The St. Luke’s Ski team is looking forward to another fun season on the slopes. A number of last year’s squad returned this winter.
With Mother Nature taking her time to provide the kind of weather needed for optimal skiing conditions, the Storm team has spent much of preseason on dry land. Head Coach Chris Phelps, while frustrated by the lack of time on the mountain, is pleased with the effort his team has put in: “The kids have worked really hard during preseason and we have really mixed things up. We have done a number of workouts with Dave Havens, which has been great, as well as a lot of short-burst activities. You are only on the slopes for a very short length of time so you have be able to give 100% effort for that 30 seconds to a minute.”
The team finally got to spend some time on the mountain on Tuesday, January 2 and Phelps was excited by what he saw: “With the talent we have this year I expect us to have a strong season. We have 13 skiers, which is exciting, and I would love to have two from both the boys and girls side make the state team.”
Andrew Kurth ‘18 will captain the Storm and Phelps is already impressed with the senior’s leadership qualities: “Andrew has really stepped up in terms of his leadership. He has been cheering on the other skiers, organizing practices and really embracing his captain’s role. I fully expect him make states this year after narrowly missing out last time. He has a nice, relaxed attitude and is in really good shape.”
Another member of the team looking to make states again is Pheobe Kurth ‘20, who enjoyed a stellar season in 2017: “I would like Phoebe to repeat what she did last year” Phelps said. “She’s stronger and seems more relaxed so I see her being even more of a force. She has also taken on more of a leadership role. She has become more vocal which I am really pleased to see.”
The St. Luke’s Ski team also welcomes some new faces to the squad with a number of eighth graders enthusing the head coach: “Ellie Lyon is a good, aggressive skier. She’s tough, compact and really takes a tight line. She knows what her body is doing when she races and she always wants to do well. On the boys side, we have Trey Kolitides and Cal Stewart. Cal loves all kinds of skiing but you put him out there and he just goes for it. Trey is new to racing but he has put his heart into and I think he is going to have a lot of fun.”
Phelps, who is in his tenth year at the helm, welcomes back assistant coach Brinley Ehlers for her second year and has added Carrie Meatto to his coaching staff: “Carrie is going to help us out on the mountain one day a week and then be with us on dry land every day. She is really enthusiastic and brings a wonderful energy to the team.”
The St. Luke’s ski team’s first race on Thursday, January 4 was rescheduled due to Winter Storm Grayson. The next race is scheduled for Thursday, January 11 at Mount Southington at 4:40pm.