Kimberley’s Buchy juvenile girls curling rink is off to the 2015 Tim Horton’s B.C. Juvenile Curling Championship March 5 to 8 in Cowichan, B.C. and with recent success at the 2015 B.C. Girls High School Provincial championship, they have their hopes set high.
“We’re pretty excited as a team and I’m pretty stoked,” said 16-year-old skip Alysha Buchy. “I’m excited to see the potential in our girls.
“We had one off game [at high school provincials] and it showed. I really think we just need to keep it together, play our best and see how it goes.”
In addition to Alysha, the Kimberley rink is comprised of third Haylie Farquhar, second Kaila Buchy and lead Arissa Toffolo.
Representing Selkirk Secondary School, the girls finished second with a record of 6-2 at the 2015 B.C. Girls High School Provincial championship, which was hosted in Creston Feb. 19 to 21.
“Coming off high-school provincials where we got second place — we were the only team to beat the first-place team — pretty excited and feeling pretty good heading into this upcoming week,” said the 15-year-old Farquhar. “We definitely learned a lot about watching, not only our rocks, but how the other team’s rocks are thrown.”
The girls opened the high-school play downs with an eight-end victory over the eventual champion — Mount Elizabeth Secondary School from Kitimat.
The Buchy rink then went on to defeat Ballenas Secondary School (Parksville), College Heights Secondary School (Prince George), St. Thomas More Secondary School (Burnaby), Elgin Park Secondary School (Surrey) and Centennial Secondary School (Coquitlam).
“It gives us more experience with competitive teams,” Toffolo said. The 13-year-old lead said she has been working on the weight, line and rotation of her throws in preparation for the upcoming provincials.
The only losses for the Selkirk Secondary girls came against Salmon Arm Secondary School and Centennial Secondary School.
“The girls played extremely well,” said coach Tom Buchy. “I’m hoping they can carry through some confidence that they gained and experience from playing in the high schools.”
Buchy is joined by Grant Farquhar and Dave Toffolo in coaching the girls squad.
“[We’ve] been working hard on takeouts, hitting the broom and just throwing the right weight,” Tom said. “They’ve been working really hard all year. It showed in high schools they can make a lot of shots when they put their mind to it.”
While putting in hours at the Kimberley Curling Club with the instruction of their coaches is a big part of preparation, throwing stones isn’t all there is to it. For the girls, it’s a labour of love that stretches across all areas of life.
“Heading into high schools, we we would go every Wednesday to Tanglefoot [Training Centre in Kimberley] or to a gym and workout a little bit,” Farquhar said.
“When the Scotties [Tournament of Hearts] is on, it’s important to watch…You can watch line, how they communicate, when they’re sweeping and when they’re calling line or looking for plan ‘B’ when something goes a little bit wrong or a little bit too right.”
The Buchy rink opens the 2015 Tim Horton’s B.C. Juvenile Curling Championship Friday, March 6 with an early draw against the Huitema rink followed by an afternoon match-up against the Drexel rink.
“A lot of the teams from high schools are playing in juveniles,” said 12-year-old Kaila Buchy. “I think the experience playing them will really help us.
“We’ve just got to give it our all, bring it every game and play as well as we can.”
The girls round out division play with a Saturday tilt against the Withey rink.
“The one thing we have to do is make sure we keep our weight up, on line with the broom and stay positive,” Farquhar said. “It’s really important for a team to stay positive…It’s really important to give your sweepers the encouragement and the praise for when they do something good. It’s always important to have a good head, talk and encourage someone when they’re on the ice.”
With a second-place finish at high school provincials in the books, the hope is to take the next step this week.
“We definitely need to stay focused and bring our best game and see what happens — hope for the best,” Alysha said.