Simmons of Moose Jaw, Sask., Joined third Colton Lott and second Kyle Doering again for another race to represent Canada at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Leader Tanner Lott and substitute Emerson Klimpke complete the roster at the Winnipeg Beach Curling Club.
Doering told Sportsnet in a telephone interview Monday night that it was exactly the same scenario as when he and Colton Lott persuaded Simmons to leave retirement four years ago.
“We figured out who better than to ask Pat, who has all this experience, to step in directly at the skip,” Doering said.
“We’ve played with him before, so it’s not really something new. This is how it happened. I shot Pat a text and he was totally surprised and taken aback. He thought about it for about a week and decided that [he’s] pretty excited to have another chance at pre-testing with us.
The story of Simmons’ back-to-back Brier wins is one of legends.
Simmons, who also won two men’s Grand Slam titles, played third for Kevin Koe when they captured the Brier in 2014. After Koe passed, Simmons stayed put with second Carter Rycroft and led Nolan Thiessen to keep the Team Canada car spot.
John Morris joined the skip, but after a rocky start in the 2015 Brier, the team changed the roster and pushed Simmons to the jump. It sparked a dramatic turnaround with the team tearing themselves apart until the championship game.
Simmons had a draw on the button in an extra end against Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario to retain the title.
Lott, Doering and Robbie Gordon were still fairly new to the men’s tour – barely a year away from winning the 2016 Canadian Junior Championship with captain Matt Dunstone – when they asked Simmons to skip their team last time around, but finished pre-test in Summerside, PEI with a 2-4 record.
“Four years ago our team was known as Pat and the kids,” Doering said. “We were very inexperienced, this was our very first pre-test, where this round Colton and I have already played with Pat, we know what to expect and we’re four years older.
Doering and the Lott Brothers played with Captain Tanner Horgan during the 2019-20 season and finished 10th on the Canadian Team Ranking System list with two touring wins and a final result in the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge Tier 2 .
While happy with their performance, in retrospect, Doering wished they had played more as they were only eight points behind Glenn Howard’s club for ninth place.
This turned out to be a pivotal position as Howard not only secured the last place in the 2020 Brier wild card game, but also received the last extra wild card place in this year’s Canadian Men’s Curling Championship. .
Horgan, of Sudbury, Ont., Split from the squad last month to join a new squad and opened the door for Simmons to return.
“We have a lot of things to build on and it will be an exciting season regardless of the season,” Doering said. “Just knowing Colton and having played with Tanner before could be something special. “
Although the COVID-19 pandemic canceled most of the 2020-2021 campaign, Colton Lott has been busy in the Calgary bubble.
Lott won a silver medal at the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship in March with his fiancee Kadriana Sahaidak and replaced third Ryan Fry on John Epping’s team in both Pinty’s Grand Slam curling events last month.
“His success in mixed doubles doesn’t surprise me, but it obviously adds more confidence to the team,” said Doering, who has played with Lott for over a decade.
“We already knew he could do any shot. It’s good to have such a world class person in the third position, and then calling on Pat with his experience and his resume will make this team a unique and dynamic team, I think.
The Canadian Olympic curling events, known as the Roar of the Rings, will be held Nov. 20-28 in Saskatoon and will determine Canada’s men’s and women’s teams for the Beijing Winter Games. Team Simmons will play for the first time in the pre-test event scheduled for October 26-31 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. The teams have yet to be announced, however, Team Simmons will hold on to points with three of Team Horgan’s four members.
While this is when they would normally start planning a tour schedule and lining up sponsorships, none of that is possible at this time, with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing.
“Right now we’re just going to sit there and see what happens and hope for the best with everything,” Doering said. “We hope we can overcome all of this and get back to normal soon.”