It’s been a season to remember for Haliburton curler Jacob Dobson, who struck gold with the Humber Hawks at the Curling Canada College Championships (CCCC) this past weekend.
The 19-year-old served as skip during the tournament, held in Sudbury March 14 to 19, guiding his team to an 8-1 record to secure his first national title at the collegiate level.
Dobson was in peak form early in the tournament, impressing in round-robin wins over the SAIT Trojans, Augustana Vikings, Fleming Knights, NAIT Oooks and Concordia Thunder to give the Hawks a perfect 5-0 record heading into the weekend.
On Saturday morning, Dobson went headto-head with a familiar face in his penultimate first-round game. Liam Little, playing for the Mohawk Mountaineers, led his team to a 6-1 win over the eventual champions, securing bragging rights over his former Haliburton Highlands Secondary School teammate.
“That was a nice moment sharing the ice with Liam. Things didn’t quite go the way we wanted, but he played a great game. Mohawk went on to win a bronze medal, so Liam secured a podium finish too,” Dobson told The Highlander, adding that another former Red Hawk, Jessica Byers, finished fourth on the women’s circuit with Humber.
The Hawks beat the Sault College Cougars 11-3 on Saturday evening to qualify for playoffs as the first seed. They downed the Cougars again during the semi-final to set up a gold medal game with the SAIT Trojans.
Dobson said he was quietly confident heading into the game, with the Hawks having beat the Trojans convincingly in their opening match of the tournament.
“We played a great game, everything fell into place almost exactly as we planned,” Dobson said.
The Hawks secured a 10-3 victory.
It was the second big win in as many months for Dobson, who skipped his U21 club team to gold at the Swiss Junior Cup in February.
Dobson and his teammates will face off against the cream of the Canadian crop at the PointsBet Invitation, to be held in Oakville in September. That competition will feature 16 of the best male teams in the country, pitting winners from events such as the Ontario Tankard, New Holland Canadian Junior Championships and Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships against winners from the college and university circuits, as well as the top 10 ranked squads in the 2022/23 Canadian Team Ranking System.
The tournament will be aired nationwide on TSN.
Reflecting on his near-perfect season, Dobson said he’s created dozens of memories that will last him a lifetime.
“Standing on top of the podium in Switzerland, draped in Team Canada jackets, was an indescribable moment for me. It’s going to be hard to top that… then winning a national college title is the culmination of months of hard work. You have to be at the top of your game at all times just to have a shot, so for us to go all the way is unbelievable,” Dobson said. “It still hasn’t quite set in. Honestly, it’s the stuff of dreams.”