Little Rocks finalists get big thrill at Brier
BY JOE PAVIA
Ottawa skip Rachel Homan talks to one of the Little Rockers at the Tim Hortons Brier. (Submitted photo)
The excitement at Lansdowne Park seems to be growing. And there is excitement for all ages.
The two teams who are going to play in the Hogline Little Rocks championship are nervously waiting to get on the ice once the Page playoff game ends.
It’s Vankleek Hill against their big city rivals from the Rideau Club.
Rhett James, the fifth player for Vankleek Hill, said, “I am very excited.”
Does he think he will get to play? “I might trip a guy to do it. I don’t think there’s anything bigger.”
Jack Ragan, 11, from Rideau, throws second but is vice. He has a different take.
“I think this is just going to be a cool experience. I really don’t care if I we win or lose. I’m just excited to play on Brier ice.”
The Hill’s Jaxson Bigosgagnon 12, said, “Yes I’m very excited. It’s the biggest game of my life so far.”
Added Rideau skip Kai Collins, 11: “It’s Brier ice and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity although I hope one day I can represent Ontario.”
Sitting right near the young players is the second for Team British Columbia — Tyrel Griffith. He is waiting near the kids anxiously waiting to be introduced to the thousands in the arena as the winner of the Ross Harstone sportsmanship award, an award voted on by the players. He reflected on the start of his curling career.
“I got into curling probably 1999. I was a sign bearer for the P.E.I. team at the Canadian junior championships in my hometown of Kelowna. Jamie Newsome (P.E.I. skip) gave me his curling gloves and the whole team gave me a shirt. After that I was hooked on curling.”
Them That Can’t Teach
What do you do after you have been eliminated from the Tim Hortons Brier? If you are Wayne and Sherry Middaugh or Adam Casey and Dave Mathers, the latter two from Team P.E.I., you spend Saturday morning at the Granite club teaching Little Rockers.
Each player participated in a question-and-answer session with one recurring question — What is the highlight of your curling career? Wayne Middaugh’s answer was watching his bantam age daughter qualify for the provincials this season. He is the team’s coach
Lady of Spain
Former Ottawa resident and curler Melanie Robillard is in Ottawa for the last weekend of the Brier. She now lives in Madrid, Spain with her curling husband, Antonio de Mollinedo and their nine-month-old son Martin. She is expecting a second boy this summer. While in Ottawa she is paling around with her former bantam and junior teammate — Olympic champ Dawn McEwen.
Three members of Team P.E.I. were in an official van coming into Lansdowne Park when a car with its four-ways blinkers flashing stopped them in their tracks. On-coming cars halted their progress so the driver got out to inspect the car that seemingly had no one in it. Laying on the back seat was a woman breast-feeding her infant.
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