Jackson rink still in thick of things

The Kathie Jackson rink gave Tara George a battle Friday morning in the third draw of the Northwestern Ontario ladies’ playdowns here.
The Fort Frances quartet, which also includes third Colleen Scrimger, second Charlotte Bazylewski, and lead Stacy Beacham, fell 7-5 to the Fort William crew to drop to 1-2.
After Friday morning’s draw, George and Krista Scharf (Fort William) led the pack at 3-0, followed by Amy Stachiw (Port Arthur Curling Club) at 2-1.
Jackson was in a logjam at 1-2 with Angela Lee, Michelle Boland, and Christine Eby, all from the Fort William Curling Club.
Dawn Sauve (Dryden) rounds out the field at 0-3.
Scharf edged Lee, a former Stratton resident, 6-5 in extra ends Friday morning while Stachiw beat Sauve 8-7 and Boland downed Eby 8-3.
For a team that has never competed together before, the Jackson rink is providing local fans with not only a team to cheer for at the Northwestern Ontario ladies’ playdowns, but some drama, too.
“We put the team together to give Fort Frances a hometown team,” Jackson noted last night after her dramatic 10-7 win over Eby.
“We were all a little bit nervous because we’ve all competed before, but we were very excited,” Jackson recounted. “I’ve played against a lot of these girls many times [but] it’s been four years since I’ve competed and Stacy.
“And Colleen and Charlotte haven’t competed for years, so they were pretty excited to be here. A little bit of nervous jitters helps,” she added.
Jackson next faced Dawn Sauve (Dryden) in Friday’s 2:30 p.m. draw (the outcome was not known prior to press time).
The local rink then will wrap up the round-robin Saturday against Lee (9:30 a.m.), Boland (2:30 p.m.), and Scharf (8:30 p.m.)
Tie-breakers, if necessary, are scheduled for Sunday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The top two teams advance to the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts later this winter.
Trailing 7-4 to Eby heading into the ninth end Thursday night, Jackson scored a five-ender, then stole one in the 10th to pull out the win.
“We made a couple of right calls in taking their rocks out and getting a couple of rolls behind the guards, which got us a couple of steals, but really we’ve just here to try our best and see what happens,” Jackson said afterwards.
Also Thursday night, Scharf beat Boland 7-2, Lee dumped Stachiw 7-1, and George upended Sauve 9-3.
Jackson opened play Thursday afternoon with a 12-6 loss to Stachiw. Other action from the first draw saw Scharf dump Sauve 12-5 (eight ends), George top Boland 11-7, and Eby edge Lee 6-5.
“We have a bit of a new team from last year, but myself and my sister [Angela] were at provincials last year so we were definitely excited to try and make that same step again this year,” said Amanda Lee, who won an all-Ontario curling title for Rainy River High School a few years ago.
“All we want to do is keep the games close, and we want to keep the crowds coming out because ultimately we want to support the club, and what better way than to have fans here,” noted Jackson.
“Everyone is going to make great shots and everyone’s going to miss,” she reasoned. “I’ve played in this many times and I’ve come from behind, and we’ve stayed on top, and we’ve pretty much done it all.
“And I’m a true believer that in women’s curling, anything can happen.”