Bonot rink off to mixed nationals

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

Trevor Bonot and his team, including his sister Jackie McCormick at third, will represent Northern Ontario at the Canadian Nationals starting Nov. 7 in Canmore, Alta. after winning the Northern Ontario Mixed Provincial Championship.

It was hard to know how the tournament would go, Bonot says. The women on the team hadn’t played in a game this season prior to the beginning of the tournament.

“When we went into playdowns, it was Jackie’s and Amanda’s first games of the season,” Bonot said. “So we had to just get those games played and they worked in our favour but we had a lot of close games.”

Despite not having played together much, the team managed to win the tournament without dropping a game.

“My sister (McCormick) and I have played in this before and had some success,” Bonot said. “So we wanted to keep playing, and we had some luck and ended up running the table. So we’re pretty fortunate that way.”

For Bonot and McCormick this marks their third win at the event, having won previously in 2017 and 2019, Mike McArville played with them in 2019 as well and lead Amanda Gates was new to the team this year but Gates and Bonot have played in mixed doubles together and McArville and Bonot play together in leagues twice a week.

Trevor Bonot, Jackie McComick, Michael McCarville and Amanda Gates are heading to the mixed Doubles Curling Nationals early next month. The rink won the provincial championships on October 17. – Facebook photo

The team has about two weeks to prepare now for the national mixed curling championship in Canmore, Alta. from Nov. 7-14.

“We have a couple weeks to get a little more practice and then some more gameplay because it is very early in the season,” Bonot said. “It will never hurt to have some more games and more ice time under your belt.”

The team hasn’t had a ton of time to practice together as McCormick lives in Stratton and works in Fort Frances and Gates lives in Sudbury. Bonot says having prior history with each other helps immensely in preparing.

“Knowing each other is huge,” Bonot said. “Jackie and I being siblings really helps. Knowing how to put the broom down for one another is important because all four of us shoot a little bit different. But the fact that I’ve played with Jackie my whole life, I play with Mike two nights a week here in Thunder Bay… and Amanda having experience playing with her in the past really helps knowing what she’s able to do and how she throws a rock.”

Going into nationals, Bonot is cautiously optimistic. He says the team will take the tournament on a game-by-game approach.

“There’s only two skips in the event that have won before and we’re one of them, we’re one of the teams that have that experience,” Bonot said. “But that means nothing.”

They don’t want to underestimate their opponents.

“When you go to a national [tournament], you’re playing against some of the best curlers from each province and territory,” Bonot said. “So you’ve got to go out there and perform, so hopefully we can do that. You know, as much as we have confidence, we also have respect for the other athletes we’re playing against. We know that we’re going to have to play our best the whole week.”

Bonot says he thinks making the championship pool would be the start of a successful tournament as his team didn’t make it that far the last time around. From the championship pool they’d love to make the playoffs and he feels like anything can happen from there.

“In the championship pool we want to have a good four games and hopefully make the playoffs,” Bonot said. “Once you’re in the playoffs it’s a whole new ball of wax, do or die.”

Team Bonot will find out how they match up against the rest of the country in the second week in November.