It never gets old for Sherry Anderson, but it has to get frustrating!
The veteran curler who grew up north of Prince Albert and now calls Delisle home is getting ready for another long season and with that come new expectations despite having come up short yet again on achieving her goal last year.
“I’m as excited as I ever have, maybe even more now,” said Anderson recently while vacationing at Prince Albert National Park and competing in the annual Conexus Ladies Lobstick golf tournament. “It’s like I’ve been there and done that, but I want to do it again.”
The “it” comes in two forms this year. First and foremost is to claim one of the four spots that are available for the Olympic Trials that will be held in Winnipeg in December, 2013.
Anderson, who curls with Shellbrook products Stefanie Lawton and Marlise Kasner along with Sherri Singler from Saskatoon, can nail down a spot with a victory at the Canada Cup, which is being held in Moose Jaw at the end of November.
If that doesn’t work out, the Lawton rink can also secure a berth by being the overall points leader on the World Curling Tour and if that isn’t in the cards then there is a spot available for the team that has the most points over the last two years.
“I think we are in a good position to get a Trial spot,” saysAnderson.
The other “it” is winning the province and getting a berth in the Scott Tournament of Hearts, which is being held in Kingston, Ont., in February. A win in Kingston would also secure an Olympic Trial berth, but before that happens, Anderson and her mates have to knock down that barrier of losing in the provincial final.
“It’s frustrating, disappointing,” saysAnderson. “Two years ago we were playing so well all week, I don’t think we even played a whole game, and then Amber (Holland) gets hot and beats us in the final and goes on to win the Scotties.”
“We have to play good when it counts,” adds Anderson, who has reached the provincial final 12 times in her career and won four. In her two seasons as third on the Lawton rink, they have cruised to the final both times only to have their season cut short with a loss in the championship game. Last year in Humboldt, Michelle Englot from Regina pulled off the upset and went on to represent Saskatchewan in Red Deer.
Not being able to represent the province at the Scotties isn’t the only drawback for losing the provincial final says Anderson.
“Last year we waited from the end of January until the Player’s Championship in April without playing any games,” notes Anderson although the break did little to slow them down as they won the season-ending tournament with a 7-3 victory over Cathy Overton-Clapton from Winnipeg. “The season just abruptly comes to an end.”
Since then, Anderson says the team has taken a nice break with each player working out on their own in addition to a bit of time last spring with a sports psychologist. With summer winding down, it is starting to get to be that time to think about getting back on the ice.
“There is still some golf left to play,” laughs Anderson. “I don’t really think too much about it until after the long weekend (in September.)”
“We play from mid September until April,” adds Anderson. “When we get started we’re ready to go every weekend. Until then, I need my down time.”
The season starts on Sept. 13 when the Lawton rink travels to Edmonton for its first bonspiel of the year. The team will then be in Calgary and Winnipeg in October and in Saskatoon and Brantford, Ont., in November before taking part in the Canada Cup in Moose Jaw.
Provincial playdowns are in January, but since the current line-up has been together they have been able to pass the district and regional qualifiers as their record on the World Curling Tour has given them a direct pass to the provincial tournament.
A lot is on the line and Anderson is still enjoying playing the game and competing at the highest level, but when the provincial Scotties are held in Balgonie in January, she hopes that this is the year that she gets to return to the national championship, a place she hasn’t been since 2004.