Red Hawks curlers optimistic for next season
By Darren Lum
March 14, 2017
The Red Hawks boys’ curling team of Chris Draper, vice Dustyn McCready-DeBruin, second Josh Colicchia and lead Brian Wheeler represented the Highlands well at this year’s COSSA (Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics) championships in Stirling earlier this month.
Skipped by Chris, the team entered the championships as the second seed from Kawartha.
In their first game against East Northumberland Secondary School the Hawks won, 12-2 and enabled the Hawks’ rink to be set up well, as far as figuring out what strategy to employ to the rest of the competition.
“My team performed absolutely amazing. In our first game, my whole team made all their shots and gave us a huge advantage. Unfortunately as the day progressed the competition was getting higher and led us to [lose] our last two games,” he wrote in an email.
Teacher coach Alexis David, who was subing in for regular teacher coach Russ Duhaime, unable to attend due to back injury, wrote in an email, “the boys played amazing.”
In the team’s next game against the Fenelon Falls Secondary School Falcons (FFSS), David said the team started strongly, taking one in the first and one in the second end. However by the third end, the team surrendered five points.
“They played a clean house game, hitting everything and never giving FFSS another opportunity for a big end. Unfortunately, FFSS matched our play and also hit everything, not giving us an opportunity to score. We were able to keep them to one for most of the ends, but ultimately lost 9-4,” she said.
David said the team maintained their composure and went up four points after the first end in their third game against Moira Secondary School.
“They played a clean game, holding them to one as often as possible. At the fourth end break, HHSS led 5-2. In the second half, we gave up a few ends of two, and ended up starting the eighth end down two with the hammer. Moira was successfully hitting every rock of ours, until we didn’t have enough rocks left to win,” she said. Moira won 8-5.
“Overall, the boys played amazing. They stuck to their strengths which was a clean house hitting game. Unfortunately, they are not advancing to OFSAA, but are extremely proud of how they played,” she said.
The team’s coach this season has been Ron Draper, Chris’s father.
Chris said his dad has helped the team since they were all nine years old and was really helpful.
Ron and Duhaime provided a solid strategy for the team. The skip credited the pair of coaches for the team’s success.
“[They] gave us game plans to further help us win our games and also gave us alternative plans in case one doesn’t work. It helped us a lot.”
Teacher coach Duhaime, who went with the team to the Kawartha championship, sees a bright future for this team.
“I’m really proud of these boys. They were very close to qualifying for OFSAA. Three members of the team will be back next year, so I feel like there’s a ton of potential for next season,” he said.
Duhaime joined the team this season and Chris hopes the coach returns.
With Chris going into Grade 12, McCready-DeBruin going into Grade 11 and Wheeler heading into Grade 12, the team is expecting bigger things next year even with the departure of Colicchia, who is graduating this year to attend college. Grade 9 Jacob Dobson is expected to join next season’s Hawks team. He will either be the second or the lead added the skip.
Despite finishing the season at COSSA, Chris said his “team was phenomenal. I’m almost more than positive that next year is our year to win OFSAA and GORE provincials. What I’ll remember from this experience is how competitive and tough the game is as you progress from Kawartha. My team will take our mistakes at COSSA and move forward to future events next season.”
With files by Alexis David