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Former champ rocks on at 50th straight Sarnia Bonspiel

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Troy Shantz

A city curler was honoured recently after playing in his 50th consecutive Imperial Bonspiel.

Ted Evans, 80, was recognized at the close of this year’s tournament, which ran Jan. 25 – 27, receiving a certificate from the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club and its Bonspiel Committee.

“It was a surprise,” said Evans. “I was a little bit flabbergasted.”

Evans picked up a rock and broom for the first time at the age of 15 while attending SCITS, lured by “the people I was hanging around with at the time,” he said.

For $15, a curler could play every night of the week for the entire season.

Evans left town to attend Western University and earn an MBA, then returned to Sarnia in 1966. Waiting for him was a position at Dow Chemical.

He participated in the Imperial Bonspiel for the first time in 1968.

Evans recalls as many as 48 teams arriving in Sarnia to compete in qualifying ‘play-downs’ in the weeks leading up to the Bonspiel.

Today, Evans is a skip, but with a career spanning six decades he has played all positions on the ice. His team won the tournament in ‘72 and ‘79, when he played second and third respectively.

Evans has had a front row seat to the evolution of the sport, but one constant is the quality of Sarnia’s ice.

“All you have to do is go to the surrounding clubs, and you know enough to appreciate the ice we have.”

This was the second year the Imperial Bonspiel offered an open and senior class, a move Evans welcomes on behalf of all senior curlers looking to stay in the game.

“You like to think you’re competitive, but your odds of winning against the younger group was a little bit diminished,” he said with a laugh.

But it wasn’t always that way.

In the late ‘80s, Evans shared his knowledge with the club’s ‘Little Rock’ curling program for children. One of his students was a young Heath McCormick, winner of the 2012 United States Men’s Curling Championship.

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