SELKIRK -- The small Fry is making a name for himself this week at the Safeway Select. Ryan Fry, son of former Canadian men's champion Barry Fry, is skipping for the first time at the provincial men's curling championship, and he punctuated a fine debut by qualifying for the playoff round.
The 26-year-old, former two-time junior men's provincial champion is emerging from his dad's shadow and has his team in contention for another Buffalo.
"Slowly but surely we are getting there," Fry said yesterday after his team's 9-6 win over Blaine Gogal in an A-side qualifier.
"This is the first time I've qualified, and it feels pretty good."
Fry has played in two previous Safeway Selects, once playing third for his dad and once for his current third Kyle Werenich.
The current foursome, which includes second Jason Smith and lead Cory Naharnie, is coached by Barry Fry.
"He pretty much lets us go according to plan, and he'll throw his two cents in when it's asked for and even sometimes when it's not asked for," said Ryan Fry, who beat Peter Nicholls 7-4 in a playoff game last night to move to within three wins of a provincial title.
"He's a good steadying influence for all the guys on the team.
"He's a great friend of mine and has been a great friend of all the guys on my team for a long time."
Ryan admitted he plays a pretty different game from his dad, but mostly because of changes to the game, not a conflicting philosophy.
"It's different rules," he said. "It's a four-rock rule now as opposed to when he was playing very competitively in men's ... it was a no-rock rule, just straight up and down. I play quite a bit differently. We're an aggressive team and we're not going to hide from anybody."
Ryan said his team's success here is the culmination of years of hard work as his young team tries to make the difficult transition from junior force to men's contender.
"We put a lot of money and time into the sport, and we're one of the young teams that does tour on the WCT and we play quite a bit, so it's nice to see that paying off."