SWOSSA championships this week

On Wednesday, the Ridgetown Royals will be at the Golden Acres Curling Club in Blenheim for the SWOSSAA curling championship bonspiel.

The Royals will take on the Essex champion Leamington Lions at 9 a.m.

The winner advances to the 1 p.m. championship game against the winner from the other semifinal between Sarnia St. Patrick’s Fighting Irish and Windsor Holy Names Knights.

The SWOSSAA champion will move on to the OFSAA provincial championship bonspiel on March 22-25 in North Bay.

The Royals earned LKSSAA’s second berth as SWOSSAA hosts after losing to St. Patrick’s 13-2 on Feb. 21 in Wallaceburg.

The final score, however, did not indicate the competitiveness of the two rinks.

“It really wasn’t as bad as it looks,” Royals’ coach Deb Reitberger said of the lopsided score.

In an early end, the Royals were sitting one, but the St. Pat’s skip executed a perfect raise that took out the Ridgetown rock to score six.

“Other than that, it was pretty close, but that one end did us in,” Reitberger said.

The Royals defeated the Ursuline Lancers 8-2 in the semifinal, while St. Pat’s topped the Sarnia Northern Vikings 7-4 to set the stage for the final.

The Royals have a veteran team that has been together for two years.

The rink – consisting of skip Eric VanMaanen and second Liam Duffy, both in Grade 12, along with Nathan Towsley, vice, and Brandon Stirling in Grade 11 - put together a fine 5-1 record season to finish in second place.

Their only loss in the regular season also came at the hands of St. Pat’s.

Last year, the same foursome finished third at 4-2 but lost to the Chatham-Kent Golden Hawks in the semifinals.

Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News