High school curling is alive and well in the Rainy River District.
That’s especially true when it comes to both the Muskie and Owl girls curling teams, who had their talents on full display last week at the OFSAA curling championships that were held at the Fort Frances Curling Club.
The Muskies, comprised of Tory Beaudry, Ashley Payne, Katrina Slomke, Andrea Schram, and Lauren Penney, were impressive in falling just short of a bronze medal with a 7-5 loss to Timiskaming District SS on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a great experience getting a chance to win a medal here in our hometown,” said Beaudry afterwards. “It was great, we were super happy about that.
“I think, overall, we had a lot of fun,” she enthused.
Fort High opened play last Wednesday afternoon with a 8-1 win over Bear Creek SS before thumping St. Theresa CSS 10-4 that night.
The squad was edged 7-6 by All Saints HS on Thursday morning before responding by doubling A.N. Myer SS 6-3 that night.
The black-and-gold then downed Vincent Massey 9-5 on Friday afternoon to finish Pool ‘F’ play with a 4-1 record to earn a spot in the quarter-finals, which featured an all-district battle between Fort High and the Rainy River Owls.
The Muskies prevailed 7-3 to advance to the semi-finals Saturday morning.
Saturday morning’s semi-final saw the Muskies drop a tough 7-5 decision to Lockerby before losing in the bronze-medal game.
Beaudry is in her final year at Fort High and will be moving on to Brandon University, where she plans to curl juniors out of Manitoba.
What will Beaudry miss most about her time with the Muskies?
“I think it would be probably be the OFSAA championships that I’ve attended,” she replied.
“Because those are the times that you really come together as a team and as a group of people,” she reasoned.
“Those are the memories that you make, the fun you have, not even just on the ice but maybe off the ice or doing fun stuff with the team.
“I think those are the memories I’ll have with me,” she added.
The Rainy River Owls, meanwhile, were eliminated from the tourney with the quarter-final loss to the Muskies.
The squad, comprised of Mackenzie Jolicouer, Aynsley Williams, Madison Williams, Lynnelle Westover, and Cassidy Teeple, finished Pool ‘E’ play with a 4-1 record overall.
“Going undefeated at qualifiers and winning Gold at NorWOSSA and NWOSSAA, and earning our berth at OFSAA was an extremely rewarding experience,” noted Owls’ coach Colleen Jolicouer.
“We had exceeded our goals for this season,’ she added. “Our goals at OFSAA were to have good games, and [to] enjoy the experience.
“Finishing second in our pool and advancing to the quarter-finals surpassed our goals.”
Rainy River opened with a 9-3 win over Timiskaming District SS last Wednesday morning before blanking O’Neill CVI 8-0 in just five ends that evening.
The squad then downed Etobicoke CI 7-5 in Thursday morning’s early draw before cruising to a 8-3 romp over Bill Crothers SS on Thursday afternoon.
Rainy River then ended pool play with a 7-3 loss to Bishop Allen Academy on Friday afternoon.
“Having OFSAA locally was great, we loved the support from family and friends and seeing all the ‘Owls’ upstairs ‘hooting’ for us,” enthused Jolicouer.
“We struggled a bit with our games on Friday, but moving forward [we] know what we need to work on next year,” she reasoned.
“It was awesome having our hometown world silver medalists Trevor Bonot and Jackie McCormick speak at the banquet.
Jolicouer also noted that the rink’s takeaways from week will be the friendships with fellow curlers, support of local community, and athletic respect.
“We continue to love the sport of curling [and] hope to have the opportunity to compete at this level next year,” she noted.
“We would like to thank the support from RRHS, the Stratton Curling Club, our families and friends, the OFSAA committee, the host Fort Frances curling club, ice maintenance crew, and the officiating committee, whose hard work and dedication made this experience a memorable one.”