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Rosengren rink ready for senior nationals

Port Arthur Curling Centre team will open on Sunday in Vernon, B.C. against Team Alberta.
Ron Rosengren, Gary Maunula, Dale Wiersema and Bill Peloza will represent Northern Ontario at the 2023 Canadian Senior Men's Curling Championship. (NOCA photo)

THUNDER BAY – Ron Rosengren has been curling since the 1970s, and for most of that time, has dreamed of competing in a national championship.

At 62, he’s about to realize that dream.

Rosengren, lead Bill Peloza, second Dale Wiersema and third Gary Maunula, will represent the Moose in Vernon, B.C. next week at the Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship, a result of their win over Frank Morrisette in last spring’s Northern Ontario playdowns.

“This is huge for me,” said Rosengren, not quite so fortunate on Wednesday night, dropping a tune-up match to Morissette in Tbaytel Major League of Curling action at the Port Arthur Curling Centre, falling 6-3.

Despite the lengthy dry spell, Rosengren never gave up hope that someday he’d be able to wear the green and gold.

“Just ask my wife, I’m really stubborn. And I love the game. This is where I wanted to be the whole time and I’ve finally gotten here. I’m so happy,” Rosengren said, following a brief sendoff ceremony at the club, standing proudly beneath the Northern Ontario jersey he’ll don when his team steps on the ice in Vernon on Sunday.

Though a trip to nationals is a new experience for Rosengren and Maunula, it’s old hat for Wiesema and Peloza, who played second and lead, respectively, for Mike Desilets at the 2021 seniors in Sault Ste. Marie.

That experience could come in handy at the 2023 event.

“I’m just telling Ron and Gary to enjoy it, because winning is so difficult and these guys are great curlers out there. There are a few more grey hairs, a little bit more weight on the guys, but they can still throw the rock,” Peloza said.

“I just told them to enjoy it, take it all in, curl well and there’s no reason why we can’t be competitive out there.”

He added the team has to pay attention to all the little things.

“We have to make our shots, but we have to be really cognizant that the line calling and the shot making is key. These guys are still phenomenal curlers at this level. You can maybe afford one mistake a game. You’ve got to be really focused and really ready to go,” said the 59-year-old, who joined Team Rosengren last season after an injury sidelined lead Dave Sholtz. 

On the women’s side, Northern Ontario will be represented by Kenora’s Stacey Szajeswki, whose team includes lead Sue Cain, second Donna Queen and third Hayley Smith.

Rosengren’s rink will open on Sunday afternoon against Alberta’s James Pahl foursome.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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