Kelly Robertson’s team has won back-to-back senior titles.
Neepawa’s Kelly Robertson hopes to join CurlManitoba’s record books this week.
Only one person has skipped a team to more than two straight senior men’s provincial titles. Robertson, who curls with third Doug Armour of Souris, second Peter Prokopowich of Dauphin and lead Bob Scales of Winnipeg, hopes to join Lloyd Gunnlaugson in that category by winning his third straight title in Killarney over the next five days. Gunnlaugson won four straight from 1982-85, although his team changed from one year to the next.
"Obviously it would be great," Robertson said. "To do anything twice is quite an accomplishment and to do it three times, there haven’t been many do it and it would be really nice to do that."
The championship starts today and wraps up on Monday at the Killarney Curling Club.
There will be a big target on the back of the Robertson team. Not only are they the two-time defending champs, but they won a silver medal at last year’s world senior men’s championship and come into provincials as the top seed.
However, the team isn’t worried as everyone has been playing well.
They qualified to play in the Safeway Championship, which was held in Neepawa, and posted a respectable 2-2 record. Robertson knows they’ll have to continue to play well to have any hope of a threepeat on the senior stage.
"You’ve just got to play to the team’s capability," he said. "If we do that, we’ll be close at the end. That’s what we did the last two years. We just put it all together and played very, very well."
Brandon’s Brian Fowler comes in as the event’s third seed. Brandon’s Shawn Taylor, Dauphin’s Jim Todoruk and Pilot Mound’s Curtis McCannell are also in the field.
Meanwhile, the provincial senior women’s championship got underway yesterday in Souris. Brandon’s Lois Fowler went into the event as the second seed and was happy to have her full team together.
Fowler’s third Gwen Wooley missed the pre-Christmas part of the season with a concussion, forcing Joan Robertson, Lori Manning and Jill Hazelwood to move up a position until she returned. It’s been a strange season, but Fowler hopes to bounce back from the adversity and claim her first senior title since 2009.
"We knew it was different when she was sick," said Fowler, whose team lost the provincial final last year to Laurie Deprez. "We had a good fall and curled well in the Curlettes. I always use that for practice. We always say there’s lot of adversity on our team, but if Jennifer Jones can do it, so can we."
Deprez came into the event as the top seed. Killarney’s Deb Collyer is the fourth seed and Brandon’s Joyce McDougall is fifth, while Hamiota’s Sandra Cowling is also in the bonspiel. The provincial crown will be awarded on Sunday.
EXTRA ENDS:Trevor Calvert of Carberry and his Manitoba Bisons team have qualified for the CIS curling championship. Calvert’s crew earned a spot in nationals — slated for March 20-24 in Kamloops, B.C. — by finishing second at the recent Western Canadian university men’s championship ... Hamiota’s senior mixed bonspiel will run from Monday through Wednesday. The cost is $80 per team. Contact Sharon Hebert at 204-764-0430 or Linda Wilson at 204-764-2642 … Rivers will host a junior bonspiel on Sunday with a Grade 9 and under division and a Grade 10-12 division. The entry fee is $40 per team. Contact Brian English 204-328-4488 … Monday is the registration deadline for the competitive coaching clinic that will be held at the Brandon Curling Club from March 1-3. The cost is $150. Contact Theresa Payette at 204-728-5852 … Wawanesa’s mixed bonspiel will run from March 1-3. Contact Trent Cullen at 204-824-2638 … Melita will hold its women’s bonspiel on March 2. Contact Brenda Dobbyn at 204-522-6459 or Brenda Banks at 204-522-8446 … Rivers will be busy early in March, starting with its Legion Bonspiel from March 2-3, followed by its senior bonspiel on March 6 and 7. Contact Dennis Veitch at 204-328-7133 or Harvey Wood at 204-328-7367.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 21, 2013