Ski coaches relish championships

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(Ed. Note: Several coaches provided comments after last week’s deadline on their team’s performance at the state meet. Here’s more on what occurred on the slopes and trails)

The North Yarmouth Academy boys’ Nordic ski team repeated as Class C state champions and the girls’ scored as well. Coach Kalie Dunn had plenty of praise to go around.

“The state meet went incredibly well this year and the boys made athletic history at NYA once again,” Dunn said. “Senior Cam Regan and sophomore Ian Moore led the boys’ team both days by each taking home an individual championship. In both races, the boys placed five in the top 10, with Cam and Ian on the podium both days. I believe that there was no team more deserving of a state championship than this group of boys. They are driven, determined and focused. The group of senior boys on the team (five out of six of whom were on the state team), have been working towards this goal for the past three years. They train and push themselves hard in the offseason over the summer so that they come into the ski season fit and ready to compete. It was really wonderful to see everyone perform so well, particularly in the difficult back-to-back race schedule at the state meet this year, not to mention the difficult snow conditions ski teams dealt with this winter.

“The girls’ team also had an excellent finish of (seventh out of 12 teams), which was a great accomplishment considering the team was made up of four girls and three beginner skiers.”

In Class B (stop me if you’ve heard this before), Yarmouth’s boys and girls had no peer as they swept Nordic and the combined titles, adding a few more feathers to longtime coach Bob Morse’s cap, even though there were obstacles to overcome.

“We enjoyed the nice ride to Presque Isle and skiing on Monday at Big Rock and The Northern Heritage Nordic Center, but the girls and boys Nordic teams were hit with the flu,” Morse said. “We opened the competition with a very strong skate race by beating the boys and girls teams from Caribou by 15 points each. Jack Elder won the race over race leader Thomas Sullivan, who skied himself into exhaustion because, as we found out, he was fighting the flu.

“The final day was the classic race and one of our racers, Ihila Lesnikova, told me she was sick and could not race. I had to put in our first alternate, freshman Ellie Teare, who placed fifth. In the boys’ race, I had to use our next two alternates, Sam Alexander & Jasper Houston, to replace two sick skiers. The final day started off great with the wax for the Yarmouth girls. Great until the snow started to fall in big wet flakes. The snow started to build up on all of the girls’ skis on all of the teams. We skied strong and just held off Caribou by two points to win the state title by 17 points.

“The coaches had to scratch our game plan, scrape off the wax and rough the kick zone to make a modified ‘Harries,’ the result was a perfect race with all six skiers placing in the top 10. The girls won their 15th overall title while the boys’ team won their 13th. My thanks to Alpine head coach Bob Grout, along with assistant coach Bob Gross, who coached the small girls’ team and the young boys team to a strong second place finish at states. I also want to thank my coaches, J.B. Sullivan, Megan Toussaint and Mike Yeo for their dedication and expertise in bringing home the state Nordic titles.”

While Greely’s girls’ Alpine powerhouse wasn’t able to win another state title, it was second and had another tremendous season.

“The ladies went an entire year, going 82-0, plus another season, 62-1-2, before losing our first race, at the last race of the season, by 19 points and in so doing losing the states title by five points,” said Rangers coach Mark Ouellette. “That is crazy data. When we were receiving our second place award, I told the girls on the podium it’s time to start a new undefeated streak.

“The boys (sixth in Class A Alpine) struggled right out of the gate. We had trouble with the first and last gates in a few of the events. Our freshman boys skied quite well. Harry Crosby and Will Bryant have shown bright futures. Seniors Richard Judge and Luke Wilcox did quite well in the skimeister events and Shane Delbianco just missed all-state and all-conference awards. We graduate two and have a bunch of new skiers for next year so we should be right there again next year.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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The Yarmouth ski juggernaut celebrated more hardware last month. The Clippers swept the Class B Nordic and overall championships.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.