The 100 Mile Curling Club hosted the 60th Annual Men’s Bonspiel last weekend (Jan. 18 to 20), with 15 teams participating, 11 local and four of them from out-of-town.
“We really enjoyed the 60th Anniversary. 100 Mile always has the best community spirit. Curling with family was as fun as it was challenging. We will definitely be back,” said Shane Doddridge, one of the curlers from Williams Lake.
With the 60th Anniversary, a lot of history was discussed throughout the weekend. Ed Ney and Rod Hammerer were the curlers in this weekend’s bonspiel who had curled the longest, going back about 40 years.
Ken Moore was also there most of the weekend, watching the boys curl. He was the ice maker from 1978 to 2000 and was full of great stories.
The club displayed history, with old trophies, photo albums and newspaper articles going back many years, as well as pins and old curling equipment. The teams were piped in on Friday night and stood on the ice for pictures.
The finals were held on Sunday.
The A Event final was a local battle of the ice makers. Bill Pratt was the club ice maker from 2000 to 2012 and Richard Minato is the current ice maker and has been since 2012. Pratt opened the scoring with one in the first end, but the Minato Team did a beautiful raise takeout for three in the second end and proceeded to get another second in the fourth. Pratt came back with one in the fifth and another in the sixth for a score of 5 – 3 for Minato. But the Minato Team was able to score three in the seventh and then ran Pratt out of rocks in the eighth end for an 8-3 win.
The B Event had Dustin Leduc, one of the younger local teams, playing Tom Dall. Dall is a local curler but was playing with his son from Kamloops and two friends from Clinton. Team Leduc was struggling from the start. In the first end, Dustin was looking at a draw against five and was able to make a beautiful shot to only give up one. Unfortunately, it seemed every end was like that for Team Leduc, and Dall ended up winning 6-1.
The C Event put our resident coach, Jim Mitchell, against the Robert Gudbranson’s team from Williams Lake. It was a barn burner.
At the end of five ends, Mitchell was up 4-3 due to Jim’s amazing draw against five. But Gudbranson would have none of that and got one in the sixth and, due to a beautiful raise takeout, took two in the seventh. This brought Team Gudbranson to the lead with a score of 6-4.
In the eighth end, Mitchell had the chance to score three by chipping in a close guard. Unfortunately, he was only able to raise it in for two and an extra end was necessary. It did not disappoint. For Gudbranson’s first rock of the ninth, he did a beautiful draw around centre guards to almost completely bury the rock on the four foot. With Mitchell’s last rock he needed a gentle raise take-out for the win. He almost threw it perfectly but ended up rolling too far, leaving Williams Lake with one for the win. The fans loved it.
The Men’s Bonspiel this year included some younger teams. Three local teams brought the average curler’s age down considerably and they were having a really good time. Five of them had never curled in a men’s bonspiel before and said they will be back.
Junior, Ethan Sikiric (18) skipped a team with Chance Bourassa (18) playing third and his youngest brother Dillan (11) playing as the lead.
Logan Sikiric (16) skipped Tom Dall’s regular team, who are a “bit older” than he is.
In addition, Phil Doddridge curled with his three boys (one being Shane) from Williams Lake, Prince George and Terrace.
The women of the 100 Mile Curling Club organized the bonspiel, provided appetizers on Friday night and cooked the dinner on Saturday. They set the bar for the men to pay them back in the Ladies’ Bonspiel being held from March 1 – 3.