Marlborough teen competing in curling junior national championship

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Benjamin Skoog poses for a photo with his team jacket. Skoog has secured brand sponsorships for his broom, from End Game; for his shoes, from Olsom, and for his pants, from Asham. (Photos/submitted)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough’s Benjamin Skoog headed to Plover, Wisconsin this past weekend to compete in this year’s curling Junior National Championship.

The Advanced Math and Science Academy student is part of a team that qualified for the championships after getting the first seed at the U-21 Playdowns in Wayland, where the Broomstones Curling Club where Skoog curls is based.

“It feels really good. We’re just hoping to get to that next step,” Skoog, a junior at the Advanced Math and Science Academy, said in an interview before his trip.

Team wins first nationals match

The tournament is ongoing.

Skoog’s team had already won its opening contest as of Monday morning, though, beating its first opponent by a score of 9-8 over the weekend.

The squad is due back in action on Monday afternoon, with a pair of matches.

This is all in pursuit of a gold medal at nationals, which would allow Skoog and his teammates to join the US’ high-performance team and compete at the upcoming World Junior Curling Championship in Sweden.

‘It’s a lot of strategy’

Skoog said he became interested in curling after watching the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the American team won the gold medal.

Broomstones held an open house after the Olympics, giving anyone interested an opportunity to hit the ice. Skoog curled for the first time with Broomstones and liked the sport immediately.

“I like that everyone’s always doing something,” Skoog said. “It’s a lot of strategy and overall endurance to play a full three-hour-long match.”

Skoog added that he appreciates the teamwork in curling, where teammates are always moving to help out the person shooting their team’s stone.

Skoog said his current group figured out they would be on a team together back in October and November. They then organized through Discord calls, gathering for different tournaments throughout the season in order to prepare for higher level competitions.

The members of the team are not just from the area. Two of Skoog’s teammates curl out of the Rochester Curling Club in New York while one curls out of the Schenectady Curling Club in New York.

Nationals continue through Saturday

The junior nationals began at the Sentry Curling Center in Plover on April 23. They’ll due to wrap up on Saturday.

Follow scores at https://www.curlingzone.com/event.php?view=Team&eventid=7359&teamid=160422

And learn more about Broomstones at http://broomstones.com.

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