Nine years ago Napanee’s Scott Chadwick was in the stands watching as Glenn Howard won the 2010 Ontario Tankard at the Strathcona Paper Centre.
On Sunday Chadwick was on the ice in Elmira at the 2019 Ontario Tankard, serving as lead for Scott McDonald and capping an 11-0 week to capture the provincial curling title and earn a berth in next month’s Tim Horton’s Brier.
McDonald bested John Epping 8-2 in six ends in Sunday’s final to clinch the championship. Earlier in the week McDonald’s rink, which curls out of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club, bested Howard 7-5. McDonald’s perfect record earned the rink an automatic berth to the finals while Epping and Howard squared off in the semifinals, with Epping winning 8-6.
“We knew if we played to our abilities we’d be around on the weekend battling Howard and Epping for the final,” said Chadwick. “I don’t think anyone pictured us going on the run we did. Going 11-0 in a strong field like that is pretty incredible. There’s very few teams who have done what we have.”
This marked the first year Chadwick had paired with London, Ont.’s McDonald. His team is rounded out by second Wes Forget and third Jonathan Beuk, both from Kingston.
“We’re not intimidated by anyone,” said Chadwick of facing off against some of the biggest names from the province. “Coming into this weekend we had winning records against both Howard and Epping. We were confident it was just a matter of controlling the nerves of a big pressure game and we did an extremely good job of doing that.”
This marked the fifth time Chadwick had competed in a Tankard, first time winning.
“It’s a dream come true,” said the 28-year-old Chadwick. “It’s been a dream of mine to get that purple heart and go to the Brier since I was four years old. It was a pretty surreal feeling when that game ended. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”
Having spent the first 15 years of his career with the Napanee District Curling Club, he says it was a great source of pride to become the first member from his hometown club to win a Tankard and qualify for the Brier.
“I’m pretty excited to bring the trophy and banner back to Napanee in the next couple of days,” said Chadwick. “That club’s always been more than supportive of me. It’s nice to have these opportunities and I’ll be sure to give back to the club and help promote curling around Napanee and Kingston.”
In the meantime he’ll be training for the Brier, which will take place March 2-10 in Brandon, MB and will feature the top curlers from across Canada.