Scott Howard's unexpected news of being removed from Team John Epping was quite the turn of events.
The team with Epping, Scott Bailey and David Mathers had captured the attention of the curling world in the past two seasons with a Slam win, several playoff appearances and success on the World and Ontario curling tour circuits.
For Guelph Curling Club's Rumfeldt it may be a bonus.
Rumfeldt's rink has also had a great couple of years starting the 2011 season with several wins in a row before hitting a hiccup of not making the 2012 Tankard. This year they did make the Tankard and matched Glenn Howard and John Epping with 7-3 records.
Post-tankard Rumfeldt learned lead Greg Robinson was retiring from competitive curling to focus on other priorities. Greg's brother Jeff was an alternate this year but played a great deal of the Tankard.
"This effectively left us searching for another player," Rumfeldt said via a text message.
"Adam (Spencer), Scott (Hodgson) and myself being fully commited heading into next season."
"In the midst of our search I received a call from Scott Howard with his unexpected news."
After a team meeting the Rumfeldt rink welcomed young Howard to the ranks. Rumfeldt said Howard will be playing front end.
"We are quite excited with the lineup heading into next season."
Through all of this the reason for Epping dropping Howard really hasn't come to light.
In Mike Dodd's article in the Midland Mirror he quotes Scott "He didn’t give me a reason, and just mentioned I wasn’t going to be on the team anymore.”
Also in the Mirror article, father Glenn described it was a "shock" after seeing his son rise to prominence just a few spots down from the elder Howard in the Canadian Team Ranking System.
With the Players Championship still to come on the World Curling Tour and the pre-Olympic trials and Olympic trials this fall, Epping must have some serious concerns to disrupt a successful foursome. Enough he didn't want to even last to December when anyone not representing Canada for the 2014 Olympics could revisit the team dynamic for the next four-year push.
David Mathers from Kitchener confirmed 1998 Olympic silver medallist Colin Mitchell was joining the Epping team at second.
It will be very interesting to see how things play out for Team Epping and Team Rumfeldt not only this season but next.
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