Manotick juniors rock

JOE PAVIA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

They practice quiet wait.

First-year junior skip Neil Sinclair and his Manotick Curling Center teammates Graham Rathwell, Mathew Camm and Andrew Hamilton quietly -- and successfully -- ply their craft.

Their most recent accomplishment came Saturday in Lindsay, where they won the Ontario junior curling tour championship, beating Mark Kean 7-2 in five ends.

"Our season has been great, for sure," the 17-year-old Sinclair says. "Our main goal, obviously, was to win (junior) provincials, but that really didn't work out for us, but we won a lot of stuff so we're pretty happy."

The high schoolers came oh so close at provincials earlier this month, losing to Travis Fanset's St. Thomas rink 9-8 in an extra end.

But the Manotick rink did earn a trip to Switzerland by winning a December spiel in Toronto and was named men's curling team of the year at the Ottawa Sports Awards last week.

They also play in an adult cash league where they sit in the middle of the pack.

"It's just fun," Sinclair says. "It's not only about playing well but about meeting people."

How do they juggle all their commitments?

"You just got to prioritize. School for us is always No. 1 and then curling. We try to do our schoolwork before we go to tournaments. We manage," explains Sinclair, a lanky Grade 12 student.

The rink is off to a Swiss bonspiel in February, a New York State junior tournament, junior mixed zones, followed by an April U-18 world event in Winnipeg.

SCOTTIES ROUNDUP: Sherry Middaugh beat Krista McCarville 7-6 in an extra end to win the Ontario Scotties. Others headed to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Feb. 16-24 in Regina: Allison MacInnes (B.C.), Shannon Kleibrink (Alta.), Michelle Englot (Sask.), Jennifer Jones (Man.), Kerry Galusha-Koe (Yukon/N.W.T.), Marie-France Larouche (Que.), Sylvie Robichaud (N.B.), Mary-Anne Arsenault (N.S.), Suzanne Gaudet (P.E.I.) and Heather Strong (N.L.). Kelly Scott returns to defend her title as Team Canada.

SEE GUY: Guy Hemmings will be in town this Sunday to open the fourth annual Vision Impaired National Curling Championship at the Ottawa. Eight teams are vying to become the national champ with a trip to the worlds at stake. The championship is open to the public, free of charge. The final is Feb. 8 at noon.

OCA PLAYDOWNS: Tim Hortons Masters regional winners: 1A -- Dick Stoddart and Pat Brigham; 1B -- Wally Morris and Betty Bush. Tim Hortons Colts and Trophy Zone winners: 1A -- Kevin Baker and Deborah Matthews, B -- Charles Wert. Dominion Regalia Zone Tankard winners: 3A -- Bill Adair, B -- Frank Kinahan; 4A -- Barry Mitchell and Cheryl Wood, B -- Dave Collyer and Diane Wylie.

JUNIOR RANKS: After seven years, the Rachel Homan rink parted ways with lead Nikki Johnston, citing team dynamics. Johnston played with the team in Saturday's Ontario junior curling tour championship, where the Ottawa rink lost the final 9-2 to Danielle Inglis, who also defeated Homan in the junior provincial final. Ottawa's Christian Tolusso, Shane Latimer and Lynn Kreviazuk all qualified.

UPCOMING: Rogers begins coverage of the TSC Stores Tankard next week.


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