May 31, 2013, (ISN) – Team Cotter won’t be resting on their laurels this summer. With the addition of Olympic gold medallist John Morris to the team, and the announcement that they have earned enough points to qualify for the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials in Kitchener in November.
The team are now firmly in the curling spotlight, but skip Jim Cotter is not letting the pressure get to him.
Cotter said he was looking forward to the challenge and would be doing everything possible to get ready for the pre-trials.
He said: “Our team is really looking forward to the pre-trials. We got together on May long weekend to go over our schedule and training plan. It was a very uplifting day for all of us. Now the summer training starts.”
“The entire Olympic process is so important to all the top teams in the country because the pre-trials and Olympic trials only come around every four years. The thought of representing Canada at the Olympics is a dream come true. We will definitely do everything we can to be prepared going into next season,” Cotter added.
Team Cotter, from Vernon, and BC’s female representation, Team Scott, from Kelowna, are among the 24 teams looking to take a step closer to the Olympics when the pre-trials get underway on Nov. 5 at the Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener, Ont.
Twelve teams of each gender will play off for two berths into the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, presented by Monsanto, Dec. 1 to 8 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The trials will decide Canada’s teams to compete for Olympic gold in Sochi, Russia, in February.
Two-time Brier champion Morris, who left Alberta’s Team Martin earlier this year, was also looking forward to the challenge of the Olympic qualification process.
He said he was “super excited” to be part of the BC team.
“We played against each other for 10 years and during that time I developed a great respect for them,” Morris said.
In addition to his friendship with Cotter, Morris said that he and Team Cotter lead Rick Sawatsky share a passion for fishing and the two have met up on various occasions to fish.
The group will be curling in the Okanagan and at Morris’ home rink, the Glencoe Curling Club in Calgary, using the five-man rotation system familiar to many people who follow the Scottish national curling team.
The current plan is that Morris will call the shots and Cotter will throw fourth rocks. The other team members, including Jason Gunnlaugson, Tyrel Griffith and Sawatsky, will rotate in.
Morris, a firefighter, said he has no immediate plans to move to BC, but he is not ruling it out for the future.
“I think what we’re going to do in the short term, and our plan is short term, is we’re focusing on the pre-trials and then the trials and then the Olympics. With that in mind, the guys will be training out of the Okanagan. They will be throwing rocks in the Okanagan and there will be some training camps. We’re going to have to make some big strides in a short period of time,” he said.
Morris said that although he loves his home province of Alberta, he is also a big fan of BC.
“Whenever I visit BC, particularly Vancouver Island, it’s tough for me getting on the plane (to go home) because I love it there every time I go.”
Two-times Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Kelly Scott is also headed to the pre-trials in November. She will be joined by teammates Jeanna Schraeder, Sasha Carter and Sarah Wazney.