Andrew Stopera’s rink becomes 2018 USA Curling Junior National Champs
Congratulations to Team Stopera, the winners of the 2018 USA Junior National Championship! From March 3-10, Team Stopera will travel alongside Team Bear, the women’s team, to Aberdeen, Scotland in hopes of bringing home the gold at the 2018 World Junior Championships.
Originally from Briarcliff Manor, NY, Andrew Stopera, a member of Exmoor Country Club and the ICA, is currently a sophomore studying economics at Northwestern University. His high-performance teammates include Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, WA), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, WA), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, MN), and Caleb Clawson (Clarksville, MD). Stopera, Violette, Richardson, and Fenson won silver at the 2017 World Junior Championships in South Korea. Violette also represented the USA at Junior Worlds in 2014.
From January 27th to February 3rd, Team Stopera competed against nine other men’s teams in order to secure their victory. Stopera’s rink dominated the round robin play with a perfect 9-0 record and early qualification for the weekend playoffs. The three other qualifying playoff teams were Team Connolly (Seattle, WA), Team Marquardt (Poynette, WI), and Team Moore (Mapleton, MN). Team Stopera (seed No. 1) beat Connolly’s rink (seed No. 2) with a score of 6-3 and advanced to the finals. As an undefeated team, Stopera’s rink would have two chances to win the junior title due to the double knockout rule. By keeping Marquardt’s rink down to single point ends and using their last shots well, Stopera’s rink won 8-3 against Team Marquardt.
So, congratulations again to Team Stopera for the amazing win! If you are interested in staying up-to-date with Team Stopera as they continue their journey, check out the team’s facebook page.
Written by: Shannon Brown