Jacob Dobson, left, of Haliburton County has been curling since he was in Grade 4, and has just successfully skipped his team to a 7-0 undefeated sweep of the Canadian Junior Cup. /Photo submitted

Local curler sweeps towards Switzerland

By James Matthews
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Haliburton’s Jacob Dobson and his teammates swept their way to Switzerland.

The Dobson rink went undefeated in seven outings for 120 tournament points to earn the Under-21 Canadian Junior Cup in Oshawa at the end of December. They competed against teams from Ontario, the United States, and a contingent from Switzerland.

The crew that curls out of the Burlington Golf and Country Club is comprised of skip Dobson, third Noah Garner, second Daniel Del Conte, and lead Nolan Galardo.

If the hardware and bragging rights aren’t good enough, the Dobson crowd also netted a trip to throw rocks in Switzerland later this year.

“I’ve been playing for a while and had a couple good runs with a couple teams,” he said.

Dobson has been curling since he was in Grade 4, he said. He pursued the sport through to his high school years and even now in post-secondary school. He’s the skip on the Humber College men’s team.

Owen Nicholls, another curler from Haliburton, won silver in Oshawa as a member of Team Stratton. Nichols and Dobson curled on the same team that won the 2019 Ontario School Curling Provincial Championships and again at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations level in March 2020.

But they and everybody else were sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic that ground life to a halt.

Curling’s pebbled ice never loses its shine, whether at the provincial, national, or college level.

“All the big [bonspiels] that I’ve been able to compete in or win so far are ones that I really had my mind set in trying to get to for a long time,” Jacobs said.

“And try to knock off championships along the way is something that I keep looking forward to.”

He said the Oshawa bonspiel drew most of the top rinks from throughout Ontario. Dobson said he and his rink had previously competed against many of the teams that threw stones at the Canadian Junior Cup.

Being highly challenged consistently elevates their level of play, and that should translate well on international ice.

“We got to play all those teams again, and it was some of the best curling that I probably played in my life,” the skip said. “It helps us prepare for … putting the Maple Leaf on our back and representing Canada.”