'He's there in spirit'

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

Kerri Flett will keep curling -- with her big brother on her shoulder.

The Petersfield skip lost her older sibling, Kyle, as the result of a snowmobile accident just before Christmas.

"It's been (crappy)," Kerri said after losing a junior women's main-event semifinal of the Junior Christmas Bonspiel to Wildewood's Lisa Deriviere 11-10 at the Rossmere Curling Club yesterday. "It's been the worst. Losing a brother is the worst thing you can imagine, especially when we were so close. We were like best friends."

In fact, Kerri even taught Kyle how to curl.

ALREADY QUALIFIED

Both Fletts had already qualified for the provincials before the Christmas spiel.

"It'll be hard but he'll be there to motivate me and to help me, if not there in person but in spirit," said Kerri, 19. "I carry a (high school) picture of him with me every game and I look at him and I'm like, 'If you don't help me, you're going to go back in my bag.' But he's been good.

"It would mean the world for me to win (the Manitoba title) because it would mean I'd accomplish something that my brother wanted me to always accomplish and he always wanted this to be a Flett-Flett year, especially for his last year (of junior)."

Kyle's squad is also soldiering on under the banner, 'Kyle Flett's Team' so, Flett-Flett is still possible.

"It has a good chance," said Kerri, supported by third Jasmine Bracken, 18, second Liz Peters and Jillian Sandison, both 19.

Deriviere, who earned her provincial berth Thursday, then dropped an 8-4 decision to Kaileigh Strath of Souris in the final last night.

Strath had nipped St. Vital's Calleen Neufeld 8-7 in an extra end in the other semifinal. Both are also provincial-bound.

In the junior men's main-event semifinal, Pembina's Jim Coleman captured a provincial spot with a hard-earned 8-7 extra-end victory over Corey Chambers of Deer Lodge.

"It's just amazing," said Coleman, 18. "Just the way the season was going, we didn't know if it was going to happen."

When Coleman first hooked up with Kyle Peters, 19, this season, Peters called the game while Coleman threw the last brick. But he relinquished that duty with positive results.

"We were having a few problems and I wasn't feel comfortable so, changes were made and everything's been working better," said Coleman, also supported by second Ian Fordyce, 18, and Stuart Shiells, 19.

Coleman will be making his third trip to the Target Junior Men's Provincial Championship, to be held in Rivers, Jan. 4-8. He finished 4-3 both previous times.

Carman's Ryan Thomson, who already has a provincial spot, clipped Coleman 5-2 in the main-event final last night. Thomson had beaten Deer Lodge's Michael Johnson 7-2 in the other semifinal. Both Johnson, who had eliminated the Kyle Flett Team late Thursday, and Chambers will play in today's six-team playoff to determine the last provincial spot. However, West Kildonan's defending champion Travis Bale was also bounced late Thursday. There will also be a six-team playoff on the junior women's side. All games will be played at Rossmere today at 9 a.m., 1 and 5 p.m.


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