Little Falls will host the first of three Northern Ontario Curling Assoc. events here this coming weekend, and an Atikokan team will be involved.
Christopher Strom will skip the Atikokan side in the west qualifier of the Bantam Boys Northern Ontario championship series. He will curl with Jordan Ekstrom (lead), Josh Palmai (second) and Griffin Garuk (vice), facing two teams from Sioux Lookout (Sagel Mercer and Jory King) and one from Fort Frances (Hudson Morash) for a berth in the provincials, which will be held in Fort Frances, February 5-8.
Three girls teams will also compete here, Julianne Slattery from Longlac, Ashley Payne from Fort Frances, and Cassidy Romyn from Sioux Lookout. They are bidding for a berth in the girls provincials, which are slated for Thessalon February 5-8.
The Strom rink is likely to be the youngest competing here. The first-year team has two 12-year-olds. a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old; curlers compete in Bantam through age 16. They won one of their four games at the first qualifier, held in Keewatin in December, riding a run of steals over three middle ends to score a 10-2 victory over Sagel Mercer. Isaiah Warkentin (Keewatin) and Christopher Silver (Fort Frances) won provincial berths at that event.
Curling will get underway at 2:30 pm Friday, when Strom will face King. Action continues at 7:30 pm (Strom – Morash); then at 10 am Saturday (Mercer -Strom), 2:30 pm (King again), and 7:30 pm (Morash); Sunday’s action has one round-robin match (9:30 am, Mercer), with any needed tiebreakers going at 1:30 pm.
Little Falls will also host a senior playdown January 30 – February 1, and the west qualifier for mixed teams February 26 – March 1.
Sports add. – It will be a busy weekend, sporting-wise. Cadets from across Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba will be in town for a biathlon competition on Saturday and Sunday at the Little Falls golf course. Skiing and shooting gets underway at 10 am Saturday and will continue through 4 pm, and then 10 am to 1 pm on Sunday. Safety volunteers will be controlling traffic on Little Falls Rd. while the competition is occurring; if travelling that way, watch for them.