Denver curling team earns place at USA National Championships

Next with Kyle Clark. 9NEWS @ 6. 1/17/2017

KUSA - What do you get when you put together a real estate agent, civil engineer, author and software designer? The eighth ranked curling team in the country you've probably never heard of.

Denver isn't known for being a curling hot spot, but a group of men from the Denver Curling Club is looking to put their team on the map for the winter sport.

Team Sobering, named after team captain or skip Darryl Sobering, earned a place at the USA National Championships after losing two games then turning it around by winning five straight games in the U.S. Men's Challenge Round.

"It was a moment where you're sort of thinking, 'Did this really happen?' team member Josh Chetwynd said.

Curling is a sport where players glide stones down a sheet of ice and other players use brooms to help guide it down toward the target to score points.

"It's really neat to start to make a name for ourselves and the club," team member Evan Jaffe said.

For the first time in more than two decades, Colorado is sending a team to the USA National Championships in Everett, Washington.

For such a big accomplishment, it would seem like the team has years of experience working together. In reality, it's been less than 6 months.

"I know I love it! We're pretty excited," Sobering said with a laugh.

At the ripe old age of 24, Aaron Johnston is the youngest on the team.

"Yeah, I started when I was in fifth grade," he said.

"He's a little baby," Sobering said as he gave Johnston a friendly pat on the head.

All joking aside, his teammates are banking on Johnston's 15 years of experience to take it to the house. No, really. The bullseye looking target is called the house.

"Whoever is closest to the center of that bullseye at the end of all the rocks being thrown, that's the team that scores that end," Sobering explained. 

The team captain said is proud of how far his team has come.

"One hundred percent. I'm getting a little emotional actually, it's kind of crazy. I am actually, yeah. Very proud. You know, Nationals, Olympics, all that stuff, that was a big goal of mine and having these guys a part of that is wonderful. Yeah, it's been a good year," Sobering said. 

If the team wins the national championships, the men are headed to the World Men's Curling Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.  After that, they have the chance to qualify for the Winter Olympic trials.

Team Sobering is raising money through GoFundMe for the February trip to Washington.

(© 2017 KUSA)


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