The Curling Alberta U18 Optimist playdowns slide into action Thursday at St. Albert Curling Club.
The 1 p.m. opening draw in the 14-team male division features the St. Albert foursome of skip Nic Oake, third Chase Lozinsky, second Carter Parenteau and lead Owen Pacholok against Oliver Burton of Saville Centre.
The Oake, Lozinsky and Pacholok trio are the 2018 Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association champions with David Howes for the St. Albert Skyhawks.
The six-team female draw starts 4:30 p.m. Friday. The St. Albert lineup of skip Anna Smith, third Brennin Turner, second Presley Cuthbertson and lead Rachael Hansen plays Joely Zimmer of Ellerslie while skip Julia Bakos of St. Albert is curling out of the Crestwood with third Quinn Prodaniuk, second Kim Bonneau and lead Julianna MacKenzie against Claire Booth of Red Deer.
The finals are 8 p.m. Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday for the males and 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday for the females.
The juvenile provincials are March 14 to 17 at Medicine Hat and nationals are April 2 to 7 at Glen Allan Recreation Complex in Sherwood Park.
Visit www.albertacurling.ab.ca for more information on the U18 playdowns.
Nathan and Rebecca Molberg of St. Albert have already qualified for provincials by sweeping the male and female finals at the Crestwood U18 bonspiel in November.
Nathan and Bakos are also going to the Canada Winter Games, Feb. 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, as the Team Alberta skips. Molberg’s teammates are third Ben Helston, second Nick Workman and lead Morgan Bilassy while Bakos is with Prodaniuk, second Alyssa Nedohin and MacKenzie.