Glendale High School's girls curling team struck gold at the Gore Mutual Schoolgirl Zone 15 competition in Simcoe, Dec. 5-6, qualifying for Regionals at the Tillsonburg Curling Club on Feb. 6-7.
"This is the first time in a while the girls have been in it," said Gemini coach Ken Patterson, noting two of their curlers – skip Lindee Declercq and vice Emma Cox – had OCA juniors in other years.
Gore Mutual Schoolgirls and Schoolboys, which features teams made up of secondary school curlers (OFSAA eligible), is the oldest high school curling championship in the country. Gore Mutual Insurance has sponsored Schoolboys in Ontario (www.gorecurling.com) since 1948, adding the Schoolgirls in 1998.
Glendale beat both of their Zone 15 opponents in Simcoe, winning 14-2 over Paris and 8-7 over Brantford Assumption. The team as a whole, consisting of Declercq, Cox, second Rachael Burley, lead Paige Tupper, and alternate Katie McCoy, returned for their second year together, with Cox and Declercq playing their third season together.
Glendale's boys curling team, 2-1 in TVRA South East, did not make it out of their Gore Mutual Schoolboy Zone event.
Regionals in Tillsonburg will see eight girls and eight boys teams competing with winners advancing to the Provincials at Land of Lakes Curling Club in Tweed.
"We're expecting some really good curling coming up at Regionals," said Patterson.
All but two of the girls teams have been decided, including Amherstburg, Waterdown, Niagara Falls and Windsor. The boys event will have teams from Fonthill, Brantford, Windsor and Sarnia.
"The girls are undefeated in (TVRA) league play," said Patterson, "and they're having a lot of fun. But they've got some work to do."
Glendale hit the double-digit mark three out of four times against South East opponents, defeating Central Elgin 13-1, Huron Park 11-1 and Ingersoll 10-3. They also doubled East Elgin 8-4, with two regular season games remaining – today in St. Thomas against Parkside, and in Woodstock against College Avenue on Feb. 8.
Then it's playoffs with the South and East teams in their own preliminary brackets. The East champ will play off against the South champ, dates and locations to be determined, for the right to represent South East at WOSSAA.