By Nolan Sanders
When I have told people I am on the ski team, many have asked, “There’s a ski team at our school?” Personally, when I joined the team, I was under the impression that it was somewhat of a joke, and this is still a stigma that the ski team at Byram Hills faces. However, over the last few years, the talent on the ski team has grown. Senior captain Emma Fruhling says, “When I joined the ski team as a freshman, the team was a total joke, and now the team is seriously competing within our section.” Recently, more people who ski competitively outside of school in USSA (US Ski Association) races are choosing to participate on our school ski team. In fact, five of the kids currently on the team, including myself, have experience skiing competitively for another mountain. Today, Byram Hills is competing with the best ski teams in the section, which is certainly an impressive feat.
In December, the beginning of the season, the team goes to the weight room 3 or 4 times a week to train. In this part of the season, the team develops friendships and generally works hard to get ready for the season. A very unique part of the ski team is that it is co-ed, and only a couple of other teams in the entire school are co-ed. The team of 18 student athletes travels to Thunder Ridge Mountain in Patterson, New York multiple times a week after winter break, when it is cold enough to make snow at the mountain. As of now Thunder Ridge does not have one inch of natural snow, and it is a miracle the mountain is even open. In my experience, most times we go to the mountain to race rather than ski, because rain and warm weather commonly prevents the team from practicing when it is convenient for us. At times, the schedule can be difficult because you always have to be prepared to have a race and get home at 8:00. Senior captain Michael Rosenstein elaborates, “Over my four years on the ski team, getting home so late, especially when I have a test the next day can be difficult, but when I manage my time well, it isn’t a problem. In addition, I have even done some homework on the bus rides to and from the mountain if I have a lot of work.”
Over the past two years, the ski team has also gotten a new head coach, Andrea Nash, who has helped develop the team. Coach Nash says about her experiences being the coach, “The past two years coaching the BH Ski Team has been an absolute pleasure. Each member of the team has helped us to make a cohesive unit, and it is amazing to see the camaraderie this team has created with each other. Whether it be at the top of the race course cheering each other on, or supporting a teammate after a bad race this team has grown to be competitors on and off the hill.” Coach Nash highlights how many of the kids who are not racers and just love to ski are a vital part of the team. The number one racer on the team, Ben Gordon, sums up the goals of our season perfectly by saying, “This year our team’s goal is to get a sectional banner, and to do this everyone on the team has to step up.”