It may seem inconceivable but there was another big sporting event taking place the same weekend as our beloved Super Bowl.
Fourteen-year-old, Cavelero Mid High School ninth grader Luc Violette and his team of three other curlers, Evan McAuley (Sammamish), Jake Vukich (Seattle) and Kyle Lorvick (Seattle) were curling their way to a gold medal in the U.S. Junior Curling Championships held at Seattle's Granite Curling Club on Saturday, Feb. 1.
The four curlers from Team Vukich, beat Team Pennsylvania 7-5.
"Needless to say, the team was elated. When the team was formed three years ago, the goal was to win the 2014 National Junior Championship on home soil at the Granite Curling Club," Tom Violette, Luc's dad and coach said. "The team finished sixth at the 2012 Nationals and second in 2013, so to realize the dream of winning it all this year was very rewarding. To win in front of their families and hometown fans made all of the hard work worth it and a very special moment for all of us."
This gives the team the opportunity to represent the United States at the World Junior Curling Championship in Flims, Switzerland which will take place February 26-March 5.
Luc's dad Tom has been coaching him since he was only four-years old. Tom is himself a curling medalist earning a world bronze medal in 1992.
"I grew up on the ice-curling is something I always wanted to do," Luc said.
Violette is the youngest curler on the team by at least three years. This is Violette's third medal at the national championships.
Last year, Team Vukich took silver while playing in Boston, Mass. and in 2012 they earned themselves a sixth place finish in Madison, Wis. They have been playing together for just three years.
This is the first gold medal from Granite Curling Club in four years.
"It was a great feeling to win on our home ice," Violette said. "I've always loved curling and I especially like meeting new people-there's lots of sportsmanship involved and I've made a lot of friends. This will also be my first time overseas, which is really exciting."
Violette has learned at an early age what it means to commit to a sport that you love. He spends up to five nights a week in Seattle practicing. He also works hard in school.
"I don't have a lot of time for extra activities," said Violette. "I go to school and work hard, and then focus on curling after I've finished my homework."
Considering that Violette is playing in a division with much older players, this win is quite an accomplishment.
"Junior curling is a 21U division, so for Luc to win a national title at only 14 is an amazing accomplishment. He was competing against players that were 5-7 years older than he," Tom Violette explained. "The experience he has gained in just three years is incredible; he has competed in three national championships and will be competing in his fourth U18 championship in April. Most junior curlers don't have the opportunity to get that kind of experience until they are at least 16 or 17."
The four boys/men have challenged themselves to be the best they can be and they have worked hard to make themselves a championship team over the past three years.
"Since I first began coaching this team in the U18 Championships in Toronto in April 2011, I have watched them develop step-by-step, season-by-season into a world-class team," Tom said. "We made nearly 50 trips to B.C., competitions in Toronto, Madison, Boston, Minnesota, Vancouver and Manitoba, and spent hundreds of hours on the ice practicing. It was a long journey and to see them receive their gold medals in front of friends and family at the Granite Curling Club made all of the sacrifice truly worthwhile and rewarding beyond words."
There will be 10 teams competing in the world finals in Switzerland.