Eden curlers fare well at OFSAA
No medal, no problem.
The Eden Flyers placed sixth overall at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) boys curling championships in North Bay recently, going 3-2 in pool play before being eliminated by gold medalist École Secondaire Catholique Pierre-Savard of Ottawa in the quarter-finals.
“It was really good,” Eden skip Elli Rigby said. “We did better than I thought we would. It was great.”
Rigby, who was joined on the team by vice Alex Leblanc, Cooper Rorison, Tavish Stewart, Liam Fletcher, Gavin Gaston and Jacob Haslam, had no idea what to expect.
“I wasn’t really thinking anything in particular when we went up there,” she said. “I just wanted us to play as good as we could have and I think we did just that.”
Rigby, an 18-year-old, Grade 12 student, was in awe of the competition.
“We played some really good teams,” she said. “We were playing teams who had all been together since they were seven. When you see that and you lose, you go, ‘OK, I’m happy I lost to you because you were just phenomenal.’ ”
Leblanc, who joined the school’s curling program in Grade 9, mused playing against such top notch competition was a blessing in disguise.
“It was really challenging,” said Leblanc, a 17-year-old, Grade 12 student. “There were times when we were on the ice and I knew we were going to lose because the team was so good. They would make every single shot and wouldn’t miss. We’re not as experienced so we’re going to miss shots.
“I think our team got a lot better just in the span of that week than we might have even all season because we were playing against teams that were incredibly strong. We learned a lot. It really challenged us and we ended up beating teams we didn’t think we wouldn’t be able to at the beginning of the year.”
While Rigby skips the team, she leaves the final shots to Leblanc.
“The last rocks are a lot of pressure and it kind of gets to me so Alex takes care of the last rocks,” said Rigby, who began competitive curling three years ago in the junior program at the St. Catharines Curling Club.
Leblanc thrives on the spotlight.
“I love throwing those last rocks so much,” he said. “I love the pressure of those last rocks and those situations where you have ridiculous shots and you’re trying to make them. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t.”
Rigby, who plans to attend Wilfrid Laurier and study scientific geography, is hoping to play for the Laurier women’s team.
“I really like the strategy part of it, the decision making,” she said. “It’s one thing to think in an ideal world it goes here and then you have plans A, B and C for all the different ways it can be missed.”
Rigby also runs cross country where she was part of Eden’s senior women’s team last fall that finished 10th at OFSAA and is a long distance runner in track and field.
“It would be cool, the OFSAA hat trick, but we’ll see,” she said.
Leblanc, resident of Beamsville, plans to attend Queen’s this fall and try out for the men’s curling team.
The Flyers qualified for OFSAA with 10-0 win over St. Mike’s at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (SOSSA) playoffs.
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