WAWOTA - This past weekend, the Wawota curling team travelled to Fox Valley and won the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association female curling championship.
They finished 2-1 in their round robin pool and were victorious over Carnduff in the semi-finals. They then defeated Langham 7-3 in the gold medal game. Carnduff won the bronze.
Wawota’s curling coach is longtime resident Duane Lamontagne. After coaching and curling with his son Aaron until 2000, Lamontagne left the game. In 2015, with the gentle persuasion of Carla Weatherald and the Wawota Curling Club, Lamontagne returned to both coaching and playing.
Together with Taylene Bourgon, he has coached both the junior and senior female teams since that time, winning a provincial bronze medal in 2020. Lamontagne is the ice maker, community coach and vice-president of the curling club.
Said Lamontagne: “We have had a very productive and satisfying year. Wawota entered district playdowns in Estevan back in January with Carnduff and ourselves advancing to regionals. In February, the regionals were also played in Estevan and once again the both of us advanced. Our girls played great in Fox Valley and we won the province.”
This year the senior wildcats went with a five-person rotation. Their two leads were Avvi Brehaut and Kaylee Mudrewich. Sydney Dorrance played second, Emma Bunz was third, and Jordan Dorrance, Sydney’s sister, was the skip. Jordan is the only one graduating this year and the rest of the team will be back next season.
Lamontagne was proud to be a part of the winning team. “These girls have played together for years and were very deserving of the championship. They practise hard, have great chemistry and they were so easy to coach. The Wawota Wildcats are great ambassadors.”
Lamontagne went on to say, “Taylene has been coaching Jordan, Sydney, and Emma from the start. The goal of making provincials was set at their first junior district win in 2018, and they have been determined ever since to making it come true.
“This group of girls will always share the incredible memory of being the first team to bring home the gold for Wawota in provincial curling. It never would have happened without each and every one of them giving their all. Relationships and chemistry like this are special and rare.”
“Jordan is very determined, serious, and confident in her skipping abilities and trusts the girls to make their shots. She has been working very hard on the mental aspect of the game as well as the strategic.”
“Emma is a great calm presence and with her even-tempered personality feels very confident with her draw weight and has really gained strength in the hitting game this year.”
“Sydney never takes herself too seriously and can keep things upbeat and fun out on the ice. She has been very strong in her takeouts and really started to find her draw weight this year.”
“Kaylee is high energy and always ready for a laugh. She has really come into her own this year setting up the ends with her guards and draw weight. She has fit in right from the start and was a huge asset to the team.”
“Avvi, the youngest, was taken under her wing from the start. She is diligent, observant, and quick with her wit. She was a big reason the girls made it this far and stepped it up when asked to play senior.”
Off the ice the girls are friends too. The older girls went to volleyball provincials together with their team in the fall, and they all play badminton. Kaylee and Jordan are on the school golf team with Jordan making it to provincial golf. Avvi and the Dorrance girls are in 4-H. This group of girls likes to win, and they all know how to work hard to achieve their goals.
Concluded Lamontagne, “The Little Rocker program initiated by Carla Weatherald in 2009 has inspired a new generation of up-and-coming curlers. These girls also play in the league and have given the Wawota Curling Club a rejuvenated and renewed energy. The dedication of all the coaches to the program is appreciated. Our club has some of the most dedicated and helpful curling members. They have accepted the young curlers with open arms and have offered advice and compliments along the way. There is no doubt that additional provincial titles are probable in the coming years.”