Delisle native, and multi-time Team Saskatchewan Skip Sherry Anderson and her team, will be thrust right into the action on day two of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts taking place in the Curling Canada bubble from Calgary this Saturday.
One draw will take place at 7:30pm on the Friday to open the tournament, before Team Saskatchewan opens their schedule the next morning at 9:30am against PEI, before getting back on the sheet at 7:30pm against Nunavut.
Anderson's team was chosen to represent the province for a couple of reasons, but mostly due to the defending champions in Team Silvernagle not being eligible to compete. The team did not return 3 of 4 players from last years team, so Anderson and her team were chosen by CURLSASK based on results from the last two seasons.
One addition that was made to Anderson's team however, was another experienced Saskatchewan curler in fifth Amber Holland. She expects Holland's experience to help regardless of her role, as the two will be only ones on the team with prior Scotties experience.
"We added her as our fifth. With COVID and everything, if you did happen to test positive, we have to field at least three players" said Anderson, explaining the move, "The odds are better if you take a fifth, and you have five people to choose from in case something did happen."
"I'm not too concerned about that, but still it's a reality."
The tournament will feel different this year without fans, but Anderson is not approaching it any differently. Staying in the bubble and putting a focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority this year, but one thing that won't be changing is the competition factor.
"Pretty much every aspect of the event is going to be quite a bit different, but the bottom-line is you want to go out and curl well," said Anderson, "That's the main reason you go there, for the competition and the curling."
Anderson and her teammates have barely been able to practice as a team, though the time they have had together has gone well. She says it was good to get at least some time together before the Scotties, and that it was a good opportunity to remind the team what their goal is. Everybody seems to be throwing well according to Anderson, leaving the skip excited for her team to begin play this weekend.
(Sherry Anderson, bottom left, has also represented Saskatchewan at the Scotties in previous years. File photo courtesy Curl Canada)
Anderson hasn't played a competitive game since early November. The competition will be strong this year, with a former Scotties champion in Chelsea Carey taking a wild card spot. Other notable names include B.C.’s Corryn Brown, the legendary Jennifer Jones, and PEI’s scrappy Suzanne Birt team that will play Team Saskatchewan on Saturday morning.