FHC ski team looks forward to a promising season

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FHC ski team looks forward to a promising season

After a successful 2018 season, the FHC ski team is looking for a repeat as it heads into the new 2019 season. For senior Noah Stout, this new season is his chance to finish what he started after suffering an injury that put him out for part of the season.

“Last year’s season ended a little abruptly after a shoulder injury during competition,” Noah said. “Before the injury, I was skiing very well and had been finishing higher on the podium than I had in earlier years.”

Last season the girls team won the Greater Grand Rapids High School Ski Conference, and the Lady Rangers also were able to clinch the Division 2 Region 5 Championship. The boys team did not have victories like the girls but was still successful overall.

There were several key team members that graduated last year that had an important role in many of the team’s victories. With the gap of leadership to fill, the team’s head coach, Thomas Sabin, has complete faith in many of the returning skiers.

“The team has some really good talent from the seniors and the juniors this year,” Noah said. “We did lose two great seniors last year, but we are already stepping up as a team and hope to have help from a few underclassmen.”

Alongside Noah in the leadership role will be seniors Kayley Reynolds, Courtney McAlindon, and Nathan Jenkins. They too have already begun to take this leadership role seriously.

“Kayley and Courtney are both the returning captains for the girls team; they have each grown as leaders from last season and are looking to end their high school ski careers on a high note,” Sabin said. “The guys team will be led by Noah Stout, a second-year captain, and Nathan Jenkins. Noah and Nathan have both done a great job of leading many of the younger guys on the team already.”

Courtney will be ending her senior season skiing alongside her sister, sophomore Abby McAlindon. These two both ski year-round, and in last year’s season, they both contributed to the team immensely in every race. During the State races last year, Courtney was able to clinch first place in the Giant Slalom races, and Abby took twentieth in the Giant Slalom and fifteenth in the Slalom.

“I love skiing with my sister, and although we are competitive, we only want what’s best for each other,” Abby said. “I will definitely miss skiing with her next year, but she is one of the greatest role models I could have asked for.”

Heading into this season the Rangers’ biggest competitors will continue to be Forest Hills Northern/Eastern and East Grand Rapids. These two teams gave the Rangers the most trouble last year, but FHC was still able to beat the opponents in every race; the Rangers are looking for the same results this year.

Even though last year’s ski conditions weren’t great, the team was still able to pull through in the end. The weather for this season hasn’t been any better so far; there is no snow falling, which makes it difficult to find a good time to practice on the slopes. Regardless of the conditions, the team is ready for the season ahead and has been preparing in any way possible to ensure a great year.

“Things are trending up for FHC ski,” Noah said. “With a large roster and the great coaches, I think we’ll find a lot of success and pick up several victories.”

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