It all comes down to this weekend for the Johnstone rink if they wish to make junior women’s provincials in January.
The local rink of Malysha Johnstone, Karlee Fessler, Kaitlin Corbin and Morgan Broom will be travelling to Whitewood this weekend to compete in the junior women’s southern curling championship, with hopes of being one of the top two teams and a spot a provincials early next year.
“We would like to come out of the A pool,” said coach Al Bromley. “I’d like to win three straight. I think they are capable of that, but we are going to try and win the B pool.”
They lost two games in the Saskatoon qualifier and lost in the B final in the Regina qualifier, so this will be their last chance to make a spot at provincials. They will face off against the Rachel Erkison rink on Friday evening to open the playdowns.
“They are a good young team,” said Corbin. “They are young, but strong and have improved since the last time we saw them.”
The team is more experienced this year, as they have two new curlers — Fessler moved from Estevan this summer to Moose Jaw and Broom is also new to the team. Broom is in her final year of eligibility and is really committed to curling and the rink. Fessler was looking for a team to curl competitively with and found the Johnstone rink and things gelled quickly between the four girls.
“The team seemed like fun and they are really the only competitive team in team,” stated Fessler.
The team has undergone some changes since last season, as they lost two and gained two in the junior division. The rink will also be competing in the juvenile division and another girl, Mariah Jacklin, will be on that team later this year as Broom is ineligible for that age division.
“We are better this year,” said Johnstone. “I feel like we are much closer of a team than last year.”
The rink is working towards getting better as a team and qualifying for both junior and juvenile provincials. However, they try to set minor goals each week and each tournament instead of focusing on one overwhelming goal.
“We respect our opponents and this is a completely different team from last year. I have been trying to push them to realize their potential. We are enjoying success and they just have to embrace that,” said Bromley. “We have to cross the line of mediocrity and be at that elite level.”
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.