Doering Sweeps to Surprise Victory
Manitoba’s best curlers ages 20 and under hit the ice the first week of the New Year
Manitoba’s best curlers ages 20 and under hit the ice the first week of the New Year for the Canola Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships. West Kildonan’s Kyle Doering won the Junior Men’s Championship, after stunning the heavily favoured Joey Witherspoon of Fort Rouge with a 9-3 victory.
On the women’s side, St. Vital’s Shannon Birchard won the Junior Women’s Championship by defeating Alyssa Vandepoele of Victoria-CC with a score of 8-3.
Robert Humniski, the event chair for the Junior Men’s Curling Championship, thinks that the tournament was a huge success.
“There was a very high level of competition, and a great demonstration of sportsmanship between coaches, players, and fans,” said Humniski. “The championship went off without a hitch, and the feedback from teams and fans was all very positive.”
The Kyle Doering team went into the tournament ranked fourth, but the event manager of Curl Manitoba, Cole Skinner, said that the surprise victory was a testament to their skill and poise.
“The Doering team has played in big tournaments in the past and their victory shows that they had the ability to win, and that the spotlight did not bother them.”
Skinner explained that the tournament is great for giving recreational curlers the chance to volunteer, and also to give the game of curling more exposure in Manitoba.
“Other curling club members have the opportunity to volunteer and participate. People who have thought about curling, but were never sure where to start, can see this competition and it might give them the incentive to start.”
Red River College part-time nursing student, Ashley Jahns, competed in the Junior Women’s Championship and said that despite not winning the title, it was still a great experience.
“The most enjoyable part of the tournament was the great competition,” said Jahns. “Everyone curling at that level is so passionate about the game, and I loved meeting new people and getting a new perspective on new teams.”
Despite the high level of competition, Jahns said she still enjoys the social aspect of curling and looks forward to watching her team progress. “Curling is great because there is a competitive and social aspect for curlers of all levels. I know that each year that we curl together, we will improve.”
Doering and Birchard will now go on to the represent Manitoba at the 2012 M&M Meats Canadian Junior Championships, Feb. 4-12 in Napanee, Ontario.