FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham High Alpine Ski team is set to start its sixth season tonight, January 10, at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury.
The season opener will begin at 7 p.m. The course will be a giant slalom which the team is ready for, said head coach Ronnie Sue Bower.
Last week, all 27 racers had the opportunity to train on snow at a giant slalom practice course at Ski Ward, said the coach.
The team has grown to 27 racers and a team manager.
“I am so excited to see so many skiers coming out for the ski team, says Bower. There is a lot of energy,” said Bower. “Also joining the team this year is assistant coach Brian Parnell, who has both racing and coaching experience.”
With 16 boys and 12 girls, Framingham High can now provide two full teams to compete in the Mass. Bay Ski League East, said coach Bower.
She is hopeful the team will score points and place higher than other Bay State teams.
Participating teams are: Brookline, Dover/Sherborn, Framingham, Marblehead, Milton, Newton North, Easton, Ursuline Academy, Lexington/Waltham, Wellesley, Westwood, and Xaverian.
Senior Ben Fortin and junior Andrew Keane will lead the Flyers. Last year, both boys scored points, every time they raced.
“Last year, Ben Fortin just missed qualifying for states. Ben always turns out to have two successful races at Ski Ward. Ben can do extremely well tomorrow night if he is strong out of the start gate and pushes through the first three gates,” said Bower.
“Andrew has not had the same success at Ski Ward but this year I expect that he will do well as he has grown and is a lot stronger going into this season,”said Bower.
“We are a young and inexperienced team but the team has been practicing hard and they are very focused during practice soaking up all of the information they need to ski fast. I am expecting personal bests for many of the racers,” said Bower.
There are six seniors on the team this year. They are Fortin, Maddy Klein, Casey Libuda, James McIntire, and Celia Warren.
There are 10 juniors – Connor Andrews, Marissa Drapeau, Liam Fahy, Aiden Fernando, Myra Grossman, Maya Kawakami, Kirstine Klausen, Ben Pollak, Will Stelmach, and Keane.
There are five sophomores. They are Katie Knox, Jacquelyn Luria, Jack Mooney, Yanisa Panyasai, and Citli Valencia Cordova
Rounding out the alpine ski team is seven freshmen – Leland Bastow, Jordan Book, Maxim Epstein, Qwynn Kobertz, Calvin Poole, David Singh, and Henry Warren.
After tonight’s race,, the Flyers will compete on Thursday, January 17th at Blue Hills in Milton.