Curl Mesabi’s own Michael Mattson and his junior curling team, Team Tuma, have earned berths in both the U18 and U21 Junior Curling Nationals this year.
They achieved these honors by winning playdowns in Laurel, Md., to qualify for the U21 Nationals. During the weekend of Dec. 28-30 in Duluth, they amassed a 5-0 record to become the Minnesota State U18 Champs.
Team Tuma consists of Lead Austin Bengtson from Willmar/Glacial Ridge Curling Club, Second Michael Mattson from Curl Mesabi, Third Sidney Harris, Skip Kevin Tuma, and Alternate Sam Clasen, all from the St. Paul Curling Club. They are coached by Reuben Harris.
This will be Mattson’s third and last appearance in the U18 Nationals as he has aged out for next year. Michael, Austin, and Kevin curled together during the 2017 U18 Nationals in Milwaukee. In 2018 they acquired Sidney and competed in the U18’s in Bemidji. The four of them were also fortunate to win a berth last year in the U21 Nationals in Detroit. Sam also competed in Detroit last year on a team skipped by his older brother, Jack, who has since aged out of juniors. Team Tuma was lucky to pick Sam up as an alternate this year.
The U21 Junior Curling Nationals began Saturday in Two Harbors and run through Jan. 19. The U18 Nationals will be in Chaska March 12-17.