Win­ners in the house

Kar­lee Burgess looks to fol­low her dad and win na­tional ti­tle in Saskatchewan

Truro Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOEY SMITH

Kar­lee Burgess and team will be seek­ing an­other na­tional ju­nior curl­ing ti­tle in Prince Al­bert, Sask. – where fa­ther Craig was a win­ner in 1987.

This year’s Cana­dian ju­nior women’s curl­ing cham­pi­onship holds spe­cial mean­ing for Kar­lee Burgess.

Kar­lee, the most dec­o­rated ju­nior curler in Nova Sco­tia, will at­tend her sixth straight na­tional U21 cham­pi­onship Jan. 19 to 27 in Prince Al­bert, Sask.

The last time Prince Al­bert hosted a na­tional ju­nior com­pe­ti­tion was in 1987, when Kar­lee’s fa­ther Craig won the Cana­dian men’s ti­tle throw­ing se­cond for Jim Sul­li­van’s rink out of Fred­er­ic­ton, N.B.

“It will bring a lot of good mem­o­ries back for my dad and hope­fully we can cap it o with a good week there,” said Kar­lee, 20, from Hilden. “It will be pretty emo­tional for my dad and I.”

Kar­lee throws se­cond stones for the reign­ing na­tional and world cham­pion Kait­lyn Jones rink out of Hal­i­fax. Lau­ren Le­nen­tine is the team’s third, while Kar­lee’s younger cousin Lind­sey Burgess throws lead stones. e foursome earned its spot at na­tion­als af­ter win­ning provin­cials in late De­cem­ber in Hal­i­fax.

“Out of all the ju­niors – and there’s been some won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties she’s had, and we’ve had some won­der­ful trips – it’s sort of some­thing spe­cial when she’s go­ing to the place where I played and won,” said Craig, who was named all-star se­cond at the 1987 ju­nior event.

“I al­ways had it in the back of my mind that I wanted her to go be­cause it meant a lot to me to go back to Prince Al­bert.”

Craig and his fam­ily have trav­elled the world to sup­port Kar­lee and have been to such far-off coun­tries as Den­mark, Scot­land, Nor­way and South Ko­rea. Craig said he has en­joyed ev­ery minute, but ad­mits watch­ing from the side­lines can be stress­ful at times.

“I treat my­self a lit­tle bit di er- ent; I’m not one to sit and talk a lot and I don’t do a lot of pac­ing, but I do get ner­vous,” he said. “Any­time your kid’s com­pet­ing you do get ner­vous as a par­ent no mat­ter how many times you go. I would much rather be play­ing in the nal game than sit­ting watch­ing your kids go through that.”

e Jones foursome will have plenty of sup­port at the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, as par­ents of all play­ers plan on head­ing west, along with Kar­lee’s and Lind­sey’s grand­par­ents, Jim and Judy Burgess of Truro.

“All of them just be­ing there makes the ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Kar­lee, a third-year Dal­housie Univer­sity stu­dent.

As a vet­eran curler who has en­joyed suc­cess at the high­est lev­els, Craig can re­late to the pres­sures and ex­pec­ta­tions that face Kar­lee.

He won the world ju­nior cham­pi­onship with Sul­li­van in 1988 in West Ger­many, and also com­peted in four Cana­dian men’s Brier cham­pi­onships with a pair of run­ner-up nishes (1990, 2005) to his credit.

In­deed, his wealth of knowl­edge and in­sight for the game is valu­able in the Burgess house­hold, how­ever, sim­ply be­ing a sound­ing board for his daugh­ter is equally im­por­tant, he said.

“She still asks some ques­tions and we still have a chit-chat, but … I think she gets a lot of sup­port from us just be­ing there and hav­ing that, ‘good luck’ be­fore the game, or hug af­ter the game, or high ve, or just a brief talk about how she played. And she likes to vent a lit­tle bit to us, which is good, you need to have that.

“But it’s al­ways good to know that she’s open and will­ing to talk about any­thing to you about the sport. And she knows her fam­ily is very sup­port­ive of what she’s do­ing.”

JOEY SMITH/TRURO NEWS

Kar­lee Burgess says her dad, Craig, has been a ma­jor in uence dur­ing her com­pet­i­tive ju­nior curl­ing ca­reer. Kar­lee hopes to fol­low in her fa­ther’s foot­steps and win a na­tional ti­tle in Prince Al­bert, Sask., the same city where he won a Cana­dian ju­nior cham­pi­onship in 1987.

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