By Brady Cote
In the Springfield College Ski and Snowboard team’s very first season, six individuals punched their ticket to Nationals in Lake Placid, New York.
The Pride’s skiers, including Jack Reetz, Darby Hartman, Jackson Urtz and Bridget Mooney, were able to display their skills on the slopes at regionals. In a similar fashion, the snowboarders put on a show as their cumulative scoring in points qualified the team for nationals. The group of six that are heading to nationals includes Hunter Bernard, Josh Newell, Troy Travaglino, Stephen Pisano, Danté DiGiovanni and Connor Stanwick.
Although this was the team’s first year competing, it did not stop the group from bringing the energy as they received the Bo Bigelow award.
“He [Bigelow] actually called our president and said the Mcbrine Division would not have been what it was this year without Springfield’s team,” Newell said.
With no expectations, the team was astonished by how the season turned out not only by how well they all performed – but also by how this club sport was organized. Putting this team together was a group effort on all cylinders as it is all run by the club members.
As its season is winding down toward the end, the ski and snowboard team plan on staying active to prepare themselves for next year.
“We’re working on getting lift times weekly in the varsity weight room, even if it’s just a time for us all to get together,” Newell said.
Additionally, the team intends on getting some new equipment that they can use to continue to train off of the mountains, such as trampoline boards or even balance boards to help strengthen balance.
“By using these boards and techniques it not only makes you better at snowboarding, but it also makes your coordination so much better,” Newell continued.
As the next season comes around the team looks forward to getting some practice on the mountain before meets begin to get loose and giving recruits a chance to see what it’s like on the slopes.
In the upcoming weeks, the ski and snowboard team plans on setting up an event where anyone interested in joining the club can travel up to Mt. Snow in Vermont for a day trip.
“We plan for this event to be all-inclusive,” Newell said. “It will give those who are not a part of the team to get out there and see what we’re all about.”
To join, no prior skill is necessary as anyone of any level can get involved and learn more about the sport to practice and become better.
Looking toward the future of the program the team looks to continue its success from this season into the many years to come.
“We’ve really been working with the underclassmen to go through the responsibilities of e-board members and try our best to give them an idea on how to run things and pass it down,” Newell said.
A large part of the process, which coincides with the team’s plan, is recruiting more students to get involved. With their recent success, the team hopes that others will give it a shot and become more recognized.
“It’s a good start, and hopefully I can come back to Springfield College in 10 to 15 years and see the team become something unbelievable where it is respected as a sport,” Newell said.
Having faith in their teammates, the Springfield College Ski and Snowboard team looks to continue their success and grow larger in size for the years to come.
Photo: Springfield Ski and Snowboard Team