Casey Scheidegger can’t picture herself curling without her sister Jessie by her side.
While some siblings might not get along on a competitive team, that isn’t the case for the skip and second on the Lethbridge, Alta., club.
It should come as no surprise the Scheidegger sisters decided to stick together with third Cary-Anne McTaggart and lead Kristie Moore heading into another Olympic cycle.
“A lot of siblings maybe can’t play together or won’t play together but I honestly couldn’t imagine playing this sport without her,” Casey Scheidegger said during a phone interview Tuesday. “We’re really close. We’re sisters but we’re also best friends. … I think the same goes for her as well, I hope it does anyway.
“We’ve learned so much over the past two seasons especially the mental aspect of our game. We just have so much more to learn and so much more to do in the sport. The two of us are really excited to continue.”
Team Scheidegger had a breakout campaign during the fall of 2016 winning three World Curling Tour titles in their home province. Shooting up the rankings earned them a spot in the Meridian Canadian Open at the start of 2017 with Scheidegger making her top-tier debut in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling. Scheidegger shocked the GSOC claiming her first major championship rallying from a 1-2 record and winning five consecutive games. She capped things off in stunning fashion stealing a point in the eighth end to edge Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 5-4.
Moore, who earned silver at the 2010 Winter Olympics as Team Canada’s alternate, took over for lead Stephanie Enright for the remaining couple GSOC tournaments that season. Scheidegger knew even then it would be more than just an interim fix and that didn’t change when they convened earlier this month after the Scotties Tournament of Hearts to discuss their future.
“We just felt like we had a good thing going,” Scheidegger said. “Unlike some of the other teams that have been together for the whole cycle, this was kind of our first season actually together because Kristie just joined our team for the Players’ [Championship] and Champions Cup last year. We just started feeling like we can still build on the year that we’ve had and we could potentially become a stronger team in the next four years.”
With other teams already making moves for the next cycle, Scheidegger believed now was the right time to clear the air and let it be known they were staying put as they were also receiving some inquiries.
“We just sort of felt like because everyone else was announcing it that we should probably announce it as well,” Scheidegger said. “We’re really excited and we just sort of followed along with the trend. It’s good because there are a lot of shakeups happening. We had talked to a lot of other teams as well asking if we were shaking things up and whatnot so it’s nice to have that set in stone.”
When Scheidegger was younger, she wrote in a goal book she wished to play in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts before the age of 30. Scheidegger cut it close but managed to capture her first career provincial championship just a few weeks shy of her deadline.
Although the team missed the medal round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C., it’s not all about the end goal but also the journey to get there.
“We were really, really disappointed with the finish that we had at the Scotties, me especially because I struggled in the playoffs so that was a hard lesson for me to learn,” Scheidegger said. “Maybe the two percent of things that we weren’t doing well, it’s really important for us not to focus on three games in our whole season of the past two years. Looking back just saying to ourselves we won a Grand Slam, we were rookies and that’s a pretty incredible feeling. To build on that, to go to the Scotties, which is something we’ve dreamed about for so long, was also incredible.
“It was an amazing event. The volunteers were fantastic. We had so much support out there too from not only our friends and family but people who came up to us and told us they had been watching us on the Slams and they were really excited for us and they’ll be cheering for us in the future. It was just a really cool experience for sure. We love playing on the Slam tour and we’re just really hoping that we get to continue that. We’re pumped for the season ahead.”