Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by John Tonin

LEAVING THE HACK – Konrad Simpson leaves the hack while Jordan Keats, left, and Egan Beets-Charmin, right, prepare to sweep during the Arctic Winter Games curling playdowns on Jan. 10.

Boys AWG team finalized with a playdown

The boys’ Arctic Winter Games curling team was decided in early January, during the cold spell.

By John Tonin on February 7, 2020

The boys’ Arctic Winter Games curling team was decided in early January, during the cold spell. Two teams had their hat in the mix, the goal, win three games out of five for the opportunity to represent the territory on home soil when the Games begin March. 15.

The four boys representing the Yukon are, Charles Snider, Jordan Keats, Konrad Simpson and Egan Beets-Charmin.

Before the best-of-five playdowns, the two teams worked diligently at their game to prepare for the trials. Now that the team representing the Yukon is decided, they will be coached by Joe Wallingham.

“Right now we are setting up practices,” said Wallingham. “They are keen about it and they have been going at it after school every day.”

Wallingham said the playdown format was a good way to get the curler’s experience in a pressure situation.

“It was their first playdowns,” said Wallingham. “It didn’t take them long to get into it. There is pressure in playdowns and we want to build them all the way up when it’s time to jump into competitive games.”

Wallingham represented the Yukon at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks, Alaska and said they are a great way to begin your competitive career.

“Arctics are a really good way to get started,” said Wallingham.

“They will all be looking forward to the next U18 and U21 championships and Arctics are a great stepping-stone.”

Wallingham said he expects strong competition from the contingents at the Games.

“I haven’t heard much historically but Northern Alberta is strong, so is Alaska, Northwest Territories and Nunavut,” said Wallingham. “ I think the teams will be even and that’s what makes it fun.”

It will be the team’s first Arctics and Wallingham said he expects some nerves early on but trusts they will settle in.

“They may be a little stoked-up,” said Wallingham. “They’ll have never experienced it before but they will adapt to it.

“Everything will be brand new and I really just want them to enjoy the experience, take the nerves and harness it.”

With the curling taking place on their home rink, Wallingham said he expects them to feed off the crowd.

“It’s special for them to experience the Games at home,” said Wallingham. “They just have to take it all in and have fun.

“Fans will see a lot of energy. They get fired up. They will feed off the crowd and the crowd will feed off of them.”

He believes the boys certainly have a shot at an ulu.

While the game is on, Wallingham can signal for timeouts but for the remainder of the time, he will have to be behind the glass. He said team camaraderie is important.

“You really rely on teammates,” said Wallingham. “It’s an etiquette game, all about sportsmanship. They’ll have to figure things out.”

After games, Wallingham said he will help the team reflect on what they did well and what they need to fix to continue improving throughout the tournament.

Wallingham said he wants the team to embrace everything about the Games.

“At any Games, you make good relationships with the other teams,” said Wallingham. “That’s the cool thing about curling. Outside the rink, you’re all friends.”

Wallingham helped coach the other team in the playdown. Although they lost, he said they are younger and will be even stronger when the next Arctic Winter Games rolls around.

All nine contingents will be represented in curling competitions.

The Games will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in Whitehorse.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.