Ski team gets out on the hills, prepares for start of 2019 season
Grayling High School’s varsity boys and girls ski teams got on the hills for practice last week, and they will open their 2019 seasons with meets this week.
Coach Brad Wagner said the first day of downhill practice – Wednesday, January 2 – “went really well.”
Coach Wagner said the team got the “rust out” on day one with regard to gear preparation and “regaining good feeling on skis.”
“It was good,” he said.
The program’s overall numbers are “a little down” this year with 13 total skiers, Coach Wagner said.
“Five girls, eight dudes,” he said.
At meets, each squad has six skiers that compete in giant slalom and six who compete in slalom, and the top four scores count toward the team score for the event. Often, the same six skiers compete in both events at meets, but not always.
For Grayling’s girls, Coach Wagner said the low numbers mean that there will be “a lot of pressure to not make mistakes.”
“They’re going to have to live at the red line but keep it out of the ditch,” Coach Wagner said.
The good news for the girls? They have experienced skiers returning for the 2019 campaign.
“Nicole (Oppermann), CeCe (Cvitkovich), this is not their first rodeo. (Ellie) Wagner is a pretty good number three,” Coach Wagner said.
This year’s group of boys is an inexperienced one overall with regard to varsity skiing. Coach Wagner said the inexperience could serve as a positive because the coaching staff will have the opportunity to teach them from the beginning.
“Our boys are young. We get to help guide their journey,” Coach Wagner said.
The focus of the early practice sessions? Fundamentals. Working on the basics.
“The focus is always fundamentals, just making sure we’re doing things fundamentally correct. We’re just worried about having a solid foundation to go into the season with,” Coach Wagner said.
The varsity boys and girls ski teams will compete in a meet at Boyne Mountain on Thursday, January 10.