Seven Mile Bay curler Anita Casey tried out a new position in Nova Scotia this year, and enjoyed the change.
She dropped back from skip to second on her junior women’s and university women’s curling teams.
“I like how I’m never cold any more,” she said in pointing out one of the key differences in the positions.
While skips do a lot more standing around and thinking, the front ends keep warm by sweeping their team’s rocks.
“I definitely like keeping warmer,” she added. “I like judging the rocks and not having so much pressure on the end of it.
“It’s all off me now,” she added of the pressure that comes with throwing last rock.
Anita, whose brother Adam curls on Brad Gushue’s Newfoundland and Labrador men’s team, has been curling junior and university in Nova Scotia since enrolling in Saint Mary’s University’s psychology program.
Having graduated from the junior women’s category following Nova Scotia’s Second Chance provincial playoffs, she’s now getting set to represent the Huskies at a third consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sport national curling championships in Kamloops, B.C., from March 20 to 24.
Saint Mary’s best-ever finish was third when they lost to Brock University in the national semifinal two years ago. Casey finished second in the Nova Scotia junior provincials that year.
She also curled on second-place teams her last two years she played in the P.E.I. junior provincials.
Saint Mary’s earned a berth in the CIS nationals by winning the A final of the Atlantic University Sport championships in Halifax last weekend. They played just two games in the AUS championship, posting wins of 8-3 and 7-4 in the double-knockout event. They will be joined in Kamloops by the Veronica Smith UPEI foursome, which advanced as B final winners.
Three members of the Saint Mary's team played in the nationals last year, but in a different order.
Sara Spafford moved up to skip from third stone while Casey dropped to second from skip. Last year’s second stone, MacKenzie Procter, plays lead this year and Amanda Colter joined the team at third stone after playing on the Nova Scotia junior runner-up team.
Casey said Spafford performed well in her first event as skip. She threw skip stones in junior this year, but called the game for the first time in the AUS championship.
“We have a really good team,” Casey assessed. “Everyone seems to get along really good. Everyone’s pretty strong at the positions they play, and for Sara, the first time skipping a team herself, she’s done really, really well.”
While Casey still has another year or two of university curling remaining, she has played in her last junior championship.
Asked about moving up to women’s next year, she replied, “I haven’t really looked too far ahead yet, but, maybe. We’ll see.”
After the university term ends, Casey will be returning to Seven Mile Bay for the summer and work at Peake’s Quay in Charlottetown.
Eric McCarthy is the western bureau manager of the Journal Pioneer. The “Islanders Away” feature appears every Thursday. To suggest an “Islander Away” please do so by emailing email@example.com.