A men's team from Georgetown strung together a remarkable 13game win streak en route to earning the first-ever Ontario Curling Association championship banner that will hang in their home North Halton Golf & Country Club's curling section. The rink, skipped by Steve Cartwright, with Jamie Waller as second, Grant Gunn at lead and Alex Foster the third, swept through the zone, regional and provincial draws and didn't lose through the entire playdowns until the final game of the OCA Tim Hortons Colts round-robin finals in Elmira, after the team had already clinched the title. The Colts' division is an open competition involving hundreds of teams from across the province entering at the initial qualifying stage. But the trek to the provincials wasn't as easy as it would appear for the local foursome. After posting a 40 record at the zone event in Milton, Cartwright wasn't able to play at the regional tourney in Peterborough because he had booked a trip to the Bahamas months in advance. So longtime North Halton member Steve Leachman was recruited as a substitute skip and the team won all three matches at the regionals, although a dramatic last-end double takeout by Foster was required to advance. "When we realized that (Cartwright) wouldn't be playing, we knew that it would make it more difficult but we'd just have to pull up our socks if we wanted to win it," said Waller. "We didn't take on a
defeatist attitude or anything. It just meant that we were going to have to work a little harder to get there and (Leachman) fit in really well." At the provincials in Elmira, the North Halton team had the youngest and "most-experienced" curlers in its lineup with the 22-year-old Foster and 50-year-old Gunn. Having played with and against each other in the North Halton in-house leagues for years, the team members reeled off six straight victories to clinch the OCA championship. "There's a real cross-section in ages on the team but we just had the right people getting together and playing really well," Waller added. "With curling, it's the team chemistry that makes it successful more than anything. It doesn't matter how old you are." OCA rules state that once an individual or team wins a Colts' championship, they are not eligible to enter the competition again, although there will likely be some invitations for the team to attend various cashpiel qualifiers next year involving world-class rinks skipped by the likes of Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh. A yet-to-be-scheduled reception will take place at the North Halton club to officially present the OCA banner to the team.
orth Halton's Steve Cartwright rink pulled off a first for the club by winning the recent Ontario Curling Association Tim Hortons Colts' title. Team members (from left) are: Lead Grant Gunn, second Jamie Waller, third Alex Foster, skip Steve Cartwright.