At a time when curlers change teams more frequently than ever it’s not uncommon to see them change positions too. Nevertheless, seeing Stefanie Lawton, a four-time provincial women’s curling champion as a skip, now playing third is still a strange sight for Saskatchewan curling fans.
For her part, Lawton is enjoying the change of scenery.
“You have a few different shots. It’s a different mentality and I actually really enjoy it because it’s less pressure at third but you still want to make your shots and make it easier on the skip,” she said.
The reason behind Lawton’s change of position? She joined up with Robyn Silvernagle‘s North Battleford-based team.
Silvernagle, an accomplished skip in her own right who has played in two Saskatchewan Scotties finals, was looking to shake things up this season and Lawton accepted an invitation to come on board.
“This was perfect for me and I was also looking for a change from skip and so I’m like this is perfect,” Lawton said of the proposal.
The team, which includes longtime lead Kara Thevenot and another newcomer, Jessie Hunkin, at second, is having a strong season so far, winning multiple titles and earning a berth in the Grand Slam of Curling Canadian Open, which recently took place in North Battleford.
“Our goal was to be playing in a hometown slam so that was really exciting when we got the ‘yes’ to it so I’d say yeah, we are right on track,” said Silvernagle. “We’re number one in Saskatchewan so that’s kind of where we wanted to be.”
Playing in a Grand Slam event is just the start for Team Silvernagle. They’re taking aim at a provincial title and a chance to represent Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Canadian Open provided them with a chance to prepare against some of the world’s top teams.
“This is huge for us to be able to get on the ice, play some big games and maybe get a little of those provincial jitters out of the way,” Silvernagle said.
Having a teammate like Lawton, who has plenty of experience competing at the highest level, sure doesn’t hurt.
“She is the best third I could have asked for. She’s so supportive, knowing the role of skipping and knowing what a skip needs as for herself and what I need. She’s such a team player. It’s been a great transition. I think we work really, really well together,” Silvernagle said.
Lawton sees big things ahead for her new squad.
“We’ve got so much skill and talent. I see that there’s so many opportunities for us and that’s what we’re working towards is getting to that Scotties, winning a provincial championship, and we definitely have that in us.”