By Darren Lum
It was a long time coming for the Red Hawks boys’ curling team, but the Ontario School Curling Provincial Championship title banner has come home.
Delivered by committee chairman Carlos Gregorio, the title banner delivery and presentation outside the school was close to a year in the waiting for the Hawks team of skip, Jacob Dobson, vice, Liam Little, second Corin Gervais, and lead Owen Nicholls, who captured the title following their successful run capped off at the finals for the championship held over the Feb. 13 to 15 weekend in Chatham, Ontario. This weekend competition followed a series of qualification rounds, which included winning the zone title in Haliburton in December, 2019, followed by a regional title win several weeks later in Richmond Hill in February.
Skip Dobson acknowledged the disappointment of lost opportunities related to not being able to curl for the school this past year because of the pandemic, but recognized the importance of what the banner represents.
“We were definitely looking forward to it after last year, going in as favourites and just not being able to play to finish that up. That would have been a real nice highlight,” he said, referring to getting to compete for the school and be able to compete towards an OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) title. “Our goal was to win a provincial [title] and we did.”
During the same year of winning the provincial championship, the boys also captured the Kawartha championship title and the COSSA (Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association) championship title,which earned them a berth to OFSAA. Unfortunately, their quest to compete to be the best school and take the OFSAA title ended when the pandemic hit, which ended all athletics and large gatherings.
The banner is expected to be included in the trophy case at the high school and once it is allowed it will be transferred to the Haliburton Curling Club where the team practiced before the pandemic.
The team earned the honour of being able to keep the provincial trophy for a year and each member also received champion badges, personal trophies and jackets.
Although Little and Dobson will graduate and pursue post-secondary education, Nicholls and Gervais are expected to return to HHSS next year.
Coach Darrell Dobson, who was assisted by Erin Nicholls, said, “They peaked right when the pandemic hit and they made it to OFSAA last year. They would have likely done well and then would have been in a good position for a second year so that’s a bit of a loss for them. It’s a really, really uplifting [thing] to have the banner and the celebration, a reminder.”