Ski team slides into winter season
By Arden Y.
The Duxbury High School ski team has been training hard this season.
For those who don’t know, DHS is home to two ski teams. There is a boy’s team and a girl’s team, but they practice together under the same coach.
Duxbury High School gym teacher Mr. Johnson is the current coach of the ski team. He’s been coaching the team for four years.
Mr. Johnson became the coach after the previous one, Abby Nolan, retired. “I’ve skied my whole life and had a background knowledge of skiing, so I stepped up,” said Mr. Johnson. “I really enjoy it.”
The team was created by Abby ten years ago when she attended Duxbury High School. Her father was the original coach.
The team meets three times a week at Blue Hills near Boston. Two of those days are normal practices and the other day is a competitive race. The team usually meets after school around 5 o’clock, but the buses leave for Blue Hills at 3:45.
The captains of the teams are senior Izzy M, senior Lily W, and sophomore Tate A.
Izzy has been skiing since she was nine on a club team in New Hampshire. She always wanted to race on a high school team.
“I joined the ski team because I love skiing,” said Izzy, “getting the opportunity to train and race during the school week was something that I always wanted to do because it gave me both a fun and competitive setting to further my ski career.”
Lily has been on the team for three years. This is her first year as a captain.
“I joined because I’ve been skiing since I was four and racing since I was 10,” said Lily. “[The ski team] was a great group, and I’m doing something I love. I get to ski everyday which is awesome, being outside clears the stress of school.”
Many schools in the area have ski teams. The local teams are mainly in the Ski League East. However, because many of the Duxbury ski team members ski on club teams as well, the high school team is in the Mass Bay ski league. They still compete against other schools, but on weekdays.
Due to the warmer weather this year, there hasn’t been much snow to practice on. The team also tends to get less recognition than other high school sports. However, that does not stop the ski team.
“It is not easy to race in the courses we have set for us let alone in the bad snow conditions, so I give so much credit to all the Duxbury skiers who do so,” said Izzy. “Skiing during the school week is as fun as it sounds, however there is a competitive side that makes it a challenge and does go unnoticed sometimes.”
Even though there is a big population of skiers in Duxbury, (the ski team has 30 members), the ski season is shorter than most sports. It starts after winter break and the schedule changes according to conditions.
“It’s not local here because you’re not practicing down the street,” Mr. Johnson said, comparing skiing to other sports such as football, where practices are held on the training field right across from DHS.
However, the ski team is just like any other sports team. Their passion, teamwork, and love of the sport has united them.
“The team dynamic is my favorite aspect of the team,” said Izzy, “no matter your grade, gender, or ski ability, we come together as one team. Everyone on our team supports one another so it’s great having such a huge support system.”
Mr. Johnson agrees with Izzy that a team bond is important.
“They all become friends,” he said, “its a solid group, and the kids have a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work to get gear, get to the mountain, and get going, but there’s no bad day on the ski slopes.”
Photo credit: Mr. Johnson