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Steve Vosburgh takes over Kennett cross-country ski team

SEAN DOHERTY was among the best skiers in the state as a freshman last year and will be looking to move even higher this season. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
December 13, 2010
NORTH CONWAY — For the first time in as long as just about anyone can remember, there won't be a Broomhall in charge of the Kennett cross-country ski team.

Coach Chuck Broomhall retired after last season and Steve Vosburgh has taken the reins of the Eagle skinny skiers.

Vosburgh has run a junior program in the Mount Washington Valley, based at Great Glen and Jackson Ski Touring for the last 12 years and has actually worked with some of the kids on the Kennett team in the past.

He has also coached the Gorham High School cross-country ski team for the last six years.

He's excited to be taking over for Broomhall and is thrilled about the history behind the Kennett ski program.

"I'm just going to try to maintain the momentum and maybe build some more," Vosburgh said. "It's nice to have tradition because it keeps enthusiasm high on the team and it's a positive thing for the school."

The Eagles were slated to open the season at Great Glen on Tuesday in a meet hosted by Vosburgh's former team. However, Sunday's rainy weather left that meet pretty much in doubt.

"I think it's pretty ugly looking right now," Vosburgh said on Sunday evening. "Great Glen hasn't opened yet. They got a couple of inches of snow, but then it switched to rain."

The team's second meet isn't scheduled until after the start of the new year, so the new coach is looking forward to getting things going by then.

The team has been working hard on dryland training and Vosburgh is excited about the spirit his team has shown in the early training portion of the season.

"They're really excited about things and they're working hard to get ready," he said.

The Eagles will have a good solid base to build on with a pair of sophomores who were among the best in the state last year.

Sean Doherty and Hannah Benson will be back for another run at the top of the podium at the state meet and Vosburgh is excited to have some solid young talent to lead the team.

"I've been able to work with them in the past and it's fun to see them come along and now working with them on a more day to day basis," Vosburgh said.

In addition to Doherty, the Eagles have five seniors on the boys' side to help lead the way, as well as four underclassmen.

Drew Bormann, Henney Sullivan, Pete Grzesik, Austin Bernier and Duncan Cromwell were all part of the Eagle squad last year and will be competing again this winter.

Sophomores Torin LaLiberte, Liam Fortin and Robert Schrader were also part of the team last year and will be expected to chip in this year as well. LaLiberte and Cromwell will be competing for the Skimeister title, which involves doing alpine, cross-country and ski jumping.

Freshman Tim Avery will be rounding out the team.

While the girls' team is significantly smaller than the boys' team, Vosburgh is excited to have a number of solid athletes out for the team.

Behind Benson, senior Amber McPherson, a standout alpine skier, will be competing on the cross-country side in an attempt to win the Skimeister award. Emily Leich is also expected to be in competition for that award.

Freshman Kira Wagner and Jillian Wilcox will also be on the team and expected to contribute some scoring. Wagner is also expected to be a Skimeister candidate.

"Hopefully they're building some momentum," Vosburgh said.

After the first scheduled meet (after deadline Tuesday at Great Glen), the Eagles will not be back in action until after the calendar flips to 2011. The Eagles will head to Wolfeboro for a meet hosted by Kingswood on Jan. 4. The Eagles will host meets on Jan. 14, Jan. 26 and Feb. 3 and will also host the Division II State Meet, which happens on Feb. 9. Home meets are scheduled for Whitaker Woods, conditions permitting.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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