Casey's confidence

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Winning is a hard habit to break.

And skip Casey Scheidegger is hooked.

The 18-year-old Lethbridge skip won about as much as she could at the juvenile level the past two seasons: a couple of provincial titles, followed by gold and silver at the International Cup, a three-nation age-group competition that involves teams from the U.S. and Japan.

BEAT CHARLEY

Scheidegger raised more than a few eyebrows in a season-opening bonspiel in her hometown. Her team beat reigning world junior men's champ Charley Thomas in an extra end and pocketed $1,000.

"That was a great confidence booster for us," said Scheidegger. "We were on a high after that.''

She had beefed up her lineup by convincing area skip Jodi Marthaller to throw third rocks. Jennifer Coutts plays second. Scheidegger's dad Don coaches the team and sister Jessie plays lead.

So, when her team showed up with an unblemished playdowns record for this weekend's Alberta junior championship at the Granite, it was given pretty good odds to be in Sunday's final.

But the Edmonton-based rinks have been giving her all she can handle.

Vanessa Pouliot beat her on opening night. Scheidegger had to draw the four-foot in a 7-5 win over Amanda-Dawn Coderre yesterday afternoon.

"I'm still kinda shaking," said Scheidegger, moments after making a key pressure shot to avoid an extra end.

And, tonight's match against undefeated co-favourite Kalynn Park shapes up as a match for first.

"That'll be an exciting game for everybody who was expecting both teams to do well," she said.

Still, Scheidegger knows her foursome is playing nowhere near its championship form.

"We just didn't play and throw our best games," she said.

Lethbridge is hosting next month's Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the entire squad has signed up as volunteers for the biggest showcase of the year for the gal's game.

The city, located a couple of hours south of Calgary, has earned a reputation as a real incubator for junior women's curling.

Scheidegger and Jessie Nelson represent the Lethbridge Curling Club out of the south. At the 2005 event, when she finished fifth in her first juniors appearance, all three SACA representatives were from Lethbridge.

SHANNON DID IT

Olympic bronze medallist Shannon Kleibrink hails from Coaldale, a 10-minute drive from Lethbridge and has proven to be a role model for the area's young female curlers.

"It's kind of nice that she's from the area," said Scheidegger. "It's like ... if Shannon can get to the Olympics, why can't we?"

Whatever it is about the junior program in Lethbridge, the city just keeps churning 'em out.


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