Manitoba curling legend Cathy Overton-Clapham has come out of semi-retirement, agreeing to curl third next season for Calgary’s Crystal Webster.
Overton-Clapham will replace former Webster third Erin Carmody on the squad. Carmody, a former PEI women’s champion, has left the team.
Overton-Clapham told the Free Press Wednesday afternoon that Webster contacted her with the opening about two weeks ago and she had to think hard about whether to accept it or not.
"I took a few days to think about it, for sure," said Overton-Clapham, a five-time Canadian women’s champion from Winnipeg. "But I looked at it as a really good opportunity. I’m going to get a chance to play again at a position I really love and have a passion for. And they also have a Pre-Trials spot and that’s also intriguing."
A Pre-Trials competition next November will determine the final two women’s and men’s teams in next December’s Canadian Curling Trials at MTS Centre, where Canada’s men’s and women’s curling representatives for Sochi will be determined.
Overton-Clapham announced a couple months ago that she was planning to "step away from the game" for awhile after what was a disappointing 2012-13 season for the team she’d been skipping the last couple seasons.
Overton-Clapham said she is planning a short-term move to Calgary this fall so that she can practice with the Webster team. She said if the team does not advance to the Trials and win it, they intend to curl together in the Alberta women’s playdowns next January, which would require her to at least nominally take up Alberta residency.
That would create the possibility of the almost unthinkable spectacle of Overton-Clapham -- the winningest women’s curler in Manitoba history -- wearing an Alberta jacket at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts next winter.
So what would that be like, Overton-Clapham was asked.
"Hoo-boy, I haven’t thought far ahead yet," Overton-Clapham laughed.