LONDON, Ont. -- As he watched some of Canada's best curlers playing in the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier on the weekend, Richard Krell could only dream of one day being in their shoes.
If his season this year is any indication, he might.
The 18-year-old fifth-year student at Central secondary school and his rink of Aaron Chapman, Blake Nichols and Wil Francolini won the Gore Mutual schoolboy title last month and last week added the WOSSAA boys' title, sending them to the OFSAA championship later this month in Thunder Bay. And with Aaron Squires, David Easter and Jordan Moreau, he finished third at the Ontario junior men's finals in January in Sarnia.
Krell's junior team also plays in the men's league at the Highland Country Club and has already wrapped up the President's Cup points trophy there.
"I don't think so," he said when asked if being considered one of London curling's best hopes for the future was putting any extra pressure on him. "It always helps to have three guys in front of you who support you and are fabulous curlers. I knew going into this year that we had a good high school team, but in junior, no, I did not envision that success."
And with the two rinks that finished ahead of him in Sarnia being too old to return next year, Krell has his sights on that championship in 2010.
"That's definitely on the agenda," he said. "It's going to take a lot of work and commitment, but I think this team has that. And that's the thing about being a competitive curler - it's so time consuming. It takes pretty much all of your winter and a lot of your life."
He said watching the nation's best go at it at the John Labatt Centre has been "pretty amazing."
"They're all exceptional curlers and one day I hope to be out there, playing on that ice," he said. "You can definitely learn by watching them, especially the strategy they employ."
Some year, he just might be matching wits with them.