HEAD: Mount Pearl curlers happy to join the ‘family business’
By Chad Feehan
A pair of brothers from Mount Pearl competed in the Ottawa Valley Curling Association Junior Superspiel last weekend.
Parker and Spencer Tipple along with teammates Jack Kinsella, Isaac Manuel, and coach Andrew Manuel played five round-robin games before losing to Team MacDougall from Ontario in the quarterfinals.
The event marks a series of firsts for Team Tipple.
While they’re no strangers to away games, having competed in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, the event was the first time they’ve made a trip out of the Maritimes to curl.
It was also their first time competing against an American team, though they would go on to lose that match as well.
Despite the losses, team third Spencer Tipple values the relationships they made over the course of the weekend.
“We made friends with a ton of new people up there,” Spencer Tipple said.
Skip Parker Tipple would chat with the opposing team’s coaches after every game, where they would share various tips and offer feedback with the young curler.
“I’ll take any input from anybody that will help me improve as a curler,” Parker Tipple said.
Chiefly among this imparted wisdom is the suggestion to keep the game simple, avoiding the wild gambits taken in professional tournaments like the Briar and Tournament of Hearts.
“You look on TV and they make it look so easy,” he said. “It’s a little bit deceiving.”
The tournament took place in four different curling clubs, which resulted in the team having to switch to another ice right after getting used to the last one.
Before moving to Mount Pearl from Bay Roberts, the brothers would watch their uncle Brad Gushue curl during his many, widely spectated television appearances.
This inspired them to curl, but given the lack of opportunities for curling in Bay Roberts, their dreams had to wait until the big move.
“When we moved out here we wanted to play,” said Spencer Tipple.
Last month they made it to the finals at the Harvest Spiel in Nova Scotia before losing out to Team Robichaud from New Brunswick.
Early next year the team has the Under 20 Junior provincial tournament to look forward to, which could propel them to the nationals in Fort McMurray in 2024. Here they would have another chance at competing with some familiar teams from last week.
Even with their recent appearance in the Canada Games still visible in the rearview mirror, Parker Tipple feels a sense of accomplishment from their recent performance.
“If someone told me that we were going to go into the quarterfinals of this superspiel with 16 teams of some of the best teams in Canada, I would have been really surprised,” Parker Tipple said. “I'm really proud of how well all of us played and how we composed ourselves on the ice.”
Chad Feehan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News