Denyer’s rink prevails winning COSSA championship title

By Darren Lum

All they need to do now is to win gold at the all-provincials to have the perfect season.

However the skip of the Red Hawks girls’  curling team Alyssa Denyer said in an email she is proud of her team for earning its first COSSA (Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics) title and first OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championship) berth in Omemee on Friday Feb. 26.

The team of Tori Hawley Alanna Casper and Emily Parish also won the  Gore Mutual Schoolgirl Provincial Championships title earlier in February.

Denyer said she was “super proud of the team for making it to OFSAA! That alone on top of our [Gore] provincial win makes for an amazing season no matter what happens at OFSAA.”

She adds “I know if we play like we played at the provincials we will certainly be a force to be reckoned with!”

The Hawks went undefeated in three games to earn their title and a berth to OFSAA from March 7 to 10 in North Bay. Their first was against St. Theresa’s the second against cross-town rival Fenelon Falls Secondary School and the last game against Picton.

Denyer said the toughest challenge the team faced was against St. Theresa’s who “could draw really well.”

The team she said adapted and won.

Originally the COSSA championship was scheduled for Wednesday Feb. 24 at the Haliburton Curling Club. A snow day for Wednesday and Thursday cancelled school buses moving the championship to Omemee because of scheduling conflicts.

It proved to be unfortunate for fans and family but it  enabled an ill Denyer to recover over the two days.

The COSSA championship did not include a final title game. It was structured as a round-robin format which provides its own set of challenges Denyer said.

The “round robin changes the attitude you have for each game because the little losses can make a big difference in whether you advance through or not. Shootout scores are also very important (each player on the team does a draw to the button and points are awarded depending on how close you get) the higher the score the better when there is a tie it is normally broken by shootout scores” she said.

Denyer adds at the championship the team managed “three out of four of our shots were partially on the button so we ended up with the highest shootout score.”

The team’s success for this title and the entire season is built on a foundation of friendship the past few years.

“Our chemistry definitely makes success and losing easier because we are always able to keep each other grounded and support each other during tough games rather than blaming each other and getting angry. And winning just feels a whole lot better when it’s with good friends” she said.