Friday, February 22

"Maybe Tomorrow We'll Figure Out What My Job Is"

Kehler challenged by her role

Murray McCormick, The Leader-Post
Published: Friday, February 22, 2008

Lorie Kehler had one of the best seats in the Brandt Centre at the Canadian women's curling championship.

She was the fifth with Saskatchewan's Michelle Englot, which provided Kehler with one of those elevated chairs behind the scoreboards at the home end. Kehler enjoyed the view and her role with Team Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

"It has been fun and it was kind of like being in a fishbowl," Kehler said after Thursday's 8-1 victory over Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Gaudet at the Brandt Centre. "There has been a lot going on and it's a great event to be involved with. I thought that my Scotties years were over, so it was nice to have another."

Kehler had been involved in five other Canadian women's championship with Englot. Kehler played lead, second and third with Englot at those events, which Kehler said was a little easier than being one of the support team.

"You haven't any control over anything," Kehler said. "At least when you're out there you can take it out with you sweeping or just being there. It's a very different role."

Englot, Darlene Kidd, Roberta Materi and Cindy Simmons already had well-defined roles before winning the provincial championship. Anita Ford worked as the team's coach before the Scotties. The squad, which is well-organized, was looking for support and encouragement from its alternate.

"Anita had worked with them before, so she had a bit of role already," Kehler said. "As far as running and managing things, they have that covered. They really didn't need anyone."

Englot appreciated having Kehler as part of the team, especially during a challenging week.

"Lorie and I are very close and we always have been," said Englot, who was 5-5 heading into Thursday's final draw against Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink. "We couldn't have picked a better person to be our fifth in this situation."

Kehler filled the role as a cheerleader and as a shoulder to lean on when the emotions grew to be too much for the members of the Englot team. Kehler also filed a daily dairy to that provided insights into Saskatchewan's team away from the pressure of the Scotties.

"Anita and I tried to scout rocks and see what everybody else was throwing," Kehler said. "Michelle pretty well has her mind made up and there isn't a lot of input from me. I'm just a big supporter."

Kehler said reaching the 5-5 mark was huge. It improved their performance in Sudbury in 2001 by one win.

"You always want to come back with a winning record," Kehler said. "I remember that 4-7 was really tough coming home. You just feel that you let everybody down. You want to go out on a winning note."
© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2008

It's always interesting to see what a fifth thinks about the job. Here's Lorie Kehler herself, writing on the same subject, just a few days ago:
Speaking of my job, that has been a topic of debate.

What is my job? Certainly not remembering what rocks/sheets we have been on, or are heading to. Without Anita’s magic book I would be lost.

Playing, not my job unless an emergency, this is the girls' show.

Slight emergency yesterday when I left my glasses at home, Roberta was quite concerned that it would cut into my crowd watching. Now that is my job, but as Joan Stricker can attest to, I could do that when even when I was curling.

I told Roberta not to worry as my glasses were being hand delivered by my hubby and in the meantime, I could borrow coaches’ binoculars, surely she could do without them for an end or two.

How important can determining how the other teams are matching rocks and throwing rock on certain sheets anyway, which by the way is not my job, Anita can pick out what rock anyone on any sheet is throwing and I am still focussing the darn binoculars. Maybe I just needed the pressure of needing them for crowd watching.

Then last night, I found a smelly, worn out, old pair of mitts that I thought Bert had had since the 2001 Scott in Sudbury, and I thought finally I can show my worth to Bert. But sadly, I was wrong. Sorry to whomever’s smelly, worn out, old pair of mitts I stole, check the yellow rock dressing room.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll figure out what my job is.