His name is already on the trophy four times and Dale Hockley will try for a fifth when he represents BC at the Canadian Police Curling Championships.
Starting today and running through April 2, his foes will have to defeat him in the home of Hockley, as the Chilliwack Curling Club hosts the 61st edition of this event.
In this year’s field is the one man who has his name on the trophy more than Hockley.
Garth Mitchel represents Ontario and you’d think Hockley would have extra motivation to tie Mitchel’s mark.
“Four is pretty good, but I’d never say no to it happening again,” Hockley said with a grin.
Hockley was serving in Castlegar when he won his first title way back in 1985. The tournament was held in Whitby, ON. and Hockley was just 32 years old.
“You never ever forget the first time you win it and it was big for a small town like Castlegar,” he said. “They even had a live feed on the local radio station and it was really big to have a Canadian champion of sorts in their midst.”
Then he did it again.
Hockley went back-to-back with a win in 1986, a rare feat that few achieve.
“It’s hard, really really hard to do, as Team Canada will find out this year,” he said. “The targets are on their back because everyone knows who the defending champs are.”
“Any time you see on the trophy that someone’s gone back-to-back, you know they did a great job.”
Hockley moved to Chilliwack in 1989, three years into a championship drought that would stretch 25 years.
Not until 2011 would he hoist the trophy again.
He was joined by Dean Cross (lead), Randy Nelson (second) and Glen Brennan (third), all of them first time winners.
More than busting his own slump, Hockley treasured helping them to the win.
“It’s a total team effort to win this championship, and to share that with them was very special,” he said. “It’s hard to put into words how good it makes you feel.”
“They hadn’t experienced that and I hadn’t experienced it in a long time, so I’m not sure who felt better, them or me, to finally break through.”
Prior to 2011 he said he just wanted one more win, and got it.
Then he got another.
In 2014 Hockley added Bill Taylor as his fifth and triumphed in dramatic fashion.
Each of the previous wins had something special attached.
Back to back.
First in 25.
“What made 2014 special is that it was the best our team had ever played and it was the first of the wins where I had to draw into the four foot with my last rock,” Hockley said. “The other ones I either had a wide open hit or something that wasn’t quite so precise.”
“In 2014 it was a total team shot where my guy in the house had to call the line and the front guys had to sweep it.”
“We’ve seen (Kevin) Koe do it, but my last name is not Koe, and to win it on a total team shot — that was the icing on a pretty darn good run.”
Banners commemorating the 2011 and 2014 wins will hang above the ice at the 2016 event.
Hockley hopes his team is part of another dramatic finish, but just being part of this event on home ice will be special.
“So many have been so good to us along the way, and this is my year to give back as the host,” he said. “This is one I really wanted to play in and I think it’s going to be a great experience playing in front of friends and family.”
l Hockley’s crew hits the ice for the first time Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., facing Team CPCA.
The 12 team field includes the defending champions from Saskatchewan — Dave Heasman, Ryan Pearce, Steve Aguiar and Bill Goodchild.
Every team will be wearing their provincial colours and the week will include several 50/50 draws.
Money raised will benefit several charities and the Chilliwack Curling Club’s juniors.
Chilliwack Ford is the title sponsor.