Jim Cotter is hoping his seventh trip to the Tim Horton’s Brier will be a lucky one.
His Vernon-Kelowna team, representing BC, opens play tomorrow (Saturday) at the national championship in St John’s Newfoundland.
“Yes it’s extremely important to get a good start there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got some really good teams right out of the gate to play.”
The BC champs take on 2014 Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario in their opener and then four time world champion Glenn Howard of Ontario in the next draw Sunday.
Cotter, a 42 year old Vernon resident, says the team, which added John Morris this season, has been busy.
“We probably almost doubled our schedule. We have been training a lot harder and just trying to do all those small things, working with physical trainers and so on to get ready.”
Morris’ presence on the squad has made a difference.
“He brings a lot of passion to the team. His work ethic is incredible and he’s great at reading ice and mapping it all out.”
Cotter’s past experience at the Brier means he already knows it’s a grind to the end.
“One thing I learned from Pat Ryan (former world champ) is it’s a lot of peaks and valleys. You want to be tough all the time. It’s a long and grueling week.”
This is the fourth straight year Cotter’s rink with lead Rick Sawatsky and second Tyrel Griffith have represented BC at the Canadian Men’s Curling Championship.
The team’s best finish was second in 2014 when the Brier was held in Cotter’s home town of Kamloops.