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Welcome curlers

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For the second time in 12 months, Fort Frances once again is hosting a provincial high school showdown—this time welcoming 34 rinks, including two others from right here in Rainy River District, for the OFSAA boys' and girls' curling championships.

Action got underway early this morning at the Fort Frances Curling Club, with pool play continuing through Friday afternoon.

The quarter-finals then are slated for Friday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the semi-finals set for 9:15 a.m. on Saturday. The gold- and bronze-medal matches will follow at 12:30 p.m.

There should be great action on the ice all four days and local curling fans certainly will have plenty of teams to root for. Both Muskie rinks had automatic berths to OFSAA as hosts while the Rainy River Owls' girls' rink advanced by capturing the NWOSSAA gold medal. The Atikokan Voyageurs, meanwhile, punched their ticket here after earning NWOSSAA silver in boys' play.

With the Muskies girls' hockey team also competing at the OFSAA 'A/AA' championships in Timmins this week, it's been great to see numerous local businesses and some residents get into the spirit by decorating their front windows in support as our teams chase provincial glory both on home ice and afar.

Hosting a provincial championship is a great opportunity to showcase Fort Frances and all of the wonderful amenities our community has to offer. There's also plenty of spin-off benefits for the local economy.

But doing so also involves a lot of time and effort by a group of dedicated volunteers who have been working for months to ensure everything runs smoothly.

As such, kudos to the organizing committee and all of its volunteers, as well as local businesses for their financial support to help stage OFSAA here. Obviously, it takes a community-wide effort to pull off an event of this magnitude, with all that's needed now is great turnouts at the curling club to create an exciting atmosphere.

Welcome to all the curlers, coaches, and fans who have made the trek to Fort Frances. Hopefully your visit is an enjoyable one both on and off the ice.

Good luck to all the rinks competing this week, but especially to the Muskies, Owls, and Voyageurs in their quest for OFSAA gold. After all, Rainy River District pride runs deep here!

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