Kelsey's curling team heads to Kamloops for provincials
Frances Kelsey's high-school curling team is Kamloops-bound to defend its provincial crown.
The Kelsey crew won the Zone 1 Vancouver Island crown Jan. 13 at Juan de Fuca Curling Club, icing a nod to the B.C.'s between Feb. 27 to March 3.
"This this is our second time, after we won the provincials last year in Dawson Creek," said skip Paul Henderson, 17.
"This will hopefully be our defending year."
He'll be joined by vice-skip Joey Vaesen, brother Timothy Henderson as second, plus leads Chandler Kerr, and Connor Moore.
"Connar Croteau graduated, so we picked up Grade 9 junior player Connor Moore from the Kerry Park junior curling program," said Henderson.
"Chandler Kerr, is another new curlier; he's pretty good with the draws."
Kelsey's crew will use games in the Victoria Curling Club's high-school league to polish rink skills toward the seven-game round-robin series in Kamloops.
"From my junior experiences, Trail region usually has really strong teams, and we're expecting strong teams from Langley this year," Grade 12 player Henderson said.
"We're making sure we're straight to the broom so we can clean up if we have any trouble — and making sure the draw weights go consistently so we can set up the ends."
Kelsey's strengths also include "knowing how to set up an end and create opportunities to gain an advantage over the opponents."
Consistent rotation also helps "so you can read the ice, then put the broom in the right spot to get the rock where you want it be."
The right spot, big picture, will be scoring about $1,000 in travel money to reach Kamloops.
"We hope to get some community support, and really appreciated it last year."
Henderson hoped coach/dad Tom, and mom/assistant coach Hayley, help the team reach the Interior contest.
Mental and physical preparedness is key in curling, a game he compared to a chess strategy.
Those tactics worked during the weekend's zones against teams from Oak Bay, Cowichan, Reynolds, Brooks and Kelsey.
Henderson called the aggressive games that demanded precise moves.
Kelsey won its first match Saturday, 12-2 in six ends against Reynolds.
Game two Saturday saw Kelsey beat Brooks, from Powell River, 9-4 in six ends.
The south-end homeboys met Brooks again during Sunday's final, earning the win 8-3 after running the opposing squad out of rocks.