Sports Curling

Flaxey wins first tourney of season

Anne Collins, Special to the Packet & Times

On Oct. 30, Allison Flaxey overcame curling odds to win the first Masters tournament of the season, defeating defending champion Rachel Homan 6-3 in Ottawa.

Allison's team, which includes third Clancy Grandy, second Lynn Kreviazuk and lead Morgan Court, won their first Grand Slam of Curling title.

Morgan Court's parents, Deb Gemmell and Paul Court, who reside in Orillia, couldn't have been more proud.

This win was one more achievement in the curling career of their daughter, who started locally years ago.

Morgan, now 31, first started curling in the "Little Rocks" program in Barrie when she was just seven years old. There was no curling club in Orillia at that time.

Her interest in competition was piqued when she played in a children and adults bonspiel in Barrie with her younger brother, Dylan, and her grandparents, Jim and Edith Gemmell.

When Morgan was 14, the Orillia Curling Club reopened at its present location and Morgan continued to compete with the Club in the Girls and Mixed Bantam and Junior teams.

Longtime Orillia resident Susan Swinton recalls the time when her daughter, Stacie, curled with Morgan and Katie Pringle Cottrill, who has also played for Team Flaxey.

"Morgan's dad, Paul, would drive the three girls up to Thunder Bay for a week of curling camp for a couple of summers," reports Swinton.

When Morgan completed high school in Orillia, she went to the University of Guelph to pursue a degree in education. At age 21, Morgan won her first junior provincials. Although the Guelph did not have a curling team at the time, it played host to the 2008 Canadian Interuniversity Sports competition, which was won by Morgan's team.

Playing lead for Allison Flaxey's newly-formed team in 2011, Morgan played in her first Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2012. Although the team did not qualify for the event the following year, they won in 2014, allowing the team to represent Ontario in the Scotties Tournament that year. Last fall the team won the KW World of Curling Fall Classic in Waterloo.

In order to devote more time to curling and to work on her Masters of Education, Morgan left her position as Managing Director of Education with the PGA of Canada.

"Because we live in different cities, it's often hard for the team to get together," says Morgan, "so I generally practise alone."

Morgan and the team are looking forward to playing in the Boost Grand Slam of Curling Dec. 6-10 in Sault Ste. Marie.

Friends and family of the Court family hope Team Flaxey will win their second Grand Slam title next month.

Anne Collins is a member of the Orillia Curling Club.

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