Beavis no joke, in title round

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:58 PM ET

STEINBACH -- The no-name from Morden was making his way off the ice when a youngster asked him for his autograph.

Then he asked Ian Beavis what his name was.

Previously, Beavis was known for little more than sharing the same surname as a cartoon character, the butt of Butthead jokes.

But now that Beavis won three straight matches to qualify for the championship round of the Safeway Select, he has started to make more of a name for himself in the provincial pebble world.

"Probably, a little bit," Beavis agreed after blasting Brandon's seventh-seeded Allan Lyburn 10-5 in an A qualifier at the T.G. Smith Centre yesterday. "I'm sure the guys will notice a bit more now."

Then he started chuckling in a way similar to Beavis and Butthead.

"This is about 20 more interviews than I've ever had in my life," he said, clearly basking in the glow. "But, like my players said, we're just happy to get eight more drink tickets (issued every game), and now we've got two more games for sure.

"It feels great, wonderful. We're really happy."

A broker agent for dairy farmers, Beavis originally hailed from Crystal City and played against his current Morden teammates -- third Steve Friesen, second Ken Friesen (his brother) and Mike Orchard -- as he grew up. Beavis, 44, now lives in Winnipeg but hooks up with the others at the few spiels they enter. Although they entered only two Manitoba Curling Tour events, they won one and lost the final to Valour Road's Reid Carruthers in the other.

Beavis was playing Rosser's Chris Galbraith in his opening match of the playoff round last night.

Beavis was not the only one to be hounded by autograph seekers yesterday. Team Carruthers was also busy signing programs after it had also qualified.

"I was kind of shocked more than anything," admitted third Jason Gunnlaugson.

"That was a first," said a surprised Carruthers, 21, who nipped Galbraith 5-4. "It feels pretty darn good. To qualify is obviously a very stressful thing, but we were fortunate.

"I think we started to get a little bit nervous. Obviously, playing to qualify was a big thing for us."

Carruthers was playing Lyburn in the playoff round last night.

The other A qualifiers were Charleswood's top-ranked Jeff Stoughton and Neepawa's 12th-seeded Kelly Robertson. B-side qualifiers were Valour Road's Dave Smith (skipped by Vic Peters); La Salle's Randy Neufeld, Galbraith and Lyburn.

"These guys played pretty solid, and it was nice to be able to help them out to get there," said Peters, adding that Smith inserted himself at second because he was feeling good enough to play in what could have been his team's last game.

Smith was playing Stoughton last night, while Neufeld was facing Robertson.


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