It's not easy to watch

STEVE GREEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Glenn Howard is a two-time Canadian and world champion, one of the leading skips on the World Curling Tour and is gunning for a second straight Ontario title.

He's seen and done it all, yet there's one thing that makes him very uneasy -- watching his son Scott play for his own provincial crown.

Glenn Howard, 44, admitted yesterday that watching Scott at last week's bantam (16-and-under) event in Oshawa wasn't the most comfortable experience.

"Horrible. It's awful just watching because you can't control anything," he said between draws yesterday at the TSC Tankard at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.

"But now I know what my wife and my mother and father have been going through all these years."

Scott lost his first three before finishing the eight-team round-robin (there are no playoffs in bantam) at 4-3. Glenn, who's not his son's coach, said he resisted throwing in his two cents' worth.

"I kind of like to sit back; sometimes coaching can get out of hand with people banging on the glass and asking for timeouts. I just like to let them play their game and maybe talk about things afterward.

"But I'm very impressed with a lot of these kids. They're not even 16 years old and they've already got a pretty good handle on the game."

To no one's surprise, Howard and his Coldwater rink lead the Tankard at 4-0. He got there by pounding Bob Stafford of Chatham Granite 10-2 last night after doubling Heath McCormick of Sarnia 6-3 in the afternoon.

"So far it is going according to Hoyle," Howard said. "We're playing pretty solidly and getting a good handle on the ice."

At 3-1 are Jim Lyle of St. Thomas, Wayne Middaugh of Toronto St. George's and 2005 Canadian mixed champ John Epping of Omemee. Lyle rebounded from a 10-4 pasting by Middaugh in the afternoon to beat McCormick 6-3.

"I'd be lying if I said I expected to be 3-1," Lyle said. "But the guys are playing really well. We knew we were in tough today against two pretty good teams and it was nice to get a split. I think Heath's team was a little off tonight; they threw a couple of rocks behind the T-line they normally wouldn't."

In their afternoon tilt, Middaugh scored three in the first and sealed it with another three in the seventh. "We ran into a buzzsaw," Lyle said. ". . . they were in control and didn't miss anything."

Greg Balsdon of Guelph and Damien Villard of Renfrew are 2-2; McCormick, Wayne Warren of Cannington and 2003 champion Bryan Cochrane of Ottawa RCMP are 1-3 and Stafford is 0-4.

In last night's other games, Epping scored four in the fourth and added three in the ninth to beat Middaugh 10-5, Balsdon stole three in the ninth to beat Villard 6-4 and Cochrane blanked Warren 7-0.

In the afternoon, Villard stole two in the 10th to beat Stafford 7-6, Epping scored two in the 10th to edge Cochrane 8-7 and Warren dumped Balsdon 7-5.

Howard won both of his Brier and world titles as third for brother Russ in 1987 and 1993. With Russ now well-established in New Brunswick, some felt Glenn's runner-up finish in last year's Brier in Regina defined the moment he made his own name. "But I've never really felt I had to come out from under Russ's shadow," Glenn said before the tankard started. "I was very proud and very happy to play third for him. But they're two totally different eras of my life."

Now, with his son entering the competitive ranks, a third is upon him, but he's not ready for retirement by a long shot despite all he's achieved. He pointed out something that should have his fellow competitors concerned. "In 1986 and 1992 I lost in the Brier final, but I was world champion the next year both times. Hopefully that tradition continues."


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