November 11, 2009
Flett on a missionManitoba third chasing mixed title to honour brother
By JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA
For her last few years of junior, Selkirk's Kerri Flett wore angels on her shoulders as a tribute to her brother who had died so tragically in a snowmobile accident.
She had also been determined to win a championship for Kyle, once a top-level junior curler himself. After coming close in junior, Flett was finally able to honour his memory on ice when she helped Dave Boehmer win the Manitoba Mixed title last spring.
"It's almost like she's been on a mission," Boehmer said from his Petersfield home yesterday. "She certainly is dedicated."
Flett has already transferred her angels to the Buffalo jacket she will wear while representing Manitoba in the Canadian Mixed Championship, which starts in Burlington, Ont., this Saturday.
"I think about my brother a lot," said Flett, 22. "I still get chills once in a while on the ice when I think of him. It's been four years of knocking on the door and I finally got one for him ... Now, we need a Canadian one."
In fact, the Manitoba team that includes second Kyle Einarson and Tamara Bauknecht will attempt to defend the national title won by Manitoba's Sean Grassie last season.
"That is on my mind," admitted Boehmer, who won the provincial title on his first try at Mixed. "Sean set the bar kind of high ... It is the first time ever to wear the Buffalo and that's something pretty important to me.
"I really don't know what to expect but I sure like my team. And Kerri, boy is she ever a good curler. She makes a lot of shots and throws the rock the same time after time. She's one of the best women's curlers out there right now. I'm sure this won't be the last Buffalo she wears."
Flett has been skipping Karen Porritt's former women's team with some positive early results. Boehmer is just coming off his best weekend on the men's tour. He earned $8,000 when he lost the World/Manitoba Curling Tour final to Alberta's Kevin Martin 6-3 in Swan River last weekend.
"I was kind of surprised because we weren't really doing much before last weekend," he admitted.
Boehmer was also surprised because Einarson, who also plays second for him in men's, was sick, but still played.
Once again, two players from the winning team will represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles in Russia. Boehmer and Flett would be the two to go.
BITERS: Because Flett will be away, Maureen Bonar will skip her squad in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Berth Bonspiel in Morden this weekend where two provincial spots are up for grabs ... Kerry Burtnyk beat fellow Manitoban Jason Gunnlaugson 8-3 on the opening draw of the men's pre-trials qualifier in Prince George, B.C. yesterday. Burtnyk was playing Mike McEwen, another fellow Manitoban, last night. Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton was also playing B.C.'s Bob Ursel in his opening game last night ... On tap this weekend are MCT spiels in Gimli and Thunder Bay, Ont.
ROUNDUP: Brandon's Lois Fowler will be back to defend her title after earning a berth into the senior women's provincials through a berth bonspiel in Minnedosa ... Brandon's Jim Renwick also earned a trip to the seniors through a men's berth spiel. Both will be played at the Brandon Curling Club, Feb. 25-March 1 ... Manitoba's Jennifer Jones rebounded from failing to qualify the week before to earn $9,000 as the winner of a cashspiel in Red Deer, Alta., last weekend. Manitoba's Chelsea Carey also pocketed $4,000 there ... La Salle's Randy Neufeld earned $2,000 for winning an MCT spiel at Rossmere.