The Kenan Wipf rink, which includes Cochrane curler Max Cinnamon, has won the CYCA Ray Kingsmith Bonspiel in a 5-4 final that went down to the wire.
Team Wipf was undefeated heading into the final against the Kinley Burton rink of Edmonton. A three-point second end played a major role in their victory.
"This was a big bonspiel for us," says Cinnamon. "Coming into the year, we had two big goals. The first one was win provincials, which is coming up in a couple of weeks, but the other one was to win the Kingsmith."
The Kingsmith win was especially sweet for skip Kenan Wipf. The Wipf and Burton teams met in the last Kingsmith final with a different result.
"So now, coming into the Kingsmith, playing against Burton again in the final, and beating him this time was great for Kenan."
The Burton rink is no stranger to Team Wipf. Cinnamon says the games are always close, and they've faced each other in several finals this season.
The U18 men's and women's bonspiel has a 32-year history of promoting youth curling and providing scholarships to the winning teams. It had to be cancelled for the first time last year due to the pandemic.
This year, Marlene Kingsmith, daughter of the late Ray Kingsmith, doubled down on the prize money, awarding an $8,000 scholarship for both the winning men's and women's teams.
Cinnamon says she explained she had recently won the lottery and wanted to sweeten the pot for the young curlers.
"She said from here on, I'm going to double the prize every year for the Kingsmith. That was really great of her."
The team members had a chance to meet with Kingsmith during bonspiel to chat and take photos.
Team Wipf prequalified for the U18 provincials by sitting on top of the Alberta Junior Curling Tour standings. The provincials are being held in Hinton from Jan. 12 to16.
Cinnamon says winning the Kingsmith won't change the team's approach to their game.
"We've been one of the more feared teams for most of the season, so I don't think much will change. We'll just go there and play our game."
Also heading to the U18 men's provincials is Team Wright, which includes Cochrane's Ky Macaulay, and coaches Gord Copithorne and Wayne Macdonald.
Winning the Kingsmith runs in the Cinnamon family. Max's sister Zoe skipped the winning team on the women's side of the bonspiel in both 2018 and 2019.
The women's side of this year's Kingsmith was won by the Gabby Wood rink of Edmonton in a close 8-7 final. Her opponent, Claire Booth, also of Edmonton, forced a deciding ninth end after scoring two in the eighth to tie the game.