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It will be the Stefanie Lawton rink wearing Saskatchewan colours when the Scott Tournament of Hearts gets underway in Montreal at the beginning of February. The Lawton rink has plenty of connections to the Prince Albert area as Lawton and her sister Marliese Kasner originally come from the Shellbrook area while Sherry Anderson is from Christopher Lake. The Lawton foursome finally broke through for another trip to the national championship when they outscored Michelle Englot from Regina 5-2 in the provincial final on Sunday in Tisdale. Members of the winning team are, from left, Lawton, Anderson, Sherri Singler, Kasner and coach Rick Folk.
The excitement, and relief, in her voice is evident.
After four straight losses in the final game of the provincial ladies curling championship, Sherry Anderson is finally returning to the Scott Tournament of Hearts.
“It feels really good,” said an excited Anderson on Monday, a day after she, along with Stefanie Lawton, Sherri Singler and Marliese Kasner, topped the field at the Viterra Scotties with a 5-2 triumph over Michelle Englot from Regina. “It was a long time in between.”
Anderson, who joined the Lawton team four years ago as a third after many years of skipping her own teams, will be making her fifth trip to the national women’s curling championship, but her first as a player in a decade.
“There was a slight moment last year where I thought I don’t have a whole lot more of them to come,” reflected Anderson, who turned 50 last Monday. “I wanted a chance to get back there and win a Canadian championship. At my age you realize how difficult it is just to get out of the province.”
If anyone can attest to that it certainly has to be Anderson.
With two different teams Anderson won provincial titles in 1994 and ’95 and then again in 2002 and ’04. She has been the runner-up numerous times including the last three with the Lawton foursome.
Anderson, who originally comes from the Christopher Lake area, says she had a feeling this time was going to be different.
“It was more of a determination than a feeling,” explains Anderson. “We weren’t going to let it slip through our fingers again.”
“We’ve been there and we belong there,” adds Anderson. “We knew we had the capability to win, but you have to win that final game.”
The Lawton rink has been one of the top teams in the country since being formed four years ago. They have won a players championship, Canada Cup and qualified to compete at the Olympic Trials, but until now they have never been to the Scott Tournament of Hearts together.
Lawton, Kasner and Singler have been there on two occasions winning the provincial title in 2005 and again in 2009. Lawton and Kasner, who are sisters originally from Shellbrook, were also premiere junior curlers winning the provincial title a number of times along with a pair of Canadian titles. Kasner would also claim a world championship in her final year of junior curling.
Now they will have a chance to take another step together as a group.
“You want your season to keep going,” notes Anderson. “As busy as we are you have all these gaps. We have a busy fall and then there is a large gap from December to the end of January when playdowns usually are and if you don’t win (provincials) then you have nothing.”
“I had a picture in my head (years ago) that I was going to represent the province umpteen times, but it didn’t happen,” added Anderson. “I don’t have 20 more years playing at this level.”
Anderson treasures all of the teams she has played with and while she has had a great deal of success, winning the national championship is the one thing that is missing. With a bronze and silver medal already in her collection, she wants the gold and this might just be the year.