Nugget Column #04 – Wednesday October 14th, 2015
While ice in North Bay was only ready for play as of yesterday, some of our young competitors have already been touring the province in pursuit of achieving their goals for the 2015 – 2016 season.
Connor Lawes, a graduate of St. Joseph-Scollard Hall and last season’s Northern Ontario Junior Boys champion, plays Second for Team Horgan out of Sudbury and has been sweeping Ontario since the team’s first Ontario Junior Curling Tour stop at the Carleton Height Junior Bonspiel on September 5th and 6th.
At this event, and in their second event at the High Park Club in Toronto, the boys finished first in their pool and went on to win the championship final. Their third event started the same but finished only a few points short of third title.
Next stop would be the highly anticipated Stu Sells Toronto Tankard, an entry that was awarded to them by winning the Stu Sells Junior Tankard at High Park. The team prepared in style claiming a private practice session they earned with 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist Brad Gushue and his team.
When the time came, Team Horgan would face four-time world champion skip Glenn Howard in their opening match. Although tied after four ends, Howard would clinch a 6-3 victory after eight.
Team Horgan bounced back with wins in their second and fourth games versus Dayna Deruelle and Team China but took losses to Craig Brown of the U.S.A. and Reid Carruthers, the reigning Manitoba champion.
As you can see, Connor Lawes has been making noise on the curling scene – and so has Widdifield Secondary student Kate Sherry…
Sherry plays league on Tuesday nights, and mentors up-and-coming curlers through the club’s Timbit Curling program. When she’s not at school or sleeping, she’s curling as part of three Sudbury-based bantam and junior aged girls’ teams.
When Sherry won the Northern Ontario Curling Association’s Bantam Girls Provincial title last season, her team earned a spot in a best 2 out of 3 competition to determine which Team Ontario (north or south) would advance to the U18 Curling Championships in Edmonton next year; this challenge is nearing.
Sherry aims to defend her Provincial Bantam title this season but is mainly focused on playing Second for her junior girls’ team skipped by Megan Smith.
The team is participating in some of the Ontario Junior Curling Tour events and have qualified for the Ottawa Superspiel.
Kate and Connor’s teams were recently both awarded an entry (of which there were only six) into the Ontario Curling Council’s “Next Generation Program” in support of implementing Curling Canada’s Podium Pathway. It is the program’s intention to ensure that a progressive stream of athletes and coaches are being trained to standards required to win Olympics and World Championships.
These local athletes will have access to country’s top coaches in addition to dieticians, sport psychologists, fitness trainers, and other experts in preparation for their next steps.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club