Brennan Jones, a curler formerly from Weyburn, will have the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan at the Tim Horton's Brier, which will be held in London, Ont. on Mar. 5 to 13. Jones plays as second on the Pat Simmons rink, which won the 2011 SaskTel Tankard, held Feb. 2 to 6.
"We entered the Tankard seeded as the number one rink, so we had a target on our backs and had to battle through a few games," said Jones. Other members of the rink included skip Pat Simmons, third Steve Laycock, lead Dallan Muyres and coach Lyle Muyres.
They started the Tankard by winning 12-3 over the Jamey Jordison rink on Feb. 2. Then took a 8-3 victory over the Brian Humble rink, and lost 7-6 to the Carl deConinck Smith rink in the A semi-final on Feb. 3.
"We really had to step up our performances after every game," said Jones. "As second, I had to move into that role and was a little nervous. But I used that nervous energy to throw the rocks."
Dropped to the B event of the Tankard, the Simmons rink secured a 8-5 win over the Brad Law rink, a 7-4 victory over the Randy Bryden rink, and won 10-5 over the Shawn Joyce rink. This placed the Simmons rink in the A-B page playoff against the deConinck Smith rink, where they captured a 6-2 victory.
Simmons and the deConinck Smith rinks met again in the Tankard final, where after 10 ends the Simmons rink won the championship game 8-6.
Jones had been curling with the Simmons rink through the regular season of the World Curling Tour. The Simmons rink has earned $38,300 to date on the Tour, and gained their berth into the Tankard by being the top-ranked team. "I respect all the things Simmons has done as a player, and he definitely brings that experience on the ice," said Jones. "He encourages us to move forward as a team."
In the next month, there are a couple of bonspiels that the Simmons rink will be competing at, in addition to their practices to prepare for the Brier. They will also have the opportunity to go to Edmonton and practice at the nationals training centre.
Looking towards the Brier, Jones said that it will be a much different atmosphere for him, as he has only competed at the junior national level before. "It will definitely be exciting. Everyone at the Brier has been playing for this event all year. Already Pat and Steve are tossing things out to the team that we should be expecting at the event."
Jones was part of the provincial junior championships teams in 2006 and 2008, the first time as third for Mitch Heidt, and the second time he skipped his own rink. From 2007 to 2009, Jones played second for Brad Heidt in World Curling Tour events. Jones skipped his own rink for one year, before joining the Pat Simmons rink for the 2010-11 World Tour season.
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