Local Students Experience Curling Success
Will Rossmiller
wross460@uwsp.edu - Twitter @willrossmiller

CurlingChamps1.jpgJuniors Ryan Kernosky and Evan Brauer participated in this year’s Junior National Curling Championships.

The championships were held in Boston. 10 of the best men’s and women’s teams from around the country gathered to crown the champion in their respective divisions.

Joining Kernosky and Brauer in Boston were Jeremy Stubbe of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Andy Summers of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Caleb DeMille from Wausau West High School.

Kernosky, Brauer and the rest of the team and coaching staff drove to Chicago, then flew to Boston, where they started play on the 26th of January and finished last Friday.

The team then flew back and Kernosky and Brauer returned to the classroom this week, having sacrificed a full week of school for the sport they love.

The team started the tournament strong, at one point holding second place in the men’s division. However, the team faltered down the stretch.

“We lost some really tough games,” Kernosky said. The team would fall into a tie for fourth place and lost the tiebreaker game, ending their shot at a Junior National Curling title.

The team finished with a respectable 5-5 record and ended up in fifth place, a great accomplishment for five unsponsored students from Wausau, Wis.

It was the last time the team will be able to compete at the junior level, and they are still very proud of their finish in the championships.

“It was just a great overall experience,” Kernosky said.

curling-2-color.jpg“Getting to curl with a lot of good people is a very humbling experience,” Brauer said.

It was impressive just getting to the tournaments for Kernosky and Brauer, since to qualify they had to beat last year’s Junior Nationals representative from Wisconsin.

“It was a really great game to even get to Nationals,” Kernosky said. Kernosky and Brauer’s team won a nail biter, 13-12, to qualify.

While it may not have ended well for the team, they built some great relationships that they will never forget.

“One of the best parts of the experience was the fact that we met some really good curlers who we will probably compete with for the rest of our lives,” Kernosky said.

Brauer even explained that they made such strong connections that some of them are coming to Wisconsin to compete again. “We convinced one team to come to compete with us in Green Bay,” Brauer said.

Besides having a good time on the ice, the team decided to take in a little bit of sight-seeing while in Boston.

The team visited the Harvard campus, went to Harvard’s Natural History Museum, saw the graves of famous patriots Samuel Adams and Paul Revere and visited Salem, Mass. “Sadly we didn’t find any witches,” Brauer said.

So now that Junior Nationals are over, what is next for Kernosky and Brauer?

“We might try for the college nationals, which has qualifying in three weekends from now,” said Kernosky.

“We have a couple of tournaments left this year that we hope to compete in,” Brauer said.