There are certain feats in the world of sport that are so rare they make even people who don’t play or follow the game take notice: pitching a perfect game, bowling a 300, hitting a hole-in-one.
In curling it’s the eight-ender, when a team scores a perfect eight points in a single end.
It’s an accomplishment few curlers have ever seen, let alone achieved, but a team of youth from the Delta Thistle Curling Club have done just that.
During the fourth end of Optimist Junior Interclub League play on Nov. 25 in Cloverdale, Junior Delta 1 skip James McCreedy (13), third Jake Fehr (11), second Felix Lau (12) and lead Stephen Kim (13) managed to get all eight of their rocks in house on their way to an 11-4 victory over Langley 2.
The team was already in good position when an error by Langley on their fifth rock set the table for Delta’s big score.
“The other team hit their own guard in front of [our] red, which bumped that right into the rings. So that was a bit of luck,” McCreedy said.
“Inside you’re freaking out because you haven’t seen anything like [it],” Kim said. “I’ve seen a lot of things on TV, … the largest I’ve seen was five and that was a big one, and now it’s like you have a chance for eight.”
Delta had the hammer, and it all came down to one last shot by McCreedy.
“When we went down to seven our minds were going everywhere, like, they were going crazy,” Fehr said. “We were so close, and then when it came we kind of celebrated.”
Though the boys were excited to score eight, it took them a little while to grasp the magnitude of their accomplishment.
“At first I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” McCreedy said.
“I was really excited because I was like, oh cool, it’s an eight-ender, but I didn’t realize how cool it was until later and I heard how many people get them,” Lau said.
“It’s kind of crazy,” McCreedy added.
Last season there were only 28 eight-enders reported to Curl BC, according to communications and marketing manager Liz Montroy. So far this season there have been 12, including Junior Delta 1’s.
“There’s only a handful a year across Canada,” Junior Delta 1 coach Tim Fehr said. “I mean, we have guys in this curling club that have curled for 40 years and have never had one.”
“I knew it was rare but I didn’t expect that it was this rare,” Kim said. “I thought it would happen [more] in other provinces where [curling is] bigger, like Alberta and such, but there isn’t that many.”
After losing the first three games of the season, the eight-ender created momentum that helped the team win their last two outings.
“We were off to a losing streak and then that kind of started our winning streak,” Jake Fehr said. “We still think about it but I don’t think we’re taking it for granted or anything.”
Junior Delta 1 hopes to keep their streak alive against Peace Arch 2 this Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Cloverdale Curling Rink (6150 176 St., Surrey).