By Halsey Copp

Poland Regional High School

If you didn’t already know Mr. Derek Pierce, our own high school principal, has been featured in some prestigious places of news, like National Public Radio, local news, Boston Globe, and last but certainly not least Sports Illustrated. So at this point you must be wondering: why he made the news? Well, it’s certainly not because of his high intellect, or handsome good looks, but because of his out-of-school profession and passion for the great sport of tobogganing.

Every year in February Pierce heads up to Camden, Maine to take part in the Snow Bowl with a group of up to 25 friends who make up the tobogganing team. Some as far away as Washington D.C. come to participate on the team. The team’s name: “Team Wurst.” That name rightfully fits the team because the best finish they have ever had was 10th. But to Team Wurst it’s OK because they “take pride in their failures,” striving not to win but to have fun. One time they did so horribly they had a time of 62 seconds (times around 9 seconds are normal), having to drag themselves across the finish line. “We aren’t there to win though,” says Pierce. “It’s the happiest, silliest weekend of the year.” Pierce has been heading up to the bowl for around ten years now, making it almost an independent holiday.

When asked about what his family thinks of his profession, he replied, “at this point in time I’ve suckered most of the family into the race, in hopes that one day my daughters will live up to my horrible reputation.” One of the reasons his daughters might choose to stay away from Team Wurst could be the fact that every year they dress up with hot-dogs all over them. The Snow Bowl has now turned into a giant costume party, with teams dressing up for example as political leaders, nuns, and the occasional gorilla. But not all teams are as prestigious as Pierce’s team. Team Wurst has three sponsors who supply them with food. Jordan Meats supplies them with about 300 hot-dogs that they eat, serve, and wear. B+M Baked Beans and Morse’s sauerkraut also sponsor Team Wurst.

So next time if you are wondering about something that you can be doing in the snowy month of February, you should think hard about giving our own principal a call and see if there are any toboggan seats available on Team Wurst. Because by the sounds of it, Pierce is no stranger to the Snow Bowl or having fun for that matter.


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