High above the curling sheets in the last row of seats at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., you’ll find Craig Homan and Art Miskew sitting right beside one another. The two are the fathers of Ontario skip Rachel Homan and third Emma Miskew.
“Rachel and Emma met each other when they were four or five,” said Craig. “And so they have played with and against each other for 23 years. It’s like one big family.”
For as long as Rachel and Emma have curled together, the dads have sat together, agonizingly dissecting and discussing every shot.
“To be [at the Scotties], for Craig and I, our fifth time in seven years since the girls have been out of juniors is almost hard to believe,” said Art.
It has been a remarkable run for the team from the Ottawa Curling Club. According to the World Curling Tour rankings, they are No. 1 in the world. They’re undefeated so far at this year’s Scotties and favourites to win.
The fearsome foursome — made up of Homan, Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Liesa Weagle — won back-to-back Scotties titles in 2013 and 2014.
After losing in the provincial playdowns last year, the team is back at the Canadian women’s championship in St. Catharines this week.
“We couldn’t do it without them and we wouldn’t be here without them,” Emma said of the dads, who couldn’t be happier to be back.
“There was so much pressure leading up to this,” said Art. “Our girls were expected to be here. It was a great relief to get here.”
Hockey vs. curling
Being a skip and being a goalie carries a lot of weight. They are both high-profile spots in their respective sports.
Craig Homan is the father to both.
“I find curling more difficult to watch than when my son played hockey,” said Craig. “He was a junior goalie in Ottawa.”
There have been a lot of tense times in the stands over the years.
“This is different,” said Craig. “This…