Rock stars

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:03 AM ET

Somewhere in this group of 16 junior teams at the Thistle Club could be another Kevin Martin or Cathy King.

The provincial championship, held this year at the Thistle Curling Club, is the pinnacle of their young curling careers so far.

This group of super-lookin' kids represent the future of the game and includes some who may eventually challenge the veterans who now dominating at the men's and women's level.

Their names could be Desiree or Kalynn; Nathan or Jonathon.

By Sunday, a couple of skips will emerge as Alberta junior champs for this year.

Martin and King are a rare breed -- former Canadian junior champs who went on to win national titles.

There's a steep learning curve and history clearly demonstrates the next level can more likely be a graveyard of broken dreams.

EXPERIENCE HELPS

Experience at this level helps, but there's few curlers here this weekend who can say they've won a provincial title.

Brock Virtue was part of the 2003 championship team skipped by Darren Moulding. He's playing third for J.D. Lind of Calgary.

Matt Enright helped his cousin Adam win the 2002 title. This year, he's throwing second rocks for the Derek Miller foursome.

But the most consistent team at this level over the past three years has been the rink skipped by Desiree Robertson of Grande Prairie.

They've been in the final all three years and represented Alberta at the 2003 nationals.

"We have such great team chemistry," said Robertson.

"We all have the same mindset and same goals. That helps quite a bit."

LAST TEAM TO WIN

Robertston is a cousin of Kristie Moore, who played second for Heather Godberson (now Nedohin).

That was the last Alberta women's team to win Canadian and world junior titles, back in 1996.

And the rich tradition of Grande Prairie junior curling has been a great help.

"They inspire us a lot," said Robertson. "I've always wanted to follow in Kristie's footsteps.

"She's been an idol to me in curling. She's my cousin and she helps me out a lot."

Most of this team has been together for seven years, growing up together.

Robertson would like to make her last year of junior eligibility memorable.

The only brushes she'll hold next season will be at her dental assistant studies in Calgary.

"I might throw a couple in a fun league, but I won't have time to curl next year," said Robertson.

"I'll come back and we'll all curl together in ladies again. We've done so well together and we're such best friends.

"We do have a special bond. Coming from the Peace, you don't have too many options. Luckily, we found the perfect four."


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