The Canadian Curling Association’s Curler of the Week last week was Canada’s Jeff Stoughton, a former Brier and world champion.
Last week’s Junior Curler of the Week was one of our own.
Thanks to consistent appearances at national level events and a strong season last winter, Whitehorse’s Thomas Scoffin, 16, was given the association’s prestigious honour.
“It kind of caught me off guard a little bit, but I was excited to hear it,” said Scoffin. “I think over the years – hopefully – I’ve been building up a reputation for myself. I like to think that at least.”
Further putting the recognition into perspective, the Junior Curler of the Week program was only started a few weeks ago, making Scoffin one of the first to be honoured.
The Porter Creek Secondary School student has competed at every Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships since 2007, coming back with a 5-7 record – his rink’s best record at the nationals – in January. At the junior nationals Team Scoffin closed out their stay in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec winning three straight over Northern Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec.
Over the last few years Scoffin’s rink, Team Scoffin, for which he is skip, represented the Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta, during March, winning silver. Scoffin also represented the territory at the 2007 Arctic Winter Games at home in Whitehorse.
Playing with a younger line-up, with curlers that meet the 17-and-under age restriction, Scoffin will be vying for the same spot for this upcoming Canada Winter Games early next year in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“We have a team together now, but we haven’t done playdowns yet – there’s another team we have to play against and the winner will go to the Canada Games,” explained Scoffin.
Replacing long-time teammates Will Mahoney, Nick Koltun and Mitchell Young are Kurtis Hills, Michael Hare and younger brother Andrew Scoffin, who was on the rink for the silver at the Arctic Games. (Also on the silver-winning rink were Young and Caleb Steele-Lane.)
“I can’t go with my regular team because they’re too old – Canada Games is 17-and-under, Canadian juniors is 20-and-under,” said Scoffin. “So I have couple new curlers on my team and we’re playing against some juniors who’ve been together for one, maybe two, years.”
Scoffin will be back with most of his old rink later this season for the junior nationals, replacing Koltun with newcomer Josh Burns, who recently moved up from Edmonton.
“I don’t have any long-term goals other than this season, we just really take it one season at a time,” said Scoffin. “Nationals is obviously our main focus this year. We’ve put together a really strong team this year, maybe our strongest team yet with the addition of a new player. So we’re hoping we do really well this year.”
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