Two of the four boys who comprised the 1976 winners of the Ontario Curling Association Colts division will be familiar to even casual curling fans. Russ Howard and Kent Carstairs have already been inducted into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame for their worldwide exploits on the ice.
However, it is a lesser-known fact that those two teamed with Jim Clark and Linden Hurlbut to win the Ontario Curling Association’s Colts title in 1976. The Colts division was limited to curlers with seven years or less experience.
In late 1975, no fewer than 150 teams across Ontario started out with their eyes on the title. But it was Howard, Carstairs, Clark and Hurlbut who fought their way through district and division playdowns before travelling to Kingston for the final eight-team competition.
Today, Clark recalls that final victory over a team from Ayr for the provincial title, but remembers more vividly that their rink “came within a whisker of never leaving Midland.” They faced the Fred Desroches rink from Penetanguishene in the district championship which came down to the last rock. “The Midland Curling Club was packed. It was great,” he says.
Clark and Hurlbut left the team the following year for higher education. Clark curled on the Wilfrid Laurier University team and has remained active in both curling and golf. A governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association, he was general chairman of the 2002 Bell Canadian Open, a PGA Tour event.