Despite having a couple toddlers at home, curling still remains a top priority for Saskatchewan’s top women’s curling rink.
Skip Stefanie Lawton and lead Marliese Kasner both gave birth in 2011 about two weeks apart from each other — Lawton had a daughter, Kate and Kasner had a son named Will.
Although their children are still young, the Lawton rink didn’t waste any time getting back on the ice to participate in cash spiels and bonspiels on the Canadian Team Ranking System tour. They currently sit second in the standings for this season, after finishing first in two of their five events so far. They are in Moose Jaw competing at the Capital One Curling Cup of Canada and a spot at the Olympic Trials. With the team being on the road so much throughout the season, all hands are on deck to help them out.
“With a lot of support from our families, husbands, grandmas and mother-in-laws,” stated Kasner of the help they receive. “There is a lot of time management. My husband is at home with my boy. But, my mother-in-law came and watched because she wanted the break and to watch good curling.”
For Lawton, the help she receives is key to helping her and the team on and off the ice.
“Definitely without their support, we couldn’t do it,” she said.
Lawton and Kasner are also sisters, roughly two years apart in age, and have had success curling separately and together throughout the years. They enjoy curling together and the dynamics of the team doesn’t change — if anything, it helps Lawton when calling a game.
“I think it is nice to have her there. Marliese used to play third and now having her at lead, it is just a confirmation,” Lawton stated. “We’ve always kind of leaned on each other to either make shots. It is just another confirmation when I go down that I am calling the right shot.”
The foursome of Lawton, second Sherry Anderson, third Sherri Singler and Kasner have been curling together for three years and have seen quite a bit of success. Anderson was a new addition in 2010 and seemed to have pushed the rink to a higher level. Lawton, Kasner and Singler have been curling together for eight years.
“I think that when Sherry came in and I went from third to lead…that experience and calmness has really helped us and helped our team in calling a game,” said Kasner.
The Lawton rink opened their Curling Cup with a 2-0 start, after defeating Sherry Middaugh 10-4 in the morning draw and then an 8-5 win over Heather Nedohin.
“It feels really good. We wanted to come out and have a solid, strong start and we couldn’t be better after the first day,” said Lawton. “My legs were a little bit shaky in the morning draw. Coming out here playing in front of a big crowd, you get goosebumps, but it is fun. Now it is about getting those shots.”
In other Day 1 action from the morning draw, the Jennifer Jones rink defeated Crystal Webster 9-7. In the afternoon draw, Webster beat the Chelsea Carey rink 7-4 and Middaugh defeated Cathy Overton-Clapham 8-5. In the evening draw, Nedohin defeated Carey 9-7 and Overton-Clapham fell to 0-2 with a 9-6 loss to the Jones rink.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.