Londoner competing in Brier for first time in decades
Brent Lale, CTV London
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 5:12PM EST
Alone in a quiet Highland Curling Club, Scott McDonald practices his draw weight. He’s putting the work to be in fine form for the upcoming National Championship.
“The Brier is the most iconic curling event in the world,” says the 32-year-old Londoner.
“Young hockey players want to play in the NHL, while young curlers want to compete in the Brier and get their purple heart.”
Team McDonald is made up of Scott and three others from Kingston.
Representing the Cataraqui Curling Club in the ‘Limestone City’ they went a perfect 11-and-0 in the Ontario Tankard beating Glenn Howard and John Epping three times.
“Making the Brier is outstanding,” says Canadian Curling Hall of Famer Peter Inch, “And the field that was there…what Scott did was amazing.”
The last time a Londoner competed in the Brier was 1982 in Brandon, Man. That team from 37 years ago - of Bruce Munro, Bob Laidlaw, Clive Bowden and Bruce Paterson also went to Brandon.
“We went 10-1 in the provincials that year” says Paterson who played lead that year.
“We remember Scott as a young guy right from ‘little rocks’ at Highland. We live streamed four or five games last week and what a great team he has going there too.”
The game has changed so much since then. What used to be a sport made up of club players and amateurs has practically turned professional over the years.
“It’s more become that professional sport where guys are travelling across the country and the world,” adds Inch, “But what Scott has done is put in the time…to travel across the country and the world..
McDonald put this team together after the Olympic quadrennial and they have been working with both mental and technical coaches this season.
When they head to Manitoba, he feels they’ll be a target.
“Everyone saw us beat Howard and Epping,” he says. “No one will be surprised by us, and hopefully at the end of the week, we will be there.”