With the winter season finally here, the mix of skiers from Seaholm and Groves, making up the Birmingham Unified Ski Team (BU Ski Team), is taking back the slopes to compete for their second division title.
After being division champions a year ago, BU Ski Team is looking to stick to what has helped them succeed in past years.
“What has helped us be successful in the past is having the team perform as a unit,” Captain Tucker Pfaff said. “When all of us focus on skiing for the team and not for ourselves, we always end up performing at a high level.”
According to other members of the team, team unity wasn’t the only key to success.
“We need to stick to what we’ve been doing, having a lot of fun,” Third year varsity skier Cole Norton said. “Yes, we work hard with training. Yes, we bear the cold. Yes, we practice technique, but above all, we have just a lot of fun, and that is really what sets us apart on the hill.”
With the classic Seaholm versus Groves rivalry creating competitive divides between students, it hasn’t stopped the ski team from getting along just fine.
“My favorite part is how much bonding there is,” junior captain Analise Osgood said. “We have long bus rides so we are all really close and get along really well.”
According to the team, there are some things that the team is going to need to overcome to add to their strengths to make this season special.
“A major strength of our team is that we have a lot of raw talent,” junior captain Mitchell Moore said. “One of our main weaknesses though, is not having enough teamwork yet to translate that into wins.”
Although only two of the four captains are seniors, the other two junior captains are pulling their weight just the same.
“The captains organize just about everything,” Norton said. “They really are the ones keeping our team together.”
The captains have also been able to shed some of their skiing knowledge to the rest of the somewhat less experienced skiers.
“I think the biggest thing in ski racing is the mental aspect,” Pfaff said. “I hope I have been able to teach the younger kids a little bit about how to approach a race and a race course by preparing themselves as best they can.”
The teamwork has developed since years past, and this enables a support system for members on the slopes.
“It’s nice being able to help the kids who are new to the team and explain to them how the races work and how to improve their skiing,” Osgood said.
The BU Ski Team seems to be clear on what all the hard work that they exerted in the offseason, as well as the work they are putting in right now.
“Our season goal is to win divisionals and to qualify for states, we also want to become a more cohesive team.” Mitchell Moore said.
After a successful start to this ski season, the BU Ski Team will look to continue their success in their next race, Thursday February 4th, at Mt. Brighton.
By: Liam Neel