Jaguars win provincial curling bronze
By Darren Lum
April 19, 2016
When it was all over the J. Douglas Hodgson Elementary School Jaguars curling team of Jessica Byers, McKenzie Tidey, Lena Haas and Destiny Wilson finished as the third best team in the province.
Sanctioned by the Ontario Curling Association, this event included 54 elementary school teams from across the province between the ages of eight and 13 that competed at the Tim Hortons Timbits Elementary School Provincial Championship at the Gananoque Curling Club from April 7 to 9.
Coach Bob MacNaull said, as far as he knew, this was the first time the Haliburton Curling Club has sent four teams to compete at the provincials and they all represented the community well on and off the ice.
“Getting four teams there is really outstanding and their curling skills were a reflection on the volunteer coaches who run the program on the year and the curlers. Their curling was outstanding. They played with the best teams across the province at the elementary school age and [they all] came out with a winning [or .500] record,” he said.
The club has worked with some of these players for years, teaching, encouraging and training them.
MacNaull and three other volunteer coaches, Terry Lawrence, Aggie Tose and Chris Parish spent the past several months preparing the teams for this season ending event.
He adds with four rinks, Haliburton was well-represented as one of the largest contingents there and he hopes to continue this next year. Last year the club only sent three rinks.
MacNaull said he was thoroughly impressed by the bronze -winning Jaguars’ team that went undefeated before the playoffs.
“They shot the lights out,” he said.
Although the team lost in the semi-final, the team bounced back and won bronze. It finished with a 5-1 record.
MacNaull said every team was guaranteed four games and depending on the win/loss record, teams were seeded for the playoffs. All of the teams representing Haliburton made the playoffs and played six games, two more than the minimum.
Skipped by Holly Parish, the team that included Jocelyn Chumbley, Corin Gervais and Logan Malette won an event final and finished 4-2. This team was coached by Chris Parish.
The team coached by Aggie Tose included Ania Smolen, Emma Casey, Hannah Lewis and Savannah Byers who were the runners-up in the D event. They eventually lost to a Unionville team in the final. They finished 3-3.
The team of Bella Smolen, Jonah Aldom, Jacob Dobson, Aiden Hill and Nathaniel Boore coached by MacNaull won an event final. They finished 3-3.
This club has also run a youth program for years, which has been rooted in a welcoming environment, fostering encouragement and a love for the sport, not only for these competitive curlers, but also recreational curlers.
Curling is a sport that is rooted in sportsmanship, teamwork and etiquette, MacNaull said.
“They displayed that in spades. They represented the community well at the curling event,” he said, referring to all four teams.
The club, MacNaull said, were appreciative to team sponsors the Rotary Club of Haliburton, Curry Chevrolet Buick GMC, Dawson Insurance and Smolen Dentistry.
Next year’s event is at the Chesley Curling Club, southwestern Ontario from March 23 to 26 in Chesley, Ont.
“This is a great event for the kids. It certainly gives them the opportunity to show exactly what they’ve been able to accomplish as young kids and hopefully that will make them better citizens in the future,” he said.