Despite no local team reaching the SaskTel men’s tankard, Moose Jaw will be represented at the provincial curling championship beginning today in Melfort.
Derek Owens, second for the Brent Gedak rink from Estevan and Brock Montgomery plays third for the Josh Heidt rink from Kerrobert have local ties to the Friendly City.
Sixteen different teams qualified for the championship from around the province with hopes of winning the big prize — a spot at the Tim Hortons Brier.
“Nothing is a given, but if we play well, we should be kicking on the weekend,” said Owens of their chances.
The Gedak rink earned their way by winning at spot out of their region, which put them in the southern play downs. There were 16 teams vying for five spots and the rink qualified out of the C event — beating out former teammate and local curler Joel Jordison.
“Those guys are all ex-teammates of ours, so it was one of those things that if they won, you cheer for them,” said Owens. “Hopefully they are cheering for us. But they would have been a team that people have a fair bit of respect for.”
The season has been an interesting one for the Gedak rink, as third John Aston, lead Malcolm Vanstone as well as Gedak and Owens haven’t been able to practice much as a team because of family and work commitments.
“We aren’t a team that gets to play a whole bunch in the fall during cash season. The four of us all have our own businesses,” he stated. “We only played two weekends during the fall, so playing in the regions and southerns puts us on a bit of a roll heading into provincials. The more games for us, the better.”
There will be a couple favourites, including Bruce Korte (Saskatoon), Steve Laycock (Saskatoon) and Randy Bryden (Regina). However, Owens believes that the field is open. The Gedak rink has faced every team that will be at this competition, so they know what to expect.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.