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Team Horgan and other locals part of the off-season curling shuffle
2024-05-10
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There is no denying that the 2022-2023 curling season was a good one for the local tandem of Tanner and Jacob Horgan, earning a first ever berth at the Brier.

With veterans Darren Moulding and Colin Hodgson also on board, the Northern Ontario entry at men's nationals in London rode a 6-2 record in the preliminary round to a playoff appearance.

One can hardly blame the lads for giving a similar roster formula another shot in 2024-2025.

Team Horgan announced a couple of weeks ago that their lineup for the upcoming season will read as follows: John Epping (skip); Jake Horgan (vice); Tanner Horgan (second); Ian McMillan (lead).

"John brings a massive wealth of experience and knowledge of the game," noted Jacob of the 41 year-old Toronto native who earned bronze at the 2018 Brier, is a four-time Grand Slam event winner, a two-time Ontario Tankard Champion and the skip of the Canadian Mixed gold medal winning team in 2006.

"He definitely has the team leader quality that we were looking for as well."

This move, however, was driven by Epping and not the Horgans.

"With our previous team, we had a ton of talent and weren't really looking to make changes - but when John reached out, we figured it would be a really good fit," added Jake.

Ironically, at the moment of this writing, Epping and Moulding are exactly the same age (41).

"That was something that Tanner and I were looking for going into this cycle, having a more experienced player being the leader," said Jake.

While the move for Tanner to second might raise some eyebrows, his younger brother suggested that those who know him well will fully understand the rationale.

"Tanner is probably the most excited one of us about the lineup change and having a chance to play second," Jake explained. "He's definitely wanted to get into a sweeping role for a while ow just because he's such a naturally strong brusher."

"Plus, he's a great judger as well for sweeping draws. We had said that if there was ever a time when Tanner would have the chance to play front end and sweep six rocks - all on his good side as well - it's going to be such an advantage for us."

It will be a year of change in other ways for the Horgan crew as Jake moves in with his brother in Mississauga, attending Humber College in the fall and competing as a member of a very strong Hawks' OCAA curling program.

Team Horgan were not the only locals in the curling news this week.

Sisters Mia and Justin Toner made public their revamped roster for 2024-2025, bringing aboard Sudbury native Samantha Digiglio and Manitoban Dayna Wahl for the upcoming season.

Finally, the 2024 NOCA U21 men's championship rink of Brendan Rajala, Jackson Dubinsky, Jesse Crozier and Adam Wiersma have disbanded, with all four remaining involved in the game to some extent or another, though not all of the final landing spots have been confirmed yet.

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