Hawks strongly represented at GORE provincial finals
By Darren Lum
Published Feb. 8, 2018
Both the boys’ and the girls’ Red Hawks curling teams advanced to the Gore Mutual Provincial High School Curling Championship finals by winning the double knock-out format regionals on Saturday, Feb. 3 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto.
This comes after advancing from the zone qualifier (a double-knock out event) several weeks ago.
The Hawks are now part of a field of 16 teams, eight in the girls and eight in the boys. Started in 1948, this competition is the oldest competed trophy in high school sports in Ontario.
The Hawks will be representing region two, the community and their school at the Ontario School Curling Championships from Feb. 15 to 17 at the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club in Sarnia to compete for the Gore Trophy and the Gore Bowl.
The girls’ team includes skip Jessica Byers, vice Mackenzie Tidey, second Lena Haase and lead Chelsea Flynn.
The boys’ team includes skip Dustyn McCready-DeBruin, vice Jonas Hill, second Liam Little and lead Jacob Dobson.
Former Red Hawks curler Alyssa Denyer, who recently earned a berth with her mixed curling partner Max Blais to the Ontario Winter Games, won the Gore provincial championship with her rink as its skip in 2016. This will be Byers’ rink’s second trip to the provincials.
Coach Hugh Nichol said the team of Grade 9s and 10s, which has been together since Grade 6, will bring confidence into the coming finals.
“They know what to expect. They know they are competitive,” he said.
The team chemistry proved invaluable in this tournament when the team was down, he said.
“Curling is a team sport where team chemistry means a lot. We were down a couple of times in games, but team chemistry is good. They stay together. They stay positive and they were able to come back,” he said.
Nichol and boys’ coach Darrell Dobson thanked the Haliburton Curling Club and credited them with helping the players develop their skills through youth curling programming and providing practice time each week with youth nights. They also gained experience in league play to refine their skills and give them competitive experience.
Dobson had similar compliments for his boys’ team, who only came together this year.
“Everyone has a really positive attitude, and the team curled really well. Dustyn called strong games strategically, and the entire team shot with a high degree of consistency and accuracy. They got behind in the A final and showed a lot of character and skill to come back for the win. As skip, Dustyn made three remarkable shots in the fifth and sixth ends of the A final that made the difference in the game,” he wrote in an email.