L to R: skip Brenda Enrst, third Dana Johansen, second Penni Yamamoto and lead Shari Needham. Ronan O’Doherty photo

Team Ernst looks to kick tail in Trail

The foursome will represent Quesnel at the 2019 B.C. Senior Curling Championship

For those who thought Quesnel’s curling buzz had come and gone with the 2019 B.C. Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, you could not be more wrong.

Our very own Team Ernst, made up of skip Brenda Ernst, third Dana Johansen, second Penni Yamamoto and lead Shari Needham, will be keeping the rock-throwing vibe strong when representing Quesnel at the 2019 B.C. Senior Curling Championships at the Trail Curling Club from Feb. 19-24.

They won a two-team regional playdown in 100 Mile House on the weekend of Jan. 12-13, beating a 100 Mile squad in straight games 7-6, 7-6.

Ernst says the team has been playing together for a year now and are just starting to gel.

“We need to play as good as we can [to have success in Trail],” she says.

Her third, Johansen, says communication will be extremely important.

“We need to make sure everybody’s on the same page and we all talk to one another,” she says.

“If one doesn’t really know [which shot to throw] then the other ones will need to help out to know what the shot is, what weight to throw and what to look for, whether it’s straight or curling more…”

The foursome agrees that Ernst is a really awesome skip and a key element in ensuring the communication is smooth and the team is on the right page.

Their leader is modest and spreads the praise back.

“In my opinion, our strength is are we are a really cohesive team,’ Ernst says. “We each bring something to the team for sure and that’s what makes us so good.”

With only a couple weeks to go, the team is getting in all the practice they can.

“We’re all curling pretty steady for the next two weeks and practising on Tuesday nights,” Needham says. “So that’s just about five nights a week of curling.”

They will also get in some competitive matches to keep their instincts sharp.

“We’re all in the mixed bonspiel on the weekend just before we go down to Trail, so we’ll all be getting in games, which should get us into the flow,” says Ernst.

“It’s all about just throwing rocks.”

The seniors tourney in Trail will see the team playing seven round-robin games in four days.

If they are high enough in the standings after that, they will continue to the playoffs on the weekend.

Ernst says the team is intent on playing very well, but winning will not be their only concern at the tournament.

“This is the first year going down to the senior playdowns, and the first thing we have to do is go down and just experience it,” she says.

“Another goal we have is it to play hard, play smart, take those lessons that we learn and bring them into next year.

“Because our plan is to be together again for next year.”

READ MORE: Top women’s curlers in the world will compete in Prince George in 2020


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