With curling still fresh in minds in Grande Prairie from the Scotties last week, the 2016 Brier will begin on Saturday in Ottawa. The men’s championship will see Grande Prairie’s Carter Rycroft and Tom Sallow compete with Team Canada to claim the gold medal again this year. The team hasn’t been competing in as many competitions heading into the Brier this weekend.
“Still a few things that we were trying to figure out team-wise. Probably a tournament or two would have helped. On the flip-side of that, the body feels better. There is not as much aches and pains. A double edged sword as far as that goes.”
Rycroft has won the last two Briers, with the 2014 win with Kevin Koe who left the team afterwards. Team Canada is up against teams like Team Ontario’s Glenn Howard who is searching for his fifth Brier Championship.
There is another male curler out of the Peace Country headed to the Brier. Beaverlodge’s Geoff Walker will be joining Gushue and Team Newfoundland in their journey in the 2016 Brier.
Walker says their team qualified for the tournament a few weeks earlier before most other teams.
“The tough thing is that there is not many events up until the Brier. There is usually 3 weeks to a month of just practicing. Sometimes you can get a bit rusty doing that.”
Their team played a few games last weekend against some senior teams in Newfoundland to avoid being rusty for the tournament.
Pre-qualifying matches began yesterday but the entire event will begin Saturday.