BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y.-- Briarcliff resident Andrew Stopera has solidified himself as one of the top teenage curlers in the country.
Stopera and his team, Team Dunnam, placed second at U.S. Junior Curling National Championships last month in Seattle.
The 11th-grader, who attends Hackley High School in Tarrytown, regularly trains at the Ardsley Curling Club, often practicing for four days a week.
In the round robin, the 16-year-old and his team went 7-2, which was good enough for the silver medal.
"We had high expectations and felt it was good enough to finish in second place," Stopera said. "We practice hard all year. We played really well and against a really good field."
Stopera said it was an awesome feeling to finish second in the country.
"I'll be proud of this one," Stopera said. "It's pretty cool to be second in the country in anything. It's one of the most fun things I've done in my life."
Stopera said he also enjoyed getting to meet people, make new friends and experience Seattle during the Seattle Seahawks championship run.
"It was a cool environment," Stopera said. "Seattle calls itself the 12th fan, so there was '12' everywhere."
Next year's event will be held in North Dakota and Stopera is hoping to one day finish in first. Team Dunnam will be losing its skip next year.
Stopera said he plans on watching curling at this year's Winter Olympics.
"I am going to root for the U.S.," Stopera said. "I hope they do well. It's so much fun to watch on TV."
Stopera has been curling for eight years and is the son of world champion curler Bill Stopera. Andrew Stopera's grandfather is also a curler.
In curling, he said teamwork is very important and that teammates must be on the same page to succeed. "It's a big team effort," Stopera said. "We are helping each other out and always sweeping."
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