By Perry Lefko
Several curling teams in the Peel Region area will feature new lineups for the 2018-19 season because of personnel changes, which is not that uncommon in the sport.
Perhaps the biggest one involves Caledon’s Allison Flaxey, who will be curling with a Manitoba team next season. The Manitoba native has curled in three provinces in the course of her career. After moving to Ontario in 2011, she skipped teams to provincial titles in 2012 and 2014. Flaxey joins a team that will include third Kate Cameron, second Taylor McDonald and lead Raunora Westcott. Cameron and McDonald previously played with Michelle Englot, who skipped Team Canada in the Canadian championships this past season.
Flaxey will continue to live in Caledon because of job commitments. Canadian Curling Association rules require at least three members of team to be based out of the province for provincial playdowns.
The Englot team, runner-up in the 2017 Canadian tournament, became the team representing Canada at this year’s National’s because reigning champion Rachel Homan was representing Canada in the Olympics.
Jaqueline Harrison, who was based out of the Mississauga Golf and Country Club, will take over Flaxey’s team. Harrison, who lives in Hamilton, said she has not decided which club will be her team’s affiliation for provincial playdowns.
Harrison had skipped a team that included third Janet Murphy, second Stephanie Matheson and lead Melissa Foster since 2015. She had planned on taking some time away from the game and use it for family time following, for her, a disappointing season. That changed when she was contacted to take over Flaxey’s team. Her new team will include third Clancy Grandy, second Lynn Kreviazuk and lead Morgan Court.
“Clancy and Lynn and Morgan contacted me,” she said. “It was an opportunity I really couldn’t pass on. They are young, talented players and when they came to me we were able to work out some details to make sure we were all on the same page. It’s an opportunity you don’t pass up when people of that level come to you and they want you to head up the team.”
Murphy and Matheson will still be curling out of the Mississauga Golf and Country Club. The new-look lineup will include Murphy’s daughter, Jestyn, and Grace Holyoke. Jestyn will skip the team.
Melissa Foster has joined a team skipped by Jo-Ann Rizzo.
“With the Olympics being more in the forefront, you spend a lot of time with your teammates for the quadrennial,” Harrison said. “You learn a lot about yourself and a lot about your teammates. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Your goals really do have to align with what you want to do moving forward. There’s family obligations and job commitments that get in the way, or people wanting to take away to recharge. There’s a lot of factors that go into (team making personnel changes).”
A team that will remain intact is the one skipped by Danielle Inglis out of the Dixie Curling Club in Mississauga. Inglis’ team made it to the final of the Ontario Provincial’s this past season. Inglis, who is the Co-ordinator, Social Media and Web Content for Curling Canada, is a member of the reigning Canadian Mixed Championship, skipped by Mike Anderson. The other team members are Sean Harrison and his wife Lauren Harrison. Sean is the son of the late Neil Harrison, a two-time Canadian and World Champion.
The World Mixed Championship is October 13-20 in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Photo: Jaqueline Harrison, team skip out of the Mississauga Golf and Country Club, will be at the helm for a team formerly headed up by Caledon’s Allison Flaxey. Robert Wilson photo.