Christmas is a time of tradition and for young local curlers, that means a visit to the Toronto Curling Association (TCA) Junior Bonspiel from Dec. 28 to 30.
A pair of Sudbury rinks took advantage of mid-week holiday time to test themselves against many of the top competitors from across the province.
After finishing eighth in the bantam pool last year, brothers Jacob and Tanner Horgan returned in 2011, teaming up with the North Bay duo of Connor Lawes and Dakota Allerston.
The team advanced to the semifinal of the main event, falling to eventual silver medallist Eric Bradey (Guelph Curling Club) and settling for fourth place with a loss in the consolation final to Doug Kee (Sarnia Golf and Curling Club). The northern boys opened bonspiel play with victories over James Harris (Bayview Golf and Country Club) and Ian Fudge (Bradford Curling Club).
Both Horgan siblings, who curl out of the Idylwylde Golf and Country Club in Sudbury, are following in the footsteps of older sisters Tracy and Jennifer Horgan, northern Ontario champions at the junior level on multiple occasions.
Preparing to defend her Northern Ontario Junior Ladies title for the third consecutive year, Sudbury's Kendra Lilly also took part in the TCA Bonspiel, posting a pool record of 3-1 before being eliminated in the semifinals.
Lilly and company bested Shannon Harrington (Ottawa Curling Club), Caitlin Elliott (St. Thomas Curling Club) and Brittany Pearce (Midland Curling Club) while tasting defeat only once, at the hands of Jamie Sinclair (Manotick Curling Centre).
The Team Lilly record of 3-1 was enough to move the quartet along to the final four of the second event, where her team was sent packing by Shannon Kee of the Sarnia Golf and Country Club.
The Lilly rink, representing the Idylwylde, now heads to Sioux Lookout (Junior Men will play in Atikokan) for the Provincial Junior Championships, joining a local contingent that also includes Dustin Montpellier (Sudbury Curling Club), Robin Beaudry (Idylwylde) and Chloe Gordon (Copper Cliff Curling Club).
Play begins Jan. 5, with the winners moving on to the M & M Meats Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Napanee.
Posted by Laurel Myers