By Pat Miller
WAYLAND, Mass. – The National Junior Curling Championships begin Saturday in Massachusetts and among the teams vying for the title is the Korey Dropkin rink of Minnesota.
The team includes Bemidji curlers Mark Fenner and Alex Fenson.
The Dropkin rink is seeded No. 1 in the 10-team field and qualified for the national tournament by winning a “High Performance” playoff event last fall.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the Junior World event later this winter in Sochi, Russia.
The 10 teams will play a round-robin that will end Thursday. Any tie-breakers and the first round of the Page Playoffs will be held on Feb. 1 while the semifinals and final are set for Feb. 2.
Curling will also be in the national spotlight Feb. 5 when the Pete Fenson rink of Bemidji will demonstrate the basics of the sport on NBC’s “The Today Show.”
Joining Fenson will be his teammates Joe Polo of Bemidji, Shawn Rojeski and Ryan Brunt of Bemidji.
Fenson is a seven-time National champion while Rojeski has six National titles on his resume. Polo has been on the National winning team four times and Brunt was a member of the 2011 National championship squad.
The curlers will explain and demonstrate the basics of the game to “The Today Show” hosts.
Junior National Curling Tournament
Teams: Korey Dropkin (Minn.), Ethan Meyers (Minn.), Jeremy Stubbe (Wis.), Tony Wright (Minn.), Ryan Flippo (Alaska), Tim Hodek (N.D.), Jake Vukich (Wash.), Scott Dunnam (Pa.), Wesley Pederson (Mich.), Preston Kramer (Colo.)
NOTE: Dropkin rink includes Bemidji curlers Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner
Dropkin’s Round-Robin Schedule
(All Times CST)
Saturday: Dropkin vs. Kramer, 2 p.m.
Sunday: Dropkin vs. Pedersen, 7 a.m.; Dropkin vs. Dunnam, 7 p.m.
Monday: Dropkin vs. Vukich, 11 a.m.
Tuesday: Dropkin vs. Hodek, 11 a.m.; Dropkin vs. Flippo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Dropkin vs. Wright, 11 a.m.
Thursday: Dropkin vs. Stubbe, 7 a.m.; Dropkin vs. Meyers, 3 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Tie-breakers and first round of Page Playoffs
Saturday, Feb. 2: Page semifinals and final