For the first time in 44 years, a Kingston rink will represent Ontario at the Tim Horton’s Brier.
Scott McDonald’s team from the Cataraqui Curling Club includes Jonathon Beuk, Wesley Forget and Scott Chadwick and will present Ontario at the Brier in Brandon, Man., March 1-10.
The rink won the Ontario Tankard two weeks ago in Elmira, finishing the provincial tournament with a perfect record of 11-0.
“I’ve been dreaming of playing in the Brier since I was a little boy,” said Forget, who plays second on the McDonald foursome.
Forget is no stranger to national competition. He was a member of the Cataraqui rink that won the Canadian Traveller’s championship in Kelowna, B.C., in 2017.
“We’re ranked sixth in Brandon,” added Forget,” a Queen’s University graduate.
“We’re up against Olympians, Brier winners and world champions. Our attitude is to just play the best we can and let the chips fall where they may. If we play as well as we did in Elmira, we should be OK.”
Scott Chadwick is also making his Brier debut and still hasn’t come down from cloud nine.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Chadwick, a Napanee native.
“We’re excited to get the opportunity to play on curling’s biggest stage and represent Ontario, Kingston and the Cataraqui Curling Club. We’ve put in a lot of work and that hard work, dedication and commitment is starting to pay off.”
Some of the biggest names in Canadian curling will be in Brandon.
They include rinks skipped by Brad Gushoe, Mike McEwen, Brad Jacobs, and Kevin Koe.
Those names don’t intimidate the Kingston rookies.
“We’re trying not to be too excited to play in the Brier,” said Jonathon Beuk, the team’s vice-skip.
“We want to make sure that we’re ready to go as soon as we need to play. We’re not just going there to have fun. We’re going there to win it.”
The tournament starts on Friday with a wild-card game that features Brendan Bottcher from Edmonton against John Epping from the Leaside Curling Club in Toronto.
Epping lost to the Kingston rink in the Ontario championship, 11-4.
For the record, the last team from Kingston to play at the Brier was skipped by Alex Scott in 1975. His Cataraqui rink included Ted Brown, Mike Boyd and Tom Miller.
They finished with a record of 6-5. The event, held in Fredericton, N.B., was won by Bill Tetley and his foursome from Thunder Bay.