play the shots.”
Having Schneider as a team leader also helps. The whole team has confidence that Schneider’s knowledge of the game was the best fit for skipping the team.
The U of R also has seems to have confidence in the team. The Recreation Services and Student Union have invested more than the Schneider team could have asked for.
Selke explains that most of their travelling expenses will be covered, and provided the team with uniforms.
“All we have to worry about really, is performing,” he said.
And just like any team, winning is their goal.
“We want to come out of Westerns and have a good run at Nationals, and I think this team we have put together could take it all,” Selke said.
Both the men’s and women’s teams head off to Edmonton for the Canada West Playdowns from Feb. 15-17.
Photo courtesy of blogs.ublabs.org