Curlers commit to difficult schedule


When parents and friends influenced Ari Rukavina, Anton Cassidy and David Jacobs to start curling, they took on the challenge.

“It’s a lot harder than people think,” said sophomore Ari Rukavina. “There’s a lot more to it than what it may seem.”

Although many people may think curling is not interesting, Rukavina, Jacobs and Cassidy say otherwise.

“I think a lot of people think it’s boring. So, I wish people would know how the game actually works, or how it’s scored, before they say it’s boring,” said Cassidy.

Families often have a big impact on the sports and activities students choose to participate in. Rukavina and Cassidy are no different. Curling was an activity their dads enjoyed, so they decided to give it a try.

“My dad did curling, and he brought me to learn to curl one time, and I enjoyed it. I had a friend who did it with me, so it was just kind of a fun thing I got to do on Mondays,” said Cassidy.

In curling, the objective of the game is to be the team with the most stones closest to the target to get awarded points. A curling stone is a dense polished granite rock that weighs around 44 pounds. The desired length you want to throw it is about 150 feet.

“A very basic idea is that you’re throwing rocks across ice and trying to hit a bullseye,” said Rukavina.

“Not only is the sport pretty competitive, but you can also make some good friends out of it,” said sophomore David Jacobs.

Practicing and competing with other high school students opens the door for many new friendships. Since the curling team doesn’t have local ice they can practice on, they travel to Eau Claire three to four times a week to practice. It may be a time commitment, but the team feels it’s worth it.

“It’s really fun,” said Rukavina. “And the guys who do it are really fun.”

In traditional curling, a team consists of four players. Those positions are the lead, the second, the vice, and the skip. Ari Rukavina is the vice on the team.

“Everybody throws two rocks in total. The lead throws first, then second throws, then third throws, and then when the third is done throwing, they go down to the end of the ice where they figure out strategy. The skip has been thinking of strategy the whole game,” said Rukavina.

The skip is the team captain. They hold the broom in the target area and indicate to other players where to aim the stone. The three other players on the team will sweep the ice to help travel straighter and farther. The sweeping motion quickly heats and melts the ice allowing the heavy stone to more easily be directed.

Anton Cassidy, Ari Rukavina and David Jacobs will continue to practice and compete through the rest of the season this year.

“The season is going pretty well and I’m excited for the rest of it,” said Cassidy.