Bonspiel Caps Junior Curling Season at Wausau

“You’re never too young to learn how to curl.”

That advice could be attributed to Josh Pearson and Jim Wendling, Wausau curling coaches who organized the 2023 Junior Curling Bonspiel Dec. 28-29 at the Wausau Curling Center.

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Teams from Wausau and Stevens Point came out victorious in the developmental league tournament, and the first-ever mixed doubles event for older curlers.

The junior developmental program ran on Sunday evenings throughout November and December at the Curling Center on Curling Way on Wausau’s southeast side.

Pearson said 36 young curlers participated in the training program this year, an increase from prior seasons which had been affected by the COVID pandemic and saw between 6 and 15 participants.

In the bonspiel, which dates back several years under Wendling’s direction, eight teams participated in mixed doubles for older curlers. Six teams six played in the traditional four-player developmental league matches. The Wes Wendling-Miranda Scheel team went undefeated to win the mixed doubles event, while team Rubenzer from Stevens Point defeated team Pearson from Wausau in the developmental event, stealing two points in the last end for the victory.

Curling coaches at Wausau East and West high schools, respectively, both Pearson and Wendling believe an active youth program is vital to the ongoing success of curling in the Wausau Community.

Not only do the kids learn the game of curling, Pearson said, but they also learn etiquette and sportsmanship, qualities that are a tradition in the sport. “And a little bit of competitiveness, too ” he added.

“Curling is a sport they can play in high school, or later on in life if they choose,” Pearson said.

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