Matthew Sterling of Pain Court participating in the Junior Match (Class 7). September 2019. (Photo courtesy of Richard Vivian with the Ontario Plowmen's Association)

Local teen plows his way to national championship

A 16-year-old from Pain Court has improved on his plowing skills and has earned several awards to prove it.

Matthew Sterling recently competed at the 2019 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) in Verner, Ontario. According to the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, Sterling walked away with many awards, a scholarship, and an invitation to compete at the 2020 Canadian Plowing Championships.

Sterling has been plowing for about six years but he only recently competed at his first IPM event in 2018.

During the 2019 IPM, Sterling competed in the Class 2 Group 2 event and walked away with a score of 559, behind Hailey Gruber of Richmond, Minnesota, who had 581 points. Sterling was named reserve champion, which earned him an invitation to the national championship next year in Rivers, Manitoba.

“The fact that I’m going to the Canadians… I can’t believe it right now. It’s going to take a little bit for that to sink in,” Sterling said in a statement released Wednesday.

Sterling also received $2,500 for his post-secondary education through the 2019 Barb McAllister Memorial Scholarship. He is currently a Grade 12 student at Ursuline College Catholic Secondary School in Chatham and hopes to get accepted into the robotics program at Conestoga College.

In addition to a major invitation and scholarship, Sterling also received a piece of Indigenous pottery, as well as a coat and hat for his performances in Verner. He also walked away with an award for the greatest overall score in the Junior Match (Class 7) at this year’s IPM.