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O Canada: Victory is Yours at the Big Apple Bonspiel

On the long weekend of March 21-24, the Ardsley Curling club hosted the 2rd annual Big Apple Bonspiel bringing together 24 teams of competitive curlers from as far away as Ontario, Canada and Orlando, Florida. Separated into four divisions, “A”, “B”, “C” and "D", the field was winnowed down over the course Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s tournament play to just eight teams competing in Sunday’s Championship games. As presaged by a line from the Canadian National Anthem, "May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise" the coed team from north of the border, "This is Our Brier", rose to the occasion and claimed the tournament championship.

Above: Team Stewart Rink of the Ontario Canada Galt Curling Club

Welcomed onto the ice by a lone bagpiper, the 24 curlers, representing teams from Westchester County and Long Island (Ardsley, Bushwood), New York City (Brooklyn), Connecticut (Nutmeg), North Carolina and Florida (Charlando) and Ontario Canada (Galt) gathered for some championship play.

In the premier “A” division, the host team from the Ardsley Curling Club fell to the team from Cambridge, Ontario Canada, Team Stewart or, in curling parlance, Stewart Rink and competing under the name "This is Our Brier". Putting up a game effort for Ardsley were Yushi Yang, Jamey Gilardi, Misty Zhou and Vinay Goenka. Taking home the tournament trophy for Canada were Peter Stewart, John Vibert, Kira Moor and Jordan Hobbs.

Winning the “B” division, or 2nd Event, was Team Bushwood comprising players from both the host Ardsley Curling Club and the Long Island Curling Club including Matthew Scheiner, Nicole Zahour, Rob Roberts and Dafna Stempel. Coming up short against Team Bushwood to take second place honors was Team Miller from Connecticut’s Nutmeg Curling Club. Along with Jack Miller were team mates Kraig Steffen, Ryan Heide and Stephen Dulski.

Above: Ardsley Curling Club #6 - Team Yang Beliow: Team Charlando

Billed as the only curling club in New York City, Team Nigrosh from the Brooklyn Lakeside Curling Club finished second in the “C” division behind Team Charlando with players from the Charlotte and Orlando Curling Clubs. Heading up the Brooklyn Lakeside team was Hilary Nigrosh with Liz Johnson, Erika Omundson and Zach Aragosa. The members of Team Charlando included Kristen Conrad, Bill Morrison, Laura Miller and Ari Warsager.

Earlier on Sunday, the “D” event was won by Team Bridge Workers from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, (Matthew Pring, Paul Gibson, Dan Pearson, Kevin Brady) defeating The Namesake Rookies from Westchester’s Saint Andrews Curling Club (Jacob Platt, Nathan O’Reilly, Jonathan Leung, Meg Ocampo).

Summing up their first trip to the Big Apple Bonspiel, the Champions from Canada told MetroSports Magazine that, “The hospitality of the Ardsley Curling Club, and its members, has been second to none. That is saying a lot for a group that comes from a country where curling is a big deal. These people know how to run an event. They keep your stomachs full, your thirst quenched, and the curling is alright too!“

Ardsley Curling Club president, Joseph Sablow, added that, “You can always judge the success of a Bonspiel by what the participants take away. The Big Apple Bonspiel was a successful. Everyone enjoyed a weekend of friendly competition. They renewed old friendships and made many new ones. Good friends, good food, good competition, what more could you ask for. It’s everything that the sport of Curling is all about.”

Team Stewart’s John Vibert said of the Ardsley Curling Club and the Bog Apple Bonspiel that, “the club itself has a nice homey feel, and we’ll definitely be back to play in the Big Apple Bonspiel again.” And so will MetroSports Magazine.

Look for more complete coverage of the Big Apple Bonspiel and the Ardsley Curling Club in the upcomming issue of MetroSports Magazine.

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