On the move

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

He's a year older, living in a different town and, you'd think, a boy playing against the men.

Yet, 2006 world junior champion Charley Thomas keeps on doing what he does best ... racking up the W's for whatever curling team he's skipping.

A four-game win streak heading into last night's action has placed his fuzzy-cheeked Edmonton Super League crew at 5-1, tied for first place with some pretty decent veterans.

The scary part is that he has one year of junior eligibility left and is favoured to repeat as Alberta champ at the provincials here in January.

A somewhat nomadic life saw a Calgary kid become part of Grande Prairie's sports folklore after he led a crew of local kids to the world title in Jeonju, South Korea this spring.

The team returned home just as the city was hosting the women's world championship and felt the love from the sellout crowd.

"Probably the best part about it was getting all that recognition from everyone in Grande Prairie,'' said Thomas. "It's such a great curling community.''

This is a new year and Thomas has moved back to Edmonton, where his parents have lived since the family moved from Cowtown. He's working at the Derrick Curling Club and doing quite well, thank you, in what's considered to be the best Super League in the world.

"It's definitely the best I've played in,'' said Thomas. "I really like the competitive situation. I'm a bit surprised at how well we're doing.''

Still, expectations are a bit higher for a defending world champ who has to figure out how to grind it out again.

"Yeah, it's going to be tough,'' said Thomas, who will try to qualify out of Southern Alberta with a couple of his former Calgary buddies and holdover lead Kyle Reynolds. Long-term, Thomas figures there's no better place for him.

He'd like to land a sponsorship and give it a go in the World Curling Tour and, considering his resume, it's amazing nobody has stepped up yet.

"The money just wasn't there,'' said Thomas, who's playing in Grande Prairie this weekend. "The WCT is something I definitely aspire to and, hopefully next year, it'll be a major part of my year.''

Keep this pace up and it won't take long to figure out this young hotshot is worth taking a look at.


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