No doubt about it, 2019 has been the year of Team Silvernagle in the Battlefords.
Now, they are headed to Sydney, Nova Scotia, and the Scotties Tournament of Hearts as Team Saskatchewan.
On Friday night, Twin Rivers Curling Club held a sendoff event for their home team at the Northland Power Curling Centre.
On hand for the celebration was skip Robyn Silvernagle, third Stefanie Lawton, second Jessie Hunkin and lead Kara Thevenot. Coach Lesley McEwan was there, and also there was Marliese Kasner who has been added as the team’s fifth player.
While this is the first Scotties national appearance for Team Silvernagle, it is by no means an inexperienced group.
Lawton and Kasner are sisters who curled together for years and had been to Scotties four times representing Saskatchewan.
Coach McEwan was the 2013 Senior Women’s world curling champion.
For Silvernagle, Hunkin and Thevenot, it is their first national Scotties appearance.
Team members come from all over Saskatchewan and also Alberta, but it is Silvernagle’s home, North Battleford, that has particularly been gripped by “Silvernagle fever” this year.
That was seen during the Pinty’s Grand Slam Meridian Canadian open event at the Civic Centre in January. Matt Taylor, a member of Twin Rivers board, recalled that a hundred junior curlers went to the Civic Centre and got autographs from Silvernagle and her team.
“North Battleford is Team Silvernagle crazy, Saskatchewan is Team Silvernagle crazy, and we’re rooting for you,” Taylor said.
Civic officials from North Battleford and Battleford were on hand to give their encouragement.
“This is awesome,” said Mayor Ryan Bater. “I’m a fan. I’m not a curler, but a fan.”
Bater wished the team well in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
“We’ll be cheering very loudly. You’ll probably hear us all the way across to Atlantic Canada.”
Team members received several gifts. New Horizons Curling and the 50-Plus League each contributed $200 to Team Silvernagle as spending money for the trip to Sydney. Viterra provided off-ice jackets for team members to wear. Championship plaques were provided to team members, and there was the cutting of the celebration cake.
Silvernagle was teary as she thanked everyone for their support throughout the season and through their winning run at provincials.
“The support has been so amazing,” said Silvernagle.
“It means a lot. We work really, really hard. It just shows our hard work means a lot to other people, too.”
The national Scotties begin this Saturday, Feb. 16, in Sydney.