With the winter months cruising by, we have seen many sports such as hockey, basketball and more thrive. But a sport that one might not be too familiar with is that of curling.

On March 3, Mike Fraboni from Lac du Flambeau qualified for the World Senior Curling Championships in Stavanger, Norway. The event will run from April 20-27. 

Fraboni is a member of the Eau Claire-based Team Goodland, which also includes team members Geoff Goodland, Dan Wiza, Pete Westberg and Todd Birr.

For Fraboni, this is the second time he has gone to this event, having gone in 2008 when his team got third place.

They have qualified for the event by winning the United States of America (USA) Curling Senior Men’s National Championship held in Mapleton, Minnesota Feb. 25 to March 3. In order to win this tournament, the team went through a series of brackets containing 29 different teams from throughout the country. The more they won, the easier it was to advance to the next bracket.

“We played a triple knockout format,” said Fraboni. “We went through the A Bracket. We won all our games. [Then] we won the B Bracket and then we dripped down in the C Bracket.”

By going their way through the brackets, Team Goodland ended up in a very good spot playing for the national championship.

“By virtue of being undefeated in that bracket, we directly went into the championship game,” said Fraboni. “They would’ve had to beat us twice.”

The final match was between Team Goodland and Team DeVore. Team Goodland won by a score of 7-4. They never lost throughout the entire tournament.

Now they will wait until late April to play again. The world championships are represented by teams from all over the world including Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and Israel. 

“It’s fun going to these and it’s really fun hanging out with people from different countries,” said Fraboni.

The format of the event will again be that of a tournament. They hope to represent the USA by bringing home a medal. 

“The goal would be to qualify out of our pool,” said Fraboni. “To make the playoffs and come back with a medal,” is their top priority. 

With the tournament a little over a month from now, Team Goodland has plenty of time to perfect their craft and bring home the gold. 

Brett LaBore may be reached at brett@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.