Russ Howard enjoying the game as a senior, too

Eric McCarthy
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SUMMERSIDE - Coming from the Tim Hortons Brier and "probably the best ice I've ever curled on," Russ Howard is finding the ice at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club requires a certain amount of adjustment.
The skip of the New Brunswick men's team at the 2009 Canadian senior curling championships is not complaining, though.

SUMMERSIDE - Coming from the Tim Hortons Brier and "probably the best ice I've ever curled on," Russ Howard is finding the ice at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club requires a certain amount of adjustment.
The skip of the New Brunswick men's team at the 2009 Canadian senior curling championships is not complaining, though.
After three days of play, Howard and company sit atop the men's standings at
6-0 (won-lost) after beating Newfoundland and Labrador's Bill Jenkins 7-2 and Brad Whitehead of the Northwest Territories/Yukon 10-4 on Monday. He pulled the four-foot out of his pocket in their Sunday afternoon draw against British Columbia's Brian Gessner with the hammer in the 10th end to score a one-point victory.
"There's nothing wrong with it," Howard emphasized about the ice. "Lots of curl.
"It's just different, such a huge adaptation."
Howard's finding he has to throw considerably more weight.
"I've been spoiled the past couple of weeks," he admitted. "I played on the best ice in the world."
Now he's back on curling-rink ice.
And now the biggest admission of all: "I've played better in those (opening) four games than I did at the Brier."
Howard, one of the most recognizable curlers in the world, is enjoying life in the senior ranks for curlers over 50. This is the second time he's attended the Canadian senior championships.
"It's a different game, it really is," he said. "We're all in the same boat; we're playing everybody the same age."
Sweeping is the big adjustment, he said, physically demanding for 10- or 11-end games.
For Howard, this year's Brier was a real treat, because he played with son, Stephen, on the New Brunswick team.
"That was the coolest thing," he said. "I think that's what kept me going at the Brier, to have my son on the team.
To do it together was really neat. I actually cried."
Will curling fans see Howard at the Brier again?
He doesn't know.
"The way I've been playing and the way I enjoyed the year I'd say yes," added Howard.
But there's something else to consider. The Sports Network (TSN) wants him to do some curling commentary and he has to check the schedules before he decides.
Another Brier or not, curling fans can catch Howard all week at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club.

wbureau@journalpioneer.com

Organizations: Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club, Sports Network

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories British Columbia

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