Never too old to win

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

It's getting tough for Les Rogers to keep all his championships straight.

Over the weekend, Rogers beat Calgary's Frank Morissette to win his second straight Alberta senior men's curling title.

Fresh off that repeat win in Medicine Hat, Rogers is heading off to Copenhagen, Denmark, next Tuesday for the men's senior worlds.

That's the trip he earned when his rink won the 2005 Canadian title at Winnipeg.

Then, 12 days after returning from Denmark, Rogers heads off to Summerside, P.E.I., where he'll defend his Canadian title, starting March 25.

GOOD GAME SHAPE

"If we can somehow come back as the world champion heading into the Canadian championship, that'll be good for us," said Rogers, who skipped Saskatchewan's team at the 1977 Brier. "The best part is we'll be coming back in good game shape after playing some great teams."

His team of third Marv Wirth, second Ken McLean and lead Millard Evans had to make sure they didn't get too dizzy with all the possibilities.

"We wanted to win," said Rogers, who admitted it was tougher to defend this provincial title this year than win it last year.

"When we got things going well for us, we knew we could go for it. At the same time, we had to make sure we weren't thinking too far ahead to the worlds. We tried to take it completely out of our minds."

In winning his first Canadian title last year, Rogers had to beat former Brier reps Al Harnden of northern Ontario in the semi and Eugene Hritzuk of Saskatchewan in the final.

MUCH MORE COMPETITIVE

The senior (age 50-plus) level in curling has become much more competitive than it had been in the past, according to Rogers.

"They're not nearly as serious as the guys going for the Brier. But it's becoming more intense," said Rogers. "It's long been more of an easygoing level, but then when it became possible to win a world championship, the intensity got cranked up."

Tom Reed parlayed his 2003 Canadians win into a world championship title, and Rogers hopes to follow.


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