Ski team has high hopes in 2011
For the Fairfield co-op ski team, recent success is leading to high hopes in 2011.
The boys team is coming off of an undefeated and state championship season, and will look to duplicate that this year. The girls team finished second in Class L a year after a state championship of its own.
For head coach Gary Quiricone, the prospect of the boys team duplicating its championship feat is one that he embraces, and he is sure that his squad has its sights set on that as well, most of the team members were underclassmen a year ago, which sets up the boys side with a strong nucleus of experienced skiers.
"I think that is definitely on their minds," Quiricone said of repeating as state champion. "I think we definitely have a good shot with some of the veterans complemented by some of the younger kids."
Spearheading the group of returners is boys captain Jake Mason. Mason lifted Fairfield to the championship a year ago, and will be the team's leader and top-skier. Mason will be one of three seniors that the team has, as Greg Fisher and Peter Wyckoff will also try to provide leadership and experience.
An influx of juniors and sophomores has left the boys side young but skilled, as well. Quiricone is high on sophomores Kyle Mason, Ben Hawthorne and Hamish Ewar. Juniors Jack Zierolf, Jason Raymond and Andrew Kirkpatrick will also be able to give the team a lift this year, with the hopes of next year too.
"We saw more boys come out off of the success of the state championship," Quiricone said.
On the girls side, the team is coming off of a 9-3 year in which Quiricone admitted he was disappointed.
"We had a down year for the first time in a long time," he said.
But he believes that this year's team is the strongest he's had since the championship team of 2008. The squad will be led by senior captain and four-year skier Brook Mackno.
"She's anchoring the team," Quiricone said.
Mackno and fellow senior Kelsey O'Day will provide leadership to a young squad. The other contributors will be juniors Angie Walker and Lydia Brown. Sophomore Danielle Fisher and a pair of freshmen, Kelsey Tague and Sydney Burton, will also be thrown into the spotlight for the team.
"The freshmen on the girls side look really good," Quiricone said. "We've had an influx of girls with ski racing talent."
Quiricone believes his team has been fortunate that the younger kids on both teams embrace the leadership that his upperclassmen provide.
"We've been successful at getting the veterans to work with the younger kids from day one," Quiricone said. "It makes the transition easier when we get on snow."