Fargo youth curlers prepare for nationals
FM area team qualified for 2022 USA curling U18 National Championship
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - “It kind of started as a joke, we didn’t know anything about it,” shooter Jake Ring explained. “Then we got kind of good at it and said, ‘hey! might as well stick with it I guess.”
Six years later, Ring and his friends are definitely good at it. It, being curling.
“We’ve been together the whole six years and this year kind of just felt different and we did pretty good and made it,” Ring said.
They made it to the U18 National Championship.
“We just felt confident and carried that over into the tournament.”
Ring and his teammates Carter Mitchell, Jackson Askew, and Aiden Fitzgerald started curling together six years ago on a whim. Fitzgerald’s babysitter curled and encouraged him to give it a try. Fitzgerald enjoyed it, and they encouraged him to bring some friends along to a youth event.
Insert Mitchell and Ring. At the FM Curling Club, they were looking for one more to join their team and that’s when Askew entered the scene. He had family members that curled and had encouraged him to try the sport himself.
He fit right in with Mitchell, Ring, and Fitzgerald and they quickly became a force on the ice.
“It all worked out really well and they’re all really good athletes and we just kind of went from there,” their coach Evan Workin explained.
At nine and ten years old, the boys were early on the scene.
“It’s about as young as you can start in terms of curling and actually get the rock down to the other end,” Workin explained.
They started in youth leagues but quickly progressed under Workin’s leadership.
“Got them into older kids leagues right away and got them up and they excelled in a hurry.”
Now they play in adult leagues.
“Yea these last two years we’ve won that league but this year we got out in the first round because we were in the high school state tournament so
we missed it,” Ring explained.
That’s right, they do this in addition to playing sports at Shanley and Oak Grove.
Workin says that athleticism only helps.
“They’re all good basketball players as well so when I move their hands a little bit with their releases, they understand it,” Workin said. “So they were able to
progress so much faster than I ever did.”
Including claiming the Dakota Territory U18 Championship back in December.
“Finally this year,” Workin explained, “abilities caught up with what they knew. Much calmer going into it, their confidence level was super high and they just flourished in the moment.”
The U18 Nationals open Thursday, March 31 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
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