Even though forecasts predict poor snow quality this season, the forecast is promising for the ski and snowboard team.
Although the season has barely begun, with the first meet on Jan. 15 at Boreal, the team has already had its first double race.
This year the team has four days of double races, which coach Jason Kreps said “offer more opportunities for racing and maximizing our time on the slopes.”
Three male skiers – team captain junior Luca Procida, junior Nate Jakobs and freshman Colin Usrey – will ski for the league team award. Because three people are required to race as a team, everyone else will be racing individually.
Losing Aidan Cunningham, ’17, and former team captain Daniel Hernried, ’17, will affect the team’s energy, according to Procida.
“We will lose some of the enthusiasm that they brought to the team,” Procida said, “as well as the team environment and camaraderie.”
Procida, who earned eighth place in last year’s California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation State Championships, said that racing will be more enjoyable since he has gotten to know racers from other teams.
Although the team lost two strong seniors, Kreps said that there are several prospective skiers and snowboarders: Usrey, Jakobs, freshman Ming Zhu and sophomores Sandor Pelle and Bri Davies.
And most of the recruits aren’t beginners.
Usrey, who said he began skiing around age 3, has skied for Northstar California’s U14 team.
And while Davies and Jakobs have never been on racing teams before, Davies said her mother, who grew up skiing in Vermont, raised her skiing. And Jakobs said he has skied for about eight years.
However, the team is also welcoming beginning racers.
Zhu, who started snowboarding in fifth grade, said he’s an intermediate recreational snowboarder but has never raced competitively.
In the end, the team’s greatest difficulty may prove to be the snow, Davies and Kreps said.
“I know we will be able to race, as (the resorts) make (artificial) snow,” Kreps said. “But better coverage and base really go a long way in making the sport more enjoyable.”
—By Larkin Barnard-Bahn