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Off to the Rock for a local curling team

Calwell Twins CRG2 [1]

Belleville brothers Morgan (left) and Mac Calwell are half of Team Calwell. They are travelling to Newfoundland to participate in the M&M Canadian Junior Curling Championships this weekend. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon

By Candice-Rose Gagnon [2]

A local curling club has officially sent off a team to a national competition. For the first time in the club’s history, it will be a junior men’s team – and it even has a Loyalist College connection.

Team Calwell departs Thursday for Corner Brook, N.L., where the M&M Canadian Junior Curling Championship begins on Saturday.

The winner of that tournament will travel to the World Junior Curling Championships in Estonia.

Loyalist engineering students Mac and Morgan Calwell, 19-year-old twins, make up half of Team Calwell. It is a competitive curling team based out of the Quinte Curling Club [3] here in Belleville. The other two team members come from other parts of Ontario.

This is the first season together as a team, and it could not have got off to a better start.

Team Calwell had been practicing, traveling, and competing in various curling tours across the province since November 2014.

The foursome have been working toward a big goal [4]– for the chance to own Team Ontario jackets, and a chance to represent their country.

Playing against teams in their zone and then reaching the regionals, the new team did not look back as they clinched those titles.

On Jan 7,  Team Calwell traveled to Galt, Ont. to participate in the Ontario Junior Provincial [5] bonspiel, where the team only had one loss in the 10 game schedule. Team Calwell competed against teams from across Ontario.

In the final round, the team faced an undefeated team from Toronto. The Calwels went into the game in the number two spot in the standings

The final score ended up being a 9-1 in a conceded victory for Team Calwell.

“I thought I would be drawing to the button for my last shot for the win. Turned out we played really well, and [the other team] just didn’t come out to play that night. So we won that game pretty well.” says Skip Mac Calwell.

Team Ontario jerseys feel pretty good for the Calwell brothers, but it is especially sweet for mother Beth Calwell.

She says timing is everything. As a former competitive curler and coach, she passes her experiences along to her sons.

“What you are looking for [in the game of curling] is wins. Bonspiels are nice to win because that means money but more importantly they got the wins when they needed the wins. They needed the win at regionals, they needed the win at provincials and maybe there will be one more big victory to get them to Estonia. “

Team Calwell had a send off party Tuesday, where MPP Todd Smith handed the team certificates on behalf of the province, and even offered his advice to the men who depart Thursday.

Todd Smith talks to Skip Mac Calwell about curling and being proud they are representing the Quinte region for Team Ontario. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon [6]

Todd Smith talks to Skip Mac Calwell about curling and being proud they are representing the Quinte region for Team Ontario. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon

“Just go straight to the rink, and don’t leave until you know exactly what you are dealing with,” said Smith with laughter as he also stated he did not know much about curling.

“We have high expectations for you,” said Smith, “no pressure, but Estonia would be pretty cool.”

The M&M World Juniors begin Jan 24 in Corner Brook Newfoundland. The finals will be aired on TSN on Feb 1.