Seventeen-year-old Brenna Drought lost her mother on Tuesday, but was back on the ice curling with her team in the junior provincial championships in Langley Wednesday – because that’s what her mother would have wanted.
Andrea Drought, Brenna’s mom, was diagnosed a little more than a year ago when doctors discovered she had a tumor and soon after confirmed her cancer had spread to her liver.
Sadly, Mom’s health took a turn for the worst on Monday, and Brenna was called home.
The teen had been in Langley, playing third with the Vancouver Island’s Team Wilson during the 2017-18 Boston Pizza BC Junior Curling Championships at the Langley Curling Centre this week.
She rushed home to Mill Bay to be with her mother, who sadly passed away the next morning.
“My mom was the strongest person I knew, and she always encouraged me to finish what I started, so I decided to come back,” Brenna told the Langley Advance.
A curler herself, Andrea encouraged Brenna to get started, signed her up, and took her to every event when her daughter was starting out.
This is the teen’s third year curling, but her first year competing.
This summer, while at curling camp, Andrea had a health scare and Brenna went home. Her mother was upset by the move and ordered her daughter to return, to continue with the camp, and pursue her passion.
“She always encouraged me to finish what I started,” Brenna said just ahead of the debriefing after Wednesday night’s 9-4 loss to another Island team – Team Reese-Hansen.
Coming back, admittedly, wasn’t easy, Brenna said, leaving her younger and older brothers, and father behind on the Island.
But, she reiterated, this is what her mother would have wanted for her.
As the athletes stepped out on the ice Wednesday night, officials took a moment to explain Brenna’s situation and why all the players on all six sheets of ice were wearing a sticker that said “I wear pink in honour of Brenna & her mom,” and pink rubber bracelets saying “Find The Cure.”
Parents, coaches, supporters, and spectators gave Brenna what some officials called a “rousing ovation.”
As well, members of her team (including skip Kayla Wilson, second Loganne Bell, lead Sasha Wilson, and fifth Cassandra Blenkin, joined Brenna in painting their nails pink just an hour before Wednesday night’s game.
“I decided to dedicate every game I play to my mom,” Brenna said.
In the meantime, Team Wilson took last place out of the eight women’s teams in this competition, finishing their last game Thursday morning. Despite their loss, however, on Thursday afternoon Brenna was crowned the Most Valuable Player for the championships.
Langley on the ice
In other championship play on Wednesday night, Langley’s Team Tardi secured its first-place standing with a win over Victoria-based Team Horvath by a score of 8-5.
“We started off slow, and dropped a game early,” team skip Tyler Tardi said, speaking of their first game where they lost 9-5 to the New Westminster’s Team Ballard.
“But we had a couple chats with our sports psychologist, and we’ve been making a pretty good comeback, in my opinion,” Tyler said.
And since then, they’ve won all five of their subsequent games.
“We’ve been powering through, and getting a little better every game,” Tyler said. “I’m pretty happy with where we are right now.”
Team Tardi is hoping to emerge triumphant in this competition. It would be their third consecutive junior title and would earn them a spot in the nationals in Quebec early in the new year.
But Tyler wasn’t about to be overly confident in his predictions.
“It’s still a pretty long road… I’d really like to do it, especially in home club, and do our club proud. But it’s still a long ways, and a lot of good teams playing,” he said.
Also representing Langley is Team Royea which won Wednesday night against Team Fisher by the score of 4-0. As of that game, they were 3-2, putting them third in the standings.
The championships continue through Saturday.
Tickets ($7 for a day pass, $3 for a draw pass) for the Langley event will be on sale at the club, based at 20699 42nd Ave.