This week’s junior Athlete of the Week is Josh Barry of Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Birthdate: June 20, 1992
Birthplace: Fredericton, N.B.
Hometown: Fredericton, N.B.
Curling Club: Fredericton Curling Club & Capital Winter Club
Current Team: Team Barry (Mate: Jon Rennie, Second: Chris MacRae, Lead: Andrew O’Dell, Coach: Dave MacRae)
Nickname: The Hammer
Getting to know Josh Barry
Josh Barry had a steep mountain to climb to win his first New Brunswick junior men’s curling championship.
Entering the playoffs at the provincial championship tournament in Moncton, standing on top of the pile was undefeated two-time defending champion Jon Rennie of Rothesay.
But the 17-year-old Barry wasn’t intimidated; he beat Rennie twice in the playoffs, capping his first title with a 10-5 triumph to earn a trip, along with third Chris Sleep, second Blake Hunter, lead Alex Kyle and coach Kevin Kyle, to the M and M Meat Shops Canadian junior championships in Sorel-Tracy, Que., where the team posted a respectable 5-7 record.
Barry has shaken things up for the new season; he brought aboard Rennie to play third, and the new-look team is rounded out by second Chris MacRae, lead Andrew O’Dell and coach Dave MacRae.
Barry has been knocking on the door for a number of years now; four years ago, he captured the New Brunswick Under-15 championship, and a year later, he placed second in both the provincial Under-18 championship and the provincial high school championship.
And in 2008-09, he captured both the provincial and Atlantic Under-18 title, along with that high school provincial crown that eluded him a year earlier.
And last season, the long-awaited trip to nationals highlighted a year that also included winning the provincial junior mixed championship.
Barry has also been active at his home club; he volunteers his time in various areas, including working with new curlers and helping the ice crew prepare the ice. During the off-season, he’s an avid golfer who’s honed his game to a 2-handicap as of this past summer.
Quick Hits with Josh Barry
Do you have any superstitions?
“None, other than if I find myself winning games or doing things right, don’t change my rituals. It sometimes includes eating at certain places during tournaments, or doing my daily habits in a certain order. I’m quite obsessive over small things.”
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Terry Fox, David Scott (incredible sports psychologist and professor), Kevin Martin (who wouldn’t want him at a dinner party?).”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Golf — not only is it an amazing sport and requires skill, strategy and an underestimated fitness level, but it still allows me to be a star in curling in the winter!”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Not exactly a rule etched in stone, but if I win, I want the free drink! Kidding . . . sort of . . . ”
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“A variety, from country to more upbeat music (no rap!).”
— Website? “Unfortunately, Facebook.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “12-grain bagel with peanut butter, vanilla yogurt and berries, and a real brewed lemon iced tea before an early morning game.”
— Vacation destination? “So far, Niagara Falls or maybe Parlee Beach. Warm places in winter are ruled out due to curling.”
— Junk food? “Ice cream is a weakness.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“People cracking their knuckles, not giving something 100 per cent, and when things are out of order (OCD kicks in).”
Three things you always travel with?
“Wallet, generally curling gear; and more clothes/shoes than needed!”
First thing on your Bucket List?
“I’d love to run a marathon, or even part of one.”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Tough choice between socializing and playing pool if there’s a table, so I do them both as once!”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“That I’m not ALWAYS shy and quiet.”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“ ‘Physical fitness is only required for sports. . . ’ If only they knew . . . ”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Stereotypical for a skip, but a draw to the four-foot. Open house would be kind of nice, though!”