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Two Kings County high school curling teams bring home hardware


KINGS COUNTY - Two Annapolis Valley high school curling teams have returned home after successful NSSAF Provincial Championships in late March at the Truro Curling Club.

Northeast Kings Education Centre finished second place in the mixed division while West Kings finished third in the girls division.

Nancy Belliveau, volunteer coach for NKEC, said the competition at this year’s provincial championship was very strong.

“Three of the mixed teams were skipped by players from this year’s Nova Scotia Canada Games team,” she said.

Katelyn Mason, NKEC’s third, said she couldn’t wait to get a chance to represent her school.

“Representing my school was a big thing for me,” Mason said. “I couldn’t wait to spend a few days with a great team at provincials.”

The 17-year-old Grade 12 student said the provincial championship was eye-opening for her.

“My experience at provincials was exciting,” Mason said. “It was such a great atmosphere.”

Belliveau, who is a retired Annapolis Valley Regional School Board teacher, helps co-ordinate the junior program at the Glooscap Curling Club.

“All five of these curlers are junior members at Glooscap Curling Club in Kentville,” Belliveau said. “I help run the junior program, so I have known these curlers for quite a few years now.”

Belliveau said the team’s chemistry worked as an advantage at the provincial championship.

“One of our team’s biggest strengths is the kids’ compatibility on and off the ice,” Belliveau said. “Another strength is their knowledge of the game.”

Mason said the team played very strong for the most part at provincials.

“We missed a few shots,” Mason said. “And we had one bad game that didn’t go our way at all.”

Mason said after competing at provincials it has made her a better curler by being able to step and make shots in key situations.

“With the distractions and pressure – I just try to relax and take a breath,” Mason said. “I visualize my shot before I throw it to calm myself down.”

In their semi-final matchup NKEC defeated Halifax West to set up a two-game series against J.L. Ilsley for the provincial championship. In the first game NKEC squeezed out an 8-6 victory but couldn’t double up J.L. Ilsley and narrowly lost the second game.

NKEC began the provincial championship with Jonah Vidito as their skip but after the third game he needed to leave. Vidito went on to represent NKEC at the Division 2 hockey provincials, where the Titans brought home the banner. Ethan Anderson stepped in as skip and took the team to the finals.

Belliveau said she is very proud of these young curlers representing NKEC.

“They far exceeded my expectations going in to the event,” Belliveau said. “I was happy to have spectators comment on how much of a ‘Cinderella team’ we were at the event.”

Mason has indicated she would like to co-coach the team next year as she is graduating this June.

 

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