The Duncan/Parksville rink of skip Jackson Marshall, third Mack Ellis, second Troy Cowan, lead Duncan Gallop and skip Kelly Meikle displays its credentials after qualifying for the 2019 BC Junior Curling Championships. (Submitted)

Duncan curler rounds out provincial contender

Troy Cowan joins teammates from Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach on U21 qualifier

Putting together a competitive curling team from Vancouver Island can take some work.

Duncan’s Troy Cowan is one such team, which will take members from three different communities to the U21 provincial championships in Vernon starting Thursday.

In addition to Cowan at second, the team also includes Nanaimo’s Mack Ellis — who plays with Cowan in the Duncan Curling Club’s Monday night league on a team skipped by Nolan Reid — at third, and two members from Qualicum Beach: skip Jackson Marshall and lead Duncan Gallop.

The team is coached by Ladysmith’s Kelly Meikle, who also curls at the Duncan club and was responsible for recruiting Cowan at the start of the 2017-18 season.

“She saw me playing in the league on Monday and asked me to join,” Cowan recalled.

Cowan played fifth for the Marshall rink last year, then moved to second this year. The 17-year-old Cowichan Secondary student has been curling for five years, and concedes that the U21 provincials are probably the biggest event he has competed at, although he went to the mixed double provincials in Cranbrook last year with partner Kayla Wilson of Victoria, and the Canada Winter Games qualifiers on a team that also included Ellis.

The Marshall rink qualified for provincials by winning the A event at the open qualifier in Ashcroft earlier this month. They received a bye through the first round because they were ranked third at the end of the BC Junior Men’s Curling Tour, which meant they only needed to play two games, while some teams had to play as many as eight or nine.

“When you’re fresh, it makes it easier,” Cowan said.

Geography and scheduling provide challenges for the team, but they’ve made it work regardless.

“We try to have practice on weekends, but it’s hard,” Cowan said. “Me and Mack are in Grade 12 and one of the guys from Qualicum is at VIU, so we’re all busy.

“We definitely get along well. With a team of four, team communication and team bonding is really important. You can’t relate it to a hockey team with 30 kids or whatever. We do our best to make shots, but if somebody is off, the other three try to make up for it.”

Businesses across the Island have stepped up to help the team get to provincials, including Duncan Iron Works, Genoa Laser Therapy, Purica, Highway Rentals, Geotech, Panda Industrial, Runback, Hardline, Relic, Arrowsmith Moving, Swabbies, Marshall & Massey and Uncle Bruce.

Cowan and his team are all looking forward to the provincial tournament.

“We’re all pretty excited about it,” he said. “It should be a fun experience.”

The eight teams will play a round robin to begin the provincials, with the top four advancing to the semifinals. That’s where Cowan is hoping to take his team.

“I’d be really happy to make the playoffs,” he said.

After provincials, the Marshall rink will continue to play in the Wednesday cash league in Parksville, and Cowan and Ellis will keep playing on their Monday team in Duncan. Additionally, Cowan and Kayla Wilson are taking another shot at the B.C. mixed doubles, while Ellis is teamed up with Kayla’s sister, Sasha.

The U18 provincials are also coming up in March, with Island playdowns at Kerry Park on Feb. 8-10.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Caps nipped by Bulldogs in OT

Cowichan remains unbeaten in regulation in January

Shawnigan group challenging assessments, claiming soil dumps have lowered values

Neighbours raise water quality, property value issues

Editorial: Curbing urban sprawl a laudable goal

We did not agree with the motion put forward to put a moratorium on development.

Lake Flashback: Haiti relief pours in, political kerfuffle has deep roots, and BCFP acts quickly on PCP leak

We’ve also included a picture of Lake Cowichan Kinsmen rescuing the Duckpond dock

Chris Wilkinson column: Perspective matters now more than later

The point here is that priorities matter. All the time. Every month.

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Couple wonders who’s in a Cariboo photo that’s been hanging in their home for years

Charles and Lynn Dick believe the image was taken at the 70 Mile Road House

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Royal Canadian Legion expels B.C. member for wearing unearned military commendations

‘Stolen valour is stolen service and it’s just totally wrong’

‘Latte-sipping urbanites’ need to realize value of mining in B.C., association head says

Industry generates a total of $3.9 billion in sales of goods and service across the province

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Most Read