Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boehmer the best to never be the best

Provincial men's title eludes him

  • Print

He is, arguably, the best Manitoba curler never to win a provincial men's title.

And, realistically, that's not likely to change.

Dave Boehmer's best curling years -- and there were some great ones -- are probably behind him now and the 45-year-old Petersfield card player/horse player/all-around-gambler will in all likelihood just have to accept that a Purple Heart was the one wager he won't be able to cash.

It's a fact of life Boehmer seems mostly to have come to accept, even as he spends this weekend chasing one of the six berths into next month's Manitoba men's provincial curling championship up for grabs in the 123rd MCA Bonspiel.

Regrets? He has a few, sure. "Not so much that I never played at the Brier," Boehmer says, "but more that I just never made a really good run at a provincials.

"I must have played in close to 20 of them over the years -- high teens for sure. You'd think at some point I would have lost a final or something. But it just never seemed to work out for some reason. That's what bugs me most."

Actually, those provincials gone by are the No. 2 regret on Boehmer's list this week. The first one is much more meaningful.

"I wish I'd had a chance to sit down with Pat just one more time," Boehmer says of former teammate Pat Spiring, who died last Monday from cancer. "He was such a great guy.

"You'd sit down at a table after a game with Pat and he would just bring this whole aura of happinesss with him. He'd literally take over a table. He was such a great storyteller and he just had this way with words.

"Everybody loved Pat. And everybody knew him. You'd be at an event and there'd be all these European guys and they'd all know him too. He was just like that. You really can't help but think about life without him in the curling world now."

Boehmer curled three seasons with Spiring in what were the most productive years of curling for both men. With Boehmer at skip, Spiring at third, Richard Daneault at second and Don Harvey at lead, the foursome were part of the elite teams who boycotted the Brier for two years to get the fledgling Grand Slam money circuit off the ground.

That Boehmer team was consistently among the top money earners on the cash tour in those years and had they not been part of the Brier boycott, you have to wonder if those might not have been the years that Boehmer finally got that elusive men's title.

The five years since have seen Boehmer curl a much less ambitious schedule. He won his only provincial title two years ago when he claimed a Manitoba Mixed championship, but as a men's curler he has been mostly sticking closer to home and changing teams almost yearly. It is not the schedule or approach that will get him a provincial title against the likes of such elite teams as Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen, who will be overwhelming favourites to win the province in Beausejour.

And Boehmer knows it.

"I really notice now that I'm not as sharp as I used to be, just because I'm not doing it as much," says Boehmer. "And I've got back problems that don't help either. My delivery was never straight to begin with and it's even crookeder now."

Stoughton says Boehmer was one of the province's great shooters when he was at his best, but lacked the all-around game that the game's most elite players have. "He was great with the high-hard ones and he could draw too," Stoughton says.

"But when it came time for those little finesse shots, where you have to tap a rock back three feet, that was something I noticed he sometimes struggled with. And that's just one of those shots you have to have at the highest levels."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2011 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google