If you hear Thor was at a local bonspiel, it’s likely Jason Beierling’s team was playing.
Having matching uniforms in curling can sometimes indicate a high performing team.
Matching jackets are required at provincial events and curling’s elite take it to another level with sponsorship crests plastered across their outfits akin to NASCAR drivers.
Beierling, a member of the K-W Granite Club, went in another direction with team uniforms.
After donning some team outfits for an Oktoberfest “funspiel” a few years ago, Beierling decided curling attire could consist of anything.
He’s had his team dress up as characters from the Clue board game or from Star Trek. He’s gone formal with tuxedo print T-shirts and a casual cowboy look after finding bonspiels that had space and Western themes.
“We did look awesome and we won.”
He’s been original. Calling his team the “Shot Takers,” he created homemade shirts with stencils complete with individual names on the back taken from alcoholic shots. He was the Tequila Slammer.
“It’s all for fun. Generally it gets the crowd going or some other teams cheering for us,” Beierling said. “I think we have inspired other teams to get dressed up and get matching T-shirts at some other bonspiels as well.”
A favourite for Beierling was donning superhero garb.
“Being Thor was fun because I got to make jokes about having or not having the hammer,” Beierling said. His teammates wore tops paying homage to Hulk, Captain America and a lesser known Marvel Comics character known as Deadpool.
A former world champion crokinole player (apparently shooting at circles appeals to him), Beierling isn’t looking for on-ice glory but likes to keep it light.
“I doubt we intimidate anyone. It’s all for fun, so I hope other teams are having fun with it as well.”
All photos courtesy of Jason Beierling
Club champions championship
K-W Granite’s Brent Gray, Brian Gray, Geoff Chambers and Anthony Silvestro will return to the provincial championship for club champions in Cornwall this weekend. The rink earned the chance to defend its 2013-14 Ontario title coming out of a modified zone/region playoff at the Glendale club in Hamilton. Other local club champs who competed include Derrick Hodgson (Guelph), Trevor Feil (Elora) and Rick Marshall (Fergus).
There will be two local women’s club champion teams competing at the provincial. Representing Westmount and A qualifier is Kerry Lackie and her rink of Lisa McLean, Halyna Tepylo, and Cynthia Roth. K-W Granite’s Taylor Mellor, Carrie Mellor, Mary Patterson and Lauri Infanti were the B winners and also headed for Cornwall. Other women’s champs from the area that competed include Sandra McFadden (Arthur), Brenda Clark (Galt) and Sue Laurin (Guelph).
Winners advance to a national championship. Games begin Friday afternoon.
K-W Granite’s Molly Greenwood won the Annandale junior women’s cashspiel. Greenwood’s team is being mentored by Team Sherry Middaugh this year. See the article on that partnership online at curling.ca or click here
Kitchener’s Matt Hall (representing Stroud) lost the final of the junior men’s event in Annandale.
K-W Granite’s Aaron Squires won the Heritage Classic in Sarnia. Guelph’s Rob Rumfeldt also made playoffs.
The annual Oktoberfest bonspiel at Westmount produced three winners. Westmount’s Kerry Lackie won the early draw while Paul Madget (St. Georges) and Jon Duguay (Oakville) were late draw winners.
World Curling Tour’s Masters of Curling is on this week. Listowel Curling Club’s Allison Flaxey is competing. There are plenty of interesting storylines with Laurier alum Laura Crocker now with Chelsea Carey; Ottawa’s Rachel Homan with new second Joanne Courtney; Scotland’s Eve Muirhead; Swiss teams Alina Paetz and Silvana Tirinzoni on the rise. For the men, John Morris with what will be the first Team Canada at the 2015 Brier; Kevin Koe’s new team; Glenn Howard’s new team, Mark Nicholls back with Brad Gushue; Jeff Stoughton’s new team… it goes on. Was that a wild off-season for elite men’s teams or what?
Home Hardware Bonspiel
The sign-up sheet for the Home Hardware Bonspiel should be posted at your club. This event, running from Nov. 17 to Nov. 22, focusing on curling camaraderie started in 1967 and is a collaborative effort between 12 clubs in the area with close to 100 teams participating. Your first two games will be at a club that is not your own. You have to win from Wednesday on or be eliminated. It all culminates with four different championships and a banquet at the Arthur and District Curling Club on the Saturday.
Brian Belfry's next curling column will appear Nov. 12. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Brian on Twitter at @belfrycurling and read his blog In the House on the Record's website.