1966-67 Men’s Curling Team

The ’66-’67 men’s curling team, consisting of skip Wayne Matheson, mate Dave Matheson, second Jim Fogarty and lead Al Ledgerwood, enjoyed a tremendously successful season winning the Atlantic Intercollegiate Curling Championship and capturing a silver medal at the University Olympiad staged in Calgary, an event held in honor of Canada’s Centennial. Initially, the Wayne Matheson-skipped rink had visions of representing the province at the famed Canadian Brier, but fell short with a fourth-place finish.

Returning to the Acadia campus, the icemen added Jim Fogarty and their second stone, this making a determined bid to represent Acadia in Intercollegiate playoff action. This proved to be no easy task, as they were forced to a sudden-death encounter by a Tom Rubeck-skipped quartet. In the following Intercollegiate championship round hosted by Acadia, curlers scattered among the thirteen competing teams included many future Brier performers.

Inspired by the sterling play of skip Wayne Matheson, a two-time defending Conference champion who had gone undefeated, the Acadia foursome went 6-0 in the ‘A’ pool, defeating John Fortier’s rink from U.P.E.I. to win the section. In the championship game played in front of a large partisan crowd at the Wolfville Curling Club, skip Matheson won the contest with an electrifying shot that brought the jubilant Acadia followers onto the ice.

At the Second Century Week Olympiad held in Calgary during March of 1967, the winners of the various Conferences competed in a double round robin. The Atlantic Conference champs lost its opener to lightly-regarded Ryerson, but quickly rebounded with a victory over McMaster. In a subsequent encounter against Manitoba, the eventual gold-medal winners with a 7-1 record, the Matheson rink gave the Western champions a real scare.

The turning point in this (the bonspiel’s best-played game) came in the eighth end when skip Mike Reilly elected to draw stone behind a single Acadia counter. Making the perfect shot, he forced skip Wayne to make a very tricky freeze to the face of the Manitoba stone. The next Acadia stone was but two inches heavy and Manitoba was able to claim the only two in the game by pushing out the Acadia rock.

The Acadia rink then proceeded to win five consecutive games including two over defending Canadian Junior Champion Bill Ash of Ottawa University and one over Mike Reilly in its final game to secure the silver medal. In this final triumph, the Mathesons, Fogarty and Ledgerwood were eager to avenge the earlier 5-3 loss to the Western champs. In this contest, Acadia jumped to an early 4-0 lead finishing with a 9-7 triumph and an overall 6-2 record. Ottawa, McMaster and Ryerson concluded the bonspiel with 4-4, 2-6 and 1- 7 performances respectively.

Following graduation, this Acadia foursome continued to enjoy immense success in this old and highly popular sport. Lead Al Ledgerwood, for example, was destined to play in five Labatt Briers. Second stone Jim Fogarty who in 1965 had been runner-up to Bill Ash in the Northern Ontario Junior Championship was to continue his association with the game.

The team’s mate David Matheson, who had been P .E.I. Provincial Junior Champion in 1965 and who went on to win many cash spiels and perform in the 1972 Provincial men’s final in P .E.I., passed away at an early age in 1975. Skip Wayne Matheson, who twice represented P.E.I. in the Canadian Junior Men’s Championship and who won three Atlantic Intercollegiate titles went on to represent P .E.I. in three Canadian men’s curling championships. He was the all-star skip at the 1979 Brier in Ottawa where he also won the Ross Hartstone Award as the most gentlemanly player. In recent years, he has represented Northern Ontario at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.

What an honor it is to welcome for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, representatives of the 1966-67 men’s curling team that captured the Atlantic Intercollegiate title and a silver medal in C.I.A.U. competition.