Curling, the Scottish sport of sending stones down the ice, and sweeping, has really swept the nation. It doesn't hurt that Team Schuster (aka Team USA) won the Gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018. Even Jared Allen, the former Vikings player, has gotten into the sport, with his attempt to get onto an Olympic team.

The Owatonna Curling Club is run by volunteers, and one of those volunteers stands out above the others, so much so that he has been named as the USA Curling Volunteer of the Year. Jeremiah Kasten, who was nominated by the local board, was selected as the Volunteer of the Year, becoming the 8th person to be awarded since the award was created in 2012. Kasten, a Minnesota native, is only the second person from Minnesota to receive this award. He will be recognized at the association's Member's Assembly, as well as at his home club, this fall.

Jeremiah Kasten, Trevor Davis, Brad Betterman Melissa Hall/Townsquare Media
Jeremiah Kasten at CulturFest talking about curling Melissa Hall/Townsquare Media

Jeremiah has been curling since he was a third-grader. He has since gotten his family involved, all 3 children, and his wife, Stacy. When he realized his oldest son was not having as good of a time curling with the adults, he went to the board and asked about starting a junior league. He was able to convince them to start a junior league and completed the Level I Instructor Course. The 2015-16 season was the first official junior league at the Owatonna Curling Cub.

From there, Kasten has joined the board, assists with the learn to curl events that the club hosts, and has completed the training to be a USCA Level II certified instructor. He also assists with the set-up of the club and was the sole ice prep tech for the 2018-19 season. He took the time to get city and county approval to update the club, which has not been updated since 1980.

To say curling is in Jeremiah's blood does not do it justice. Curling is his best "stress outlet." He curls at least 3 nights a week, in addition to running the junior league. When the Owatonna season ends, he curls at the Rochester Curling Club and Dakota Club in Lakeville. When Jeremiah is not curling, he makes his home in Owatonna and works for the Minnesota Department of Corrections in Faribault at the prison.

Source: Team USA.org