From lead to skip

Men’s team bolstered by varied styles and skillsets

Queen’s curling teams are preparing for the OUA championships.
Queen’s curling teams are preparing for the OUA championships.

The men’s curling team is a purposeful mishmash of characters.

Head coach Mackenzie Dixon feels the men’s ‘A’ team has the right mixture of skills and balance of player personality to contend for another CIS championship.

“Whether or not one person has a specific trait isn’t important — you need the traits of four people to be complementary,” Dixon said.

Lead Scott Chadwick and skip Jon Beuk are both returnees from Queen’s 2010 CIS championship-winning squad.

“Those are two players who helped earn that banner on the wall,” Dixon said. “They’re playing the same positions from when they won nationals back in 2009-10.”

The first step occurs this week at Guelph, where both the men’s and women’s teams are competing for the OUA championship banner. The men are coming off a title win at the Kingston Whig-Standard Bonspiel, a 64-team men’s tournament.

Individual skillsets aside, it’s the team chemistry which Dixon feels brings an edge to this particular squad.

“You’ve got two guys who are very reserved, and then two guys who are a little more vocal — little bit more jovial, and they all mesh quite well together,” he said.

The team’s vice skip is Wesley Forget, who was one shot away from a provincial championship last year. He’s also one of the most vocal, according to Dixon.

“I wouldn’t say [Forget]’s expected [to be vocal], but that’s just his personality.”

Forget described himself as the least experienced of the four, despite having curled since he was a kid.

“I help adjust things for the skip — suggest shots he might’ve missed,” said Forget, who describes his role abstractly as “the team collaborator.”

Simon Barrick, the team’s second, left Trent University and didn’t compete in 2012 to be eligible to play for Queen’s this year. Forget said Barrack brings unmatched calmness, along with years of curling experience to the team.

“He’s like a cool cucumber,” Forget said. “He’s been around the game for so long — he brings invaluable input in terms of what shot to play.”

The team’s lead, Scott Chadwick, competed with Queen’s at the 2010 World University Championships after claiming CIS gold. Forget claims Chadwick’s sweeping ability is second to none in the province.

“[Chadwick]’s in a place where he can compete on the world stage, and he has,” Forget said. “I would put him head-to-head against anyone else.”

Jon Beuk is the team’s skip — the player Forget generally goes to for shot advice.

“I don’t have as much experience as other people but I like to defer to [Beuk],” Forget said. “He’s cool, calm and collected, and he makes a ton of shots.”

Beuk and Barrick bring quiet demeanors, checked by Chadwick’s and Forget’s vocal presence. Forget said the team dynamic is an element this particular team plans to use to their advantage.

“When you go out there, what you need is for people to play off of each other,” he said. “We’ve been building this team for a full year now.”

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