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A new Team Horgan to contest NOCA playdowns in 2022-2023
2022-08-01
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Team Horgan is coming home.

After competing outside the NOCA (Northern Ontario Curling Association) the past few years, brother Tanner and Jacob Horgan are back representing Curl Sudbury for the upcoming men's 2022-2023 season.

And they are doing so all while adding some very noteworthy names to the fold.

A Briar champion with Team Brendan Bottcher (2021) and three time runner-up, 39 year-old Darren Moulding brings along the kind of curling resume at the open men's level to which the Horgans aspire, already having done the same at Canadian Junior Championships.

A native of Calgary who still resides in (Lacombe) Alberta, Moulding will serve as the team import, throwing third stones but calling the game from the house.

Rounding out the new Northern Ontario quartet is Colin Hodgson, former lead with the Mike McEwen Manitoba rink and coach of the Chelsea Carey women's team.

Though born in Edmonton and playing with Winnipeg and area based rinks for much of the past decade or so, Hodgson resides in Red Lake (ON), in the far northwestern portion of the province.

Positionally speaking, Tanner will throw final stones while playing vice while Jacob slots in at second. With team shuffling as active this past spring as any previous post-Olympic stretch, this new crew came together somewhat organically.

"It kind of fell together as one big piece; there wasn't a whole lot of planning around," Tanner confessed last Thursday evening, the night prior to the official announcement of the new curling contenders.

"The team was formed really all in one go."

Despite the variance in ages - Moulding is 39, Hodgson 32, with Tanner and Jacob 24 and 22 respectively - there was a basis of a starting point to the very rapid discussions that would make this all happen quite quickly.

"Darren and I go back a little bit, about five years or so," Tanner stated. "I went to the Briar as the fifth for Team Jacobs, just as I was coming up on the men's circuit."

"Darren was one of the guys who was on tour who would come over and talk to me and see how I was doing and show me the ropes. He was something of a mentor of mine. I would go to him for advice on how to further my curling career."

"I got to know Colin quite well at Trials (October 2021)," Horgan continued. "We both kind of share the same character traits and many of the same interests (cooking, for instance)."

While many are sure to point to the window of opportunity that now exists in Northern Ontario, Horgan contends that the break-up of Team Jacobs was not the starting point for the formation of the new Team Horgan.

"I don't know that Brad retiring was really a factor at all," he noted. "Jake and I knew that we wanted to curl back home again, regardless of what other teams were doing."

This new foursome comes on the heels of a more than solid two year run with the Johnathan Beuk rink out of Kingston for the Horgan siblings, with one and all looking to the early part of 22-23 as a period to help work out the kinks with the new formation.

"With most teams, their strategy or style tends to evolve as they figure things out as a unit," said Tanner. "With Darren skipping, he will direct a lot of the play style, which is not something that I am used to, but is something I am looking forward to."

"I have had a chance to watch Darren quite a bit and see how he operates in the house," Horgan added. "There is definitely a level of comfort there."

The team plans to open their fall schedule in Leduc (Alberta), taking part in the Curling Stadium Alberta Curling Series Major from September 8th to the 12th.

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