JAKE REMICK is back as one of the many experienced seniors for the Kennett alpine team. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 16, 2013NORTH CONWAY — There might be a bit of bad news for the rest of the Division II alpine world.
The Kennett alpine team, already one of the most talented teams in the state, has been out on snow as early as coach Laurel Zengilowski can remember. The team hit the white stuff at Cranmore on Monday, Dec. 16.
"This is probably the earliest we've been on snow and with the way the calendar work out this season, one of the shortest drylands we've ever had," Zengilowski stated. "Something the kids are super psyched about."
And while cold temperatures and snow are enough to get any ski coach excited, Zengilowski also has other reasons to be excited.
"I think what makes me the most excited for this season is the fantastic group of seniors I have on my team," she said. "These kids are honestly the heart of this team."
She noted that they are all great leaders and are committed to what makes the team great, passionate about skiing and understand the importance of the team component of high school skiing.
"And truly one of the nicest groups of kids I've ever had the pleasure of working with, both academically and athletically," Zengilowski stated.
The seniors on the team include Kasey Connifey, Keara Wagner, Annabella Canter and Gillian Wilcox for the girls and Jake Remick, Lucas Tinkham, Danny MacDonald, Grant Meserve, Tyler Eldridge, Cal Bennett, Kieffer Bradley and Mike Knorpp for the boys.
"I really can not stress enough how phenomenal this group of kids is," Zengilowski said. "They are really the epitome of what you want in your senior class."
Those seniors were instrumental in helping the Eagles to the Division II championships last season, winning both titles by large margins. The margins showed Kennett's talent and depth, with often five or six skiers in the top 10.
The senior boys will be joined by strong juniors Danny Nash and Adam Wright as well as a solid group of younger athletes, all looking to earn another title.
"If they work as hard as they are capable of and ski as the team that we are, that will be an easy accomplishment for them," Zengilowski said.
Brooke Lemerise, Maddie Glavin and Emma Niiler will be key returning underclasmmen athletes for the Eagles, while Nora Miller, Sarah Smith and Maggie Rockett will also be expected to chip in.
"The girls will have an opportunity this year to be as successful as last," Zengilowski said, noting the team would also miss the consistency of graduated senior Elyse Clancy. "Consistent results win state championships and I have full confidence in this group of girls."
The Eagles will once again kick off the season with the traditional pre-Christmas meet at King Pine Ski Area in Madison today, Dec. 19, with Kingswood playing the role of host for a 9:30 a.m. start time.
"King Pine has been so accommodating in the early season, allowing us to hold this race every year," Zengilowski said.
The Eagles will be at home at Cranmore Mountain Resort on Jan. 10, Jan. 17 and Feb. 7 and for the first time in a number of years, the Eagles won't be hosting a state meet, as the boys will ski at Waterville Valley and the girls will ski at Crotched Mountain.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.