By Vivian Collings
Getting to compete in a national college curling championship is a huge achievement in itself, but being in it with two of your fellow HHSS alumni curlers on separate teams is quite another.
Jessica Byers and Jacob Dobson, now curling for Humber College, and Liam Little, now curling for Mowhawk College, each competed on their respective teams at the National Championship from Mar. 15 to 19, but reminisce on the days they were on the ice together in Haliburton.
“Earning the opportunity to play at a Canadian National Championship is an honour, and being able to experience that with two other Haliburton County curlers who earned their own spot on their respective teams, makes me feel very proud of our small community,” Byers said.
Little shared similar sentiments and said the reunion was one of the highlights of the tournament.
“It’s always nice getting to see them and share the ice once again like the good old days,” Little said.
Dobson’s Humber men’s team came first in the gold medal game against the SAIT Trojans from Alberta.
Little’s Mowhawk men’s team came third at the championship, ending the competitive curling season bringing home a bronze medal in his first national tournament.
“The experience was one to remember that’s for sure. It was my first nationals and being able to walk away with a podium finish is pretty cool,” Little said.
Byers’ Humber women’s team was at the top of seven round robin games and competed for the bronze medal.
“Although we fell short and lost the bronze medal game, we had a lot to be proud of. Our whole team won first team all-star honours,” Byers said.
The three now college students from Haliburton have an extensive history playing together.
Byers and Dobson started in the Haliburton Curling Club youth program together in Grades 4 and 5 while Little was curling in Minden.
“We all started playing together when we entered high school, and have been playing with, and against each other since, through highschool championships, Under-20 and Under-18 competitive curling championships, mixed doubles competitions and now again with our college teams,” Byers said.
Both Byers’ and Little’s teams felt pressure going into the medal games at the championship.
“The final game we played was very suspenseful knowing that we weren’t guaranteed a medal. Our team played really well, and we got the job done,” Little said.
Byers’ women’s team also competed for bronze.
“We played well in the playoff games, but like in all sports, sometimes it comes down to if the other team can make a perfect shot at the right times, and that’s exactly what our oppositions did,” Byers said.
The three HHSS alumni are taking with them an experience they will always cherish, and they look forward to next year’s season.
“Competing alongside Liam and Jacob means so much because we know we have each other’s back and is an amazing feeling knowing all the work we’ve put in coming from a small town has paid off,” Byers said.
HHSS alumni represent the community at Nationals
By Vivian Collings