Passing on the knowledge
Canadian curling legend Marcia Gudereit coaching son’s team at provincial junior qualifier
When Kronau’s Brecklin Gervais has any questions about a potential shot during the provincial junior men’s qualifying bonspiel this weekend at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre, he can probably rest assured his coach will have it handled.
You don’t win three world curling championships and an Olympic gold medal without knowing a few ins and outs of the game.
No, Marcia Gudereit has a pretty good grasp of the game after her years spent playing lead with the Sandra Schmirler and Jan Betker rinks, highlighted by their world titles in 1993, ’94 and ’97 to go along with their gold at the Nagano Olympics in 1998.
She took over the coaching reigns for Gervais this winter when her son, Jared Gudereit, joined the team.
“I coached him when I was younger and took a few years off and this is my first year back,” she explained while watching the first end of Gervais’ game against Moose Jaw’s Terence Stark on Friday afternoon. “He played lead for a few different teams that already had coaches, so I got to sit back and enjoy watching from upstairs for a few years.”
The Kronau-based team features a spread of ages from 15 to 20, with Jared in the middle of the bunch at 18. Working with the youngsters while putting her exceptional base of knowledge to work has turned out well in the early going for the coach and her team.
“They’ve been pretty good to coach and they take in what I have to tell them,” Gudereit said. “For the most part they listen and try to execute what I try to say… you definitely understand what shots are important shots to make, like when they have a hit and stick and they roll out, you kind of know when things are going south before they do.”
And before you ask, yes, Gudereit had to go through the whole coaching certification process, just like everyone else.
“But I guess you could say I had more than enough practical experience,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a lot of fun and in a way it tested me, trying to explain things to them and in a way they will understand and pick up right away. There are different personalities on this team, so they all take information differently.”
The junior men’s provincial qualifier runs in conjunction with the junior women’s tournament at the Curling Centre and is the last chance to reach provincials in Regina beginning Dec. 27.
Moose Jaw’s Stark, David Gray and Carson Ackerman are vying for the four spots on the boys’ side, while Skylar Ackerman and Amber Montgomery are in action in the girls draw.
Tournament play continues throughout the weekend, with the ‘A’ finals set for 2 p.m. Saturday, ‘B’ finals at 2 p.m. Sunday and ‘C’ final games at 7 p.m.