Anil Mungal/Sportsnet The John Morris-Jim Cotter foursome, also featuring Kelowna’s Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky, won the Princess Auto Elite 10 curling event in March.

B.C., Grand Slam wins for Okanagan foursome

John Morris, Jim Cotter, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky captured the 2017 provincial men’s title

Reunited for the 2016-17 season, John Morris and his Okanagan-based foursome proved once again to be a winning combination.

Morris, along with Vernon’s Cotter throwing fourth rocks, and Kelowna’s Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky, defeated Dean Joanisse of Maple Ridge to win the B.C. men’s championship in February in Abbotsford.

For longtime teammates Cotter and Sawatsky, it was their seventh B.C. title, tying for the most purple hearts ever by B.C. men’s curlers.

Vancouver’s Bernie Sparkes and Reg and Roy Stone, of Trail, also have seven provincial wins.

Sawatsky, who grew up watching Sparkes, was humbled by the recognition.

“That’s someone we really looked up to growing up as kids so it’s really cool to be in the same company as him,” said Sawatsky, who plays lead.

For second Tyrel Griffith, a former B.C. junior champ, this was his fifth provincial title since joining the Cotter rink in 2012.

The Morris team fell short of its own expectations at the Tim Hortons Brier in St. John’s, NL in March by missing the playoffs, but a week later rebounded to win a Grand Slam event in Port Hawkesbury, NS.

The Kelowna-Vernon foursome captured the Princess Auto Elite 10 title and the $26,000 to top prize.

Late in the year, the Morris team finished out of contention at the Canadian Olympic trials in Ottawa.

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