Nothing Coy about it

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

As one of the better skips never to win a provincial junior championship, Ryan Coy was due a bit of recognition.

That came in the form of an invitation to join the defending champions for the 2005-06 curling season.

Coy, 20, will skip the remnants of Daley Peters' two-time Manitoba champion foursome in the Target Junior Men's Provincial Curling Championship, which begins today at The Wildewood Club.

He was handpicked by third B.J. Neufeld, second Doug Hamblin and coach Lorne Hamblin, who were all with Peters last year.

'I'M HAPPY'

"They made the decision to hook up with me," said Coy, who is appearing in his fifth straight provincial championship. "They asked me and I'm happy they've given me the opportunity."

Coy has had some bad luck in recent years at the provincials. Last year his lead was sick and his team had to pick up a spare. The year before, his team played with three curlers after a member of the squad was charged with drunk driving and suspended from the championship by the Manitoba Curling Association.

Partly due to those reasons, Coy has never made the playoffs in five tries, but that was no deterrent to his new teammates.

"We just figured that he was the best shooter we could find," said Neufeld, a 19-year-old who could become the first junior men's curler to win three straight titles. "We talked at other bonspiels and he seemed like a nice guy and someone who would fit in with all of us. He's always been here and been one of the better skips. He just hasn't been able to find the right team I don't think. We're all hungry."

Coy's Fort Garry foursome is seeded second for this year's championship, behind Christmas Bonspiel winner Adam Norget of the Heather.

Corey Chambers of Deer Lodge is seeded third, followed by Colby Taylor of Brandon, Tyler Waterhouse of Stonewall, Jim Coleman of La Salle, Kyle Flett of Petersfield and Ryan Thomson of Morden.

What should give Coy's crew an edge is experience.

"I've been watching Ryan for a long time," said Lorne Hamblin, who previously coached his son David to a world championship. "With his skill level, if he's in the right frame of mind, he can make every shot, and that's what we're looking for. I look for what you can see in their eyes -- the rest you can teach -- but you like to see that they are fired up. And B.J.'s history and due diligence about everything make him a great player. He eats, sleeps and drinks curling."

Coy, who has newcomer Justin Glays at lead, knows his best chance to win a Buffalo is right now.

"(Neufeld) is the best third I've ever played with. I've never had the opportunity before to have as good a team as I have right now."

PEBBLES: Round-robin draws run today through Saturday, with Page playoffs slated for Saturday night, the semifinal set for Sunday at 9:30 a.m., and the final scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ... The 2007 provincial junior championships will be played in Rivers (men) and Virden (women).


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