Seventeen-year-old Cole Lewis’ curling career has started to take off now that his team has qualified to compete in the junior provincial finals in Lethbridge at the end of December.
“It feels fantastic,” said Lewis.
He has been curling since he was eight-years-old and describes himself as a competitive person.
“I am certainly more of a gentleman sport kind of guy,” he said.
Other sports he enjoys include soccer, badminton, and baseball.
“Pretty much all non-contact sports,” said Lewis.
He currently plays second on a team made up of players from across the Calgary region curling out of Airdrie.
His team, while classified in the 18 and under juvenile age group, chose to play up in the 21 and under Junior play down in Crowsnest pass for a chance to compete in the junior provincials.
“This crest, the SACA boot that we got…signifies that we have qualified to go to provincials,” he said.
This is Lewis’ and his team’s first time to make it to the provincials.
This is the second year this team has been together and Lewis said that they really connected well as a team this season.
“Last year…we were still getting to know each other and progressing our skills individually as well as a team,” said Lewis.
This year, weekly practices, competing in the Calgary men’s league and the number of tournaments they have competed in, “have really solidified us as a team,” said Lewis.
At the same time that the team has come together, Lewis said that personally he has seen improvement in his own skill set.
“Personally, I would say my best attribute is my ability to sweep…because of how powerful I am as a sweeper and how well I’m able to judge the weight of the rocks,” he said.
Having secured their spot in the provincials, Lewis and the rest of his team have turned their attention to preparing for the tournament, and the end goal of winning the chance to represent Alberta at nationals.
While, they would love to come home with a medal, since they will be competing against teams up to four years older than them they realize it will be quite the challenge.
“It’s not entirely realistic to be dead set on winning the whole thing.
“Because this is our first provincial year…it is certainly more of a learning experience,” he said.
Along with competing at the Junior level, the team is also continuing to compete at Juvenile.
They will be going to the Juvenile play downs in February with the goal of earning another SACA boot and shot at provincials.
Regardless of the outcomes, the experience and social atmosphere of the sport is what keeps Lewis coming back to play.
“Curling is just such a vibrant and fun atmosphere,” he said.
“For the most part, off the ice, everyone is friends and it’s a very social game,” said Lewis.