For the Josh Hozack rink, the mission is simple: win the junior provincials at home in Victoria next week and qualify for nationals.
Team Hozack, along with Team de Jong, are the two home rinks who qualified for the 2012 junior boys provincials at the Victoria Curling Club next week, Dec. 27 to 31.
Both are highly capable of winning B.C.’s this week. Each competed in September’s Cloverdale Cash Spiel, part of the 2011-12 World Curling Tour series of pro tournaments, though neither made the money round.
But it’s team Hozack that holds an edge as the favourite. They came oh so close to winning the 2011 provincials last year, only to lose in the final. Going into this year’s provincials, they just happen to be tied for first in the Tuesday night super league, where both teams play in search of higher competition.
“We’ve played well against some good teams in the Tuesday league,” said Todd Troyer, coach of the Hozack rink. It’s no small task to lead the super league, home to the Jody rink, which qualified for men’s provincials on Sunday with a win over Victoria’s Neil Dangerfield rink at the Island playdowns in Campbell River.
The success is welcome but not a surprise for the Hozack rink, which started the season early. “We’re more confident and prepared than ever,” Hozack said. “There isn’t much ice in the summer, so we were up at Kerry Park as early as July and went to Vernon for a week-long camp in August. Our goal is to go to nationals. We believe we can.”
As skip, Hozack throws last with team members Zac Capron at lead, Nolan Reid at second and Corey Chester at third. It’s the final year of junior for 20-year-olds Hozack and Capron, though Chester (19) and Reid (18) will remain eligible.
“Playing at home feels great. It just makes you want to win it even more,” Hozack said.
When they’re not curling, Hozack, Capron and Chester study accounting at Camosun College. Coincidentally, coach Troyer is a chartered accountant with downtown firm Norgaard Neale Camden.
Two home teams
Team de Jong is also known as the Wenzek rink, as third Daniel Wenzek calls the shots, though Cameron de Jong throws the team’s last rocks. Thomas Thierbach leads and Sanjay Bowry throws second. The team is coached by Donald McMullen.
No girls teams from the Victoria club qualified for provincials this year, also running in Victoria next week.
Round robin: Tuesday, Dec. 27: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28: 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.Thursday, Dec. 29: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.Friday, Dec. 30: 9 a.m.Tiebreakers: Friday, Dec. 30: 1 and 4:30 p.m. (if necessary)Playoffs: Saturday, Dec. 31: semifinal 9:30 a.m. and final 1:30 p.m.