Not only did a pair of Idylwylde Golf & Curling Club representatives earn the right to represent Northern Ontario at the upcoming M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in Liverpool, N.S., but the boys team did so with a crew of curlers who are all still only bantam aged.
The Tanner Horgan rink (Nick Servant, vice; Jacob Horgan, second; Maxime Blais, vice) defeated Jordan Potter of Port Arthur 6-4 in the NOCA Junior Men's championship encounter Sunday in Longlac.
With the win, the Horgan quartet will join the Krysta Burns rink (Leah Hodgson, vice; Sara Guy, second; Laura Masters, lead), who completed a flawless 8-0 stretch of curling with a 5-3 win over fellow Sudburian Robin Beaudry in the grand finale.
After posting a record of 5-2 in round-robin play, Team Horgan beat Cody Tetreault of Thessalon 8-6 with a steal of two in the final end, racking up their fifth straight win in knocking off the Potter rink in the final.
The surprise victory is going to make for a very busy few months for Horgan and his mates, with the team already gearing up to compete at the Ontario Winter Games in March, seriously targeting a bid to earn a berth in the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and also representing Ontario at the Optimist International Curling Bonspiel in British Columbia, later in March.
Matching headlines, from a Sudbury perspective, was a Burns team that is following in the footsteps of former Junior Women's NOCA champions Tracy Horgan and Kendra Lilly. Team Burns ran the table from start to finish, winning some games quite easily and finding a way to emerge on top in the close affairs as well.
After scoring double digits in a pair of opening-day victories, the Burns quartet squeaked out 7-6 triumphs over both Peyton St. Pierre (Copper Cliff) and Jennifer Keetch (Port Arthur).
Three more preliminary-round wins secured the locals a berth in the finals, where Burns scored a pair with the hammer in the eighth end, taking a 4-2 lead and offsetting a single by Beaudry in the ninth with one of her own in the 10th and final end.
The Canadian Juniors are set to run from Jan. 18-26 in Atlantic Canada, with both local teams expected to garner some very helpful experience, considering both still have plenty of junior eligibility remaining.