Portage proud to have a culture of curling - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Portage proud to have a culture of curling

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- Many in the town of Portage are proud of the sport they're known for.
"If you don't really know Portage from anything, you might know it for curling," Portage junior Layne Leege said.

It's a sport that goes back generations in many families.

"My mom curled throughout high school and my dad curls and my brother curled in high school," Leege said,

In fact, on the current Portage girls high school team, each of the top four players have relatives who have won state championships while at Portage.

"I don't know what my life would be like without it, just because it's so much fun. You'd think oh that's easy, I could do it easy peasy, but really there's a lot of things to pay attention to," Leege said.

"It takes a lot of energy to sweep from one end to another. You have to be strong," Portage senior Annmarie Dubberstein said.

Portage has also produced multiple Olympians in Maureen Brunt and Debbie McCormick.

"You know you can go far places from such a small town," Dubberstein said.

But on the ice in Portage is where it begins. Where the Portage High Schoolers are now. A group that has won three-straight state titles and is aiming for another.

"I know everybody's going to be shooting at us, to take us down because they say OK Portage," Portage girls head coach Jim Shlimovitz said.

"We're motivated, we all want to be here and we all want to win. We just have fun with each other, we're pretty confident," Leege said.

It's a sport that helps put Portage on the map. Something these people take pride in.

"I've been to other states curling and say oh we're from Portage. [In response] Oh I know where that is, they have a great curling program. It makes me feel good because I know I've been part of it." Shlimovitz said.

Portage will aim for its fourth-straight girls state title starting Thursday, February 18 in Wausau.

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