When Amy Remeshylo and her teammates took to the pebbled ice during a provincial junior qualifying bonspiel (Q-spiel) in Watrous earlier this winter, their goal was to see how they measured up against more experienced, older competitors.
Pretty darn good, as it turned out.
“We were a little surprised that we did so well,” said Remeshylo, a 16-year-old student at Warman High School. “But it sure gives us all a shot of confidence heading into next week.”
Remeshylo and her teammates: Skip Rayel Martin, Third Kathleen May, Second Samantha Fowler and Coach Dennis Martin are heading to Melfort to compete in the Saskatchewan Junior Curling Championships December 4 through 8.
A total of 12 rinks made up of curlers under the age of 21 are vying for the provincial junior women’s crown.
The Junior Men’s Curling Championships are being held at the same time in Melfort as well. The top teams earn the right to represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian National Junior Curling Championships in Victoria, BC January 21-29. The top Canadian team qualifies to represent their country at the world championships in Kora February 16-26
Remeshylo, a resident of Warman, has been curling since the age of 10 at the Martensville Curling Club. Her grandmother, Lynn Remeshylo, was president of that club for many years.
“At first when I just started I didn’t want to join a junior league, but once I got going, I really liked it,” said Remeshylo. “Martensville has a junior recreational league, and I curl there, but I was looking for something a little more competitive.”
She joined the Rayel Martin rink, based in Biggar, in January, 2015.
“They needed another player, and so one of the parents of the girls phoned all the curling clubs in the area and started asking if they knew of someone who was interested,” said Remeshylo. “They talked to my grandma, who got in touch with my dad, and he contacted the coach, and we ended up going out there for a practice.
“Everyone was a little shy at first, but we had pretty good chemistry. Two of the girls are from Biggar, and the other girl is from Saskatoon.”
The girls, who are all under 18, practice on Tuesdays at the CN Curling Club in Saskatoon. “We also play on Wednesdays in Biggar, and sometimes the CN Club asks us to play on Mondays if another regular league team can’t make it,” said Remeshylo. “Plus we go to bonspiels almost every weekend, and I also curl in a couple of leagues in Martensville. So yeah, I’m pretty much on the ice six or seven days a week.”
Remeshylo said she enjoys playing lead, noting her role is to “set up the game” for her teammates.
“My goal is to be consistent every time,” she said. “We usually start with one of my rocks in the house, so if they hit, then we hit. We try to keep it clean. Other teams sometimes like to play with a guard and then draw behind it. Sometimes we switch it up; it all depends on the situation.”
Remeshylo said she’d like to see a competitive junior league get established in a curling club a little closer to home, but is enjoying the bonspiel circuit and travelling to clubs around the province.
“It’s fun,” she said. “We all get along and we have a great time together.”
The Brady Scharback rink from Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club will represent Saskatchewan at the Canadian National Mixed Curling Championships in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia November 14-19.
Scharback, along with third Kourtney Fesser, second Jacob Hersikorn and lead Krista Fesser cruised undefeated though the provincial mixed curling championship bonspiel in Martensville lat week with a perfect 6-0 record.
Scharback defeated the Jason Ackerman rink 5-4 in the gold medal final on Sunday, April 3. The Ackerman rink from Regina’s Highland Curling Club includes third Amber Holland, second Dean hick and lead Colleen Ackerman.
After blanking the first end in the gold medal final game, both rinks exchanged singles in ends 2,3 and 4. Ackerman had a hit for two in the sixth end and Scharback got a lot help from Jacob Hersikorn, sweeping his last rock through a small port to get two back in the seventh end. In the eighth end Scharback made a hit and roll on top of Ackerman’s second counter on the edge of the 12, forcing a hit for one and the extra end. In the extra frame with Ackerman lying two, Brady needed to hit and roll for the win by one.
The hometown rink skipped by Corey Martens went up against the Scharback rink in the A final on Friday April 1, but lost that match 5-1 to the eventual champion. The Martens rink included: Corey Martens, Kaitlyn Bowman, Chris Unger and Jen Person.
This was the second time the Martensviille Curling Club has hosted the provincial mixed championship.