This week’s junior Athlete of the Week is Brendan Bottcher of Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Birthdate: Dec. 19, 1991
Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alta.
Curling Club: Saville Sports Center
Current Team: Team Bottcher
Getting to know Brendan Bottcher
After two years of knocking on the door of the M and M Meat Shops Canadian junior curling championships, Brendan Bottcher finally broke through it last season.
The 19-year-old skip from Sherwood Park, Alta., had competed at two straight provincial championships and been competitive, but not quite there yet.
But last season, at the Grande Prairie Curling Club, Bottcher finally found the winning touch. Calling the shots for a team rounded out by third Brad Thiessen, second Landon Bucholz, lead Bryce Bucholz and coach Bernie Panich, Bottcher claimed his first provincial title, taking advantage of a stolen deuce in the third end en route to a 6-4 victory over Spruce Grove’s Curtis Bale.
Competing at the national championship in Sorel-Tracy, Que., the Alberta champs put together a respectable 6-6 record in their nationals debut, and, undoubtedly, stoked the fires for another crack at a Canadian championship later this month at in the 2011 M and M Meat Shops nationals in Calgary, at the Glencoe and North Hill Curling Clubs.
Bottcher has had another strong season; his team defended its title at the prestigious Whitney Field Memorial Classic junior cashspiel in Lloydminster, Alta., and also won the Saville Centre U-25 bonspiel and the Saville Group Junior Classic in Edmonton.
Bottcher also competed in a pair of Alberta Winter Games, winning gold in 2006, and also has volunteered as a coach at the 2010 Alberta Rocks junior camp, while volunteering for three years in his home club’s junior program in Sherwood Park.
Quick Hits with Brendan Bottcher
Do you have any superstitions?
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Shania Twain, Jon Stewart, and Johnny Galecki.”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Tennis; much more recognition and TV time, and the winnings are enough to live on.”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Juniors currently cannot play in men’s/women’s playdowns (in Alberta); however, they are allowed to rack up points towards Olympic qualification in WCT events, and play in Olympic trials. Juniors should be allowed to play in the men’s/women’s playdowns as currently points are awarded in both the Brier/Scott tournaments, which punishes any junior team trying to rack up points towards the Trials.”
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“Country — specifically, Shania Twain.”
— Website? “www.facebook.com.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Extra large coffee, one cream, one sugar, and a Boston cream doughnut.”
— Vacation destination? “Las Vegas.”
— Junk food? “Popcorn.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“Slow curling games.”
Three things you always travel with?
“Laptop, iPod and a good book.”
First thing on your Bucket List?
“A bucket list? I’m 18, get back to me when I turn 30.”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
Playing Star Wars Battlefront with the team to relax.”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I ski-raced for a couple years before taking up curling.”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“We are not physically tough, and that curling is somehow an ‘easy sport.’ ”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Inturn draw to the four-foot.”