Team Drewitz captures U18 boys provincial curling championship

Team Drewitz takes a group picture with the championship trophy after capturing the provincial title. --Facebook/Team Drewitz

After three days of tournament play and putting up a spotless 6-0 record in round robin and playoff games, Team Drewitz captured the U18 boys provincial title in Humboldt from Dec. 27-30.

The team of Matthew Drewitz, Michael Hom, Cameron Kelly, Jared Tessier, and coach Dale Neufeld took home their first championship together, beating Dylan Derksen and his rink 9-3 in the provincial final. Drewitz, who serves as the skip of the team, says the whole weekend was something to be proud of.

“It’s always been a lifelong dream to win a provincial championship,” he said. “All of our hard work paid off, and it’s a great feeling.”

The team headed into day two feeling confident after winning both games on the first day by scores of 6-2 and 11-3. With three more games on day two, they finished their round robin play with a perfect 5-0 record, winning games by a combined 39-12 margin. With the first seed locked up for the final, coach Neufeld explained how the team felt heading in to the championship game.

“I think everyone was a little nervous,” he said. “It was the first provincial final at any level for Matthew, Carter, and Jared. I knew that if we played like we can play, we had a really good chance of winning. The boys played fantastic.”

Drewitz has been curling for nine years, and has competed in eight bonspiels so far this season. This is just the first year he’s played with Hom and Kelly, and his second year on a team with Tessier. He said the chemistry took a while to build, but once the team started to gel, they were a hard one to beat.

“It was pretty hard because we all have separate U21 teams,” Drewitz said. “Only me and (Tessier) are on the same U21 team. We’ve only had one practice together since we’re all from different parts of the province. We feel really good, we’ve won all of our U18 games this year. We’re confident and ready to go at nationals.”

“They all kind of knew each other from playing against each other,” Neufeld added. “We did play in a couple of bonspiels prior, so we had a few games under our belt already. But last weekend they played like they’ve played together for years, to be quite honest.”

After competing in previous events this season, Neufeld says it was nice to see his team finally get not just a win, but a provincial title.

“It was super exciting. To be a provincial champion and to get that green jacket is something that every curler in the province dreams about, and a lot of curlers never get one. To get their first as a U18 player is just fantastic and give them lots of confidence going forward, and hopefully there will be a lot more for all of those guys.”

Drewitz’s team now looks ahead to the junior men’s Q-spiel in Wadena from Jan. 14-16, but there will be some new faces on the team, as Caden Snow and Adam Drewitz come in to play second and third respectively. Tessier will remain as lead.

They will begin the event with a game against Team Heistad, who Drewitz defeated 5-3 at provincials in December.