Jody Epp has been throwing rocks for 27 years and for the first time he’s made it to the Brier, the Canadian Men’s Curling Championships.
He’s been selected as the alternate player for Team Morris who took home the win for the B.C. provincial championships, Feb. 2 in Vancouver.
Epp played against Team Morris in the provincial competition and just two days after losing in the finals, he received a call from John Morris.
“I thought he was calling me to talk about the week,” said Epp explaining the two are old friends. “But he asked me to be their fifth man. I was really blown away. I’ve tried to get to the Brier for 20 years.”
The Metchosin resident is excited to compete in the national event, but admits it’s a bitter sweet experience, because had his team won in the finals, he would be competing at The Brier with his teammates from the Victoria Curling Club.
“When I told my teammates they were so happy for me,” Epp said. “I’ve curled against these guys (Team Morris) for 20 years and I know these guys really well. I think I am a good fit with them. They could have picked anyone in the province and the fact they picked me was really special.”
Even though he’s going as an alternate, Epp said there’s about a 95 per cent chance he’ll be getting time on the ice.
“It’s a long week and there is a lot of pressure on the guys,” Epp said.
Team Morris will have the home rink advantage at the Brier with the team curling out of the Vernon Curling Club. Jim Cotter, who plays third, is also from Kamloops.
If Team Morris dominates the Brier and comes out first, the B.C. team will then continue on to the world championships in Beijing in March.
Curling has always been a part of Epp’s life since the first time he set foot on the ice in curling shoes at Juan de Fuca curling rink in 1987.
“My parents took me to the Juan de Fuca Curling Club to try it out. By the time I was 15 I was curling seven days a week,” Epp said. “It’s a sport that’s a very low cost and people can play recreationally or competitively.”