The ski and snowboard teams, while in very different sports, strive to have fun on the mountain. The teams aim to be inclusive, progress athletes in their sport, and have a good time competing.
Snowboard coach J.D. Elliot wants athletes to find individual value in the sport. “There is nothing set in stone about what progress must look like or what achievements must be made. It really just comes down to having fun and progressing each rider to the level they want to be at in the sport.”
The halfpipe competition is especially valuable in expanding the skills of the athletes who choose to participate. This being said, the competition is not mandatory.
“Not every rider wants to compete in the halfpipe, but learning the basic skills will take their riding so much further. Competing can be a lot of fun and so we encourage everyone to at least try it and see what it’s like,” Elliot said.
This season, the team is taking a trip to Hoodoo in February and to Mt. Hood Meadows in March for the multi-day state championships. Ultimately, the snowboard team has fun on the snow, working together to expand their skills.
“When we come together to compete, the whole team is awesome with support and pushing each other. Even though it is an individual sport, it is great to see all the team spirit on competition days,” Elliot said.
As for the ski team, competition is a larger aspect. Similar to cross country or track, skiing is an individual sport, but combines individual times to gather a team score.
“There is a team score that consists of the three fastest times pulled from a total of six varsity racers. Something different from other sports is that this can actually end up being the most challenging aspect,” senior Brekkan Richardson said.
The team is hoping to participate in the statewide Kelsey Hewitt Memorial race, as well as qualify for state, a major goal for the team this year.
“The boys team has qualified every year for at least the last nine years as far as I can remember, the girls have had a bit more of a struggle with our streak being broken in 2020,” Richardson said.
The team culture is a strong aspect of what makes skiing enjoyable for its members. “It really just feels like one big family. Going up and skiing together three times a week leads to some pretty late nights and early mornings all spent together. Our coach, Josh Kanable, always encourages us to have fun with our sport,” Richardson said.