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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2485

2017 Junior Boys Nationals

When I type these things, I try hard never to pick a favorite. Picking favorites makes for boring reading and I do try not to be boring. That being said, sometimes I need to pick the favorite. (like Christensen winning Junior Girls the last couple of years)

So this year I'm picking Hunter Clawson to win it (with Cody Clouser, Caleb Clawson and Andrew Dunham...coached by Wayne "Father Of The Tiny Terrorists" Anderson) I can make a good case for most of teams to reach the podium. I can point out some great weekends here and there for some teams. However, Team Clawson has consistently been beating some good Men's teams. My measure of a good Junior team has always been how they fare against adults. The best teams fare just fine against their elders and this team has fared very well. Thanks to the internet, I've watched them progress over the last couple of years. They throw better and sweep better and call better. They were very good last year and even better this year. They are a good bet to medal at Worlds. Still, this is curling and upsets happen all the time and some of these other teams can push Team Clawson.

The most likely team to upset HPP 1 is HPP 2. Skipped by the talented Andrew Stopera, they have a puncher's chance because Andrew can be brilliant. He has a good front end. Violette and Richardson did very well in the Youth Olympics. Graem Fenson is solid. (so let's end one discussion right now...Mark Lazur gets Coach Of The Year...even if this team doesn't win a single game at Junior Nationals. Lazur took on a team filled with the sons of successful and opinionated fathers. God bless him...he must have been drunk to agree to this)

Nicholas Connelly has a team from all over the map. Scheel, Carlson and Dudt. Nice team. All of them can play.

Chase Sinnett has a team that (I think) is extremely young. Does he skip because he's the oldest? That's a joke. He's only 16.

I think Nick Steinhaus is from Wisconsin and has had some U-18 success. I don't know them.

I also don't know the Josh Moore team.

Riley Fenson (and most of his teammates) have the bloodlines to win this. They are coached by Erik Fenson. Their linescores in the Qualifying Event were less than inspiring, but curling can have its swings and maybe they will catch an upswing.

My longshot will be the Skyler Slusar rink. Tim Hodek throws the skip's rocks. Lindgren, Sampson and Perry are on the front (which makes me want to pontificate against these stupid 5 man Junior teams again...stupid...but you've read that from me before). This is a solid young team. Their linescores in Qualifying were good.

Sorry to be boring. Clawson for gold. Stopera for silver. Slusar for bronze. If anyone knows some of these teams better, let us know about them...especially if they've been working hard on their games.

Ben Tucker

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Old Post 01-09-17 07:16PM
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bennybeam
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Feb 2015
Location:
Posts: 87

A few comments: the Stopera team is solid and coached up well. I had the pleasure of taking in a game against them in St. Catherine's and was impressed with their curling IQ. Andrew's father is a nice guy and I wish them well as I know first hand the time and money they spend in their quest for a championship.

I'm also a big fan of the Clawson family. They have also travelled extensively and should benefit from the numerous trips up to Canada. Mr Clawson is a good egg and his sons are real sportsmen. Not sure there is much to choose between the pair maybe a slight edge to Clawson but it's curling and whoever executes the little things bette on that day will win.

As for Chase Sinnett, that young man is a future superstar. He's poised, calls a great game and most importantly can make all the shots while under pressure. He's also a great young man---as are the others on that team.

Hope that helps.

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Old Post 01-09-17 09:15PM
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Clawdad3
Knee-Slider

Registered: Jan 2014
Location:
Posts: 4

I'll try and withhold my biased opinion except to say-- Tuck youve always been my favorite prognosticator.
Just a little insight into the Sinnett rink. Chase Sinnett, now 18 and attending his third National, second as a skip. Heir apparent to the run of GNCC skips that's been at the top of the Junior ranks. Focused on a determined U18 campaign this year, but with a competitive team and a solid chance to medal at the U21. Chase curls out of Broomstones and grew up with a front row seat to the Dropkin Dynasty, he could be next. Third--Eli Clawson, younger brother(16) of the Tuck pick to grab the Gold, curling out of Potomac. Second--Andrew Gittis, curling out of Philly and a disciple of Wayne Anderson, believe Wayne has spent more time with Andrew the last three years than with the Terrorists, and it shows. At 18, been staged to break into the competitive scene and once there he'll leave his mark, one of the hardest working guys I've run into in my travels. Lead is Danny Casper, and likely to hold the vice broom. Danny(15) is young but bring the intangibles that every team needs. Even at his age, believe that just about every Junior in the GNCC has played with Danny, and won with him. He remains a favorite teammate of all of them.
Evan Mullany returns as a member of Sinnett's campaign from last year and will be a valuable and familiar teammate for Chase. And Evan falls into the category of juniors we all know that deserve a shot at the big show because of the hard work put in over the years.
With a U18 focus the squad spent a lot of time on Ontario Junior Tour, with impressive results. Have already won their way to the Canadian U18 Players Championship.
The squad has some age appropriate lack of consistency but in any string of 10 games they can be world beaters. Definitely a preview of the coming U18 event but they also deserve a place on the radar for Fargo.


Eric

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Old Post 01-09-17 09:45PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2485

So Hunter Clawson's own father picks Sinnett to win it (very publicly). Wow! Ouch! That could make next Father's Day a little tense. Eric is going to get used socks for a gift. If Hunter brings him breakfast in bed, it may not be safe to eat. I'm guessing Caleb and Hunter always suspected that Eli was the favorite child. Now they know it for sure.

Just kidding around.

Bennybeam picks Stopera to win because the skip's dad is nice??? First of all, Bill Stopera isn't all THAT nice. (I did a webcast with him a couple of years ago. Had a blast. I think it went extremely well.) Andrew Stopera is very nice. Perri Stopera is very, very nice. Bill is just OK. If Benny is making picks based on Father Niceness, what did Eric Clawson ever do to him? Is Eric an ISIS recruiter and nobody told me?

Again, just kidding around.

I'm shocked that Alaska and the GNCC aren't threatening revolution if they don't get mega-webcasts. Fargo will be stretching their volunteers to officiate and prep ice, but Easties and their Fairbanks counterparts do love ignoring their jobs and watching Junior curling. Not kidding.

Ben Tucker

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Old Post 01-11-17 10:45AM
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kdropkin
Harvey Hacksmasher

Registered: Jun 2011
Location: Framingham, MA
Posts: 12

Moments after last year's final, I had an opportunity to congratulate Hunter as a great leader and a future champion. He and his team would represent in fine fashion!

And while Chase has perhaps been inspired by those who have gone before him, he is a gentleman who deserves immense credit for developing his own style and rock solid confidence. Perhaps a future year yet at U21, but clearly the team to beat at U18.

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Old Post 01-11-17 01:50PM
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TakeItOut!
Hitting Paint

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Fairport, NY
Posts: 132

Stopera

I'd be highly disappointed if Father Bill hasn't taught his son Andrew how to get in sponsor mentions during actual shots in games he is playing during a webcast.

Bill Stopera's #1 Fan!

Joe

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Old Post 01-11-17 04:31PM
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tuck
Super Rockchucker

Registered: Dec 2005
Location: St. Thomas, North Dakota
Posts: 2485

So Dropkin The Ancient picks (yawn) the favorite. Be careful, dude, your panties are showing.

The Godfather weighs in for Andrew "Little Stop" Stopera. Normally I'd insult his pick and then insult him and then make him cry; BUT...I'm scared of Joey C and BA. They own the microphones. Never pick a fight with the guys who own the microphones. You cannot win.

Fearfully,
Ben Tucker

PS A favorite memory from days long ago. I've had some great fun doing webcasts over the years. I've had some great partners like John Benton and Brady Clark and Maureen Clark and many others. I believe and I've been told that some of the webcasts were really good. For my money, the best webcasts I've ever done were never heard by anybody. It was the first rounds of the Fargo Olympic Trials. It was Joey C and me. Joey did more of the play-by-play that usual for those games relative to our usual roles. The games were great and we were really on the top of our game in the booth. Brian had new gadgets and had practiced them. Best webcasts ever for games I was involved with, in my opinion. Yet nobody heard them because the USOC server crashed under the demand. Curling shocked the USOC with the viewership. Shame, because Joey was sharp and witty and I was just having a blast.

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Old Post 01-11-17 05:44PM
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biterbar
Swing Artist

Registered: Mar 2009
Location:
Posts: 473

I find it odd that the two HP teams are playing each other in the first draw. Was there no seeding for this event?

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Old Post 01-16-17 11:11AM
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dbsdbs
Drawmaster

Registered: Feb 2013
Location:
Posts: 702

Although USCA has done so in the past, there is no good reason for seeding a round robin.

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Old Post 01-16-17 01:54PM
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IMWright
Hitting Paint

Registered: Dec 2014
Location:
Posts: 156

quote:
Originally posted by biterbar
I find it odd that the two HP teams are playing each other in the first draw. Was there no seeding for this event?


I think they got rid of seeding for Juniors. I thought they got rid of that a year or so ago...

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