Alex Hemingway of Mt. Abram High School rounds the final corner during the Maine State Championship freestyle pursuit race at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington last season. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

 

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of previews of Franklin- and Kennebec-county teams in the Sun Journal’s coverage area that have decided to play this winter.

Mt. Abram Nordic coach Merit Bean has spent the past 37 years coaching the Roadrunners — and he already has an eye on next year.

Junior Alex Hemingway was state Class C champ last year and talented Emily Kidd is also back in the fold for Mt. Abram.

“We’re focusing on getting lots of skiing in and racing less this year because of the COVID-19 situation,” Bean said. “We’re building a bigger base to be ready to rock next year.

“We’re going to race less and ski more this year,” he added. “Last year, the boys were Class C runner-ups, but there are no states this year so we will focus on next year. We’re taking a long range view as we have no seniors.”

Mt. Blue Cougars

Just being out on the snow and seeing her team practice works for Mt. Blue Nordic coach Emmy Held.

“We are really just excited to be here and be together and to make the most of the season —whatever it brings,” she said.

Held said her boys team numbers have mushroomed with an influx of new faces. On the girls side, Held is impressed with the team’s strength. 

“We have more boys than we expected at the beginning of the season, and the new folks are bringing an enthusiasm that meets the energy and hard work of the returning skiers,” she said. “Our girls team is stronger than ever, have been training hard, and are wonderful training partners and motivation for each other. We have also gained a couple awesome athletes new to Nordic, who have jumped right in and are improving daily.”

Spruce Mountain Phoenix

Spruce first-year coaches Kerry Brenner and Ben Geissinger know a strong snowstorm would be a big boost to the Phoenix’s morale.

“We are hoping to be competitive in the MVC,” Brenner said. “Hopefully with more snow and practice we will have a great time developing more endurance and technical skills.

“(We’ve had) amazing community support. Randy Easter, Jeff Meserve, and Jay Lindsey have been grooming trails behind the school for ski practices,” Brenner said.

There is no girls team, but the boys team is ready to go with top sophomore skier Abrahm Geissinger. 

“This year will be a strange one due to COVID-19 related scheduling,” Brenner said. “We are just hoping to improve our personal performances and enjoy being outside in this beautiful state. Our goal is to eventually have a banner hanging in the gymnasium.”

Maranacook/Winthrop

Don’t remind Maranacook/Winthrop Nordic coach Steve DeAngelis that there is a lot going on outside the school’s building.

“We have a lot of returning skiers — that is good,” DeAngelis said. “It is not snowing, so effective training is hard. Oh yes, and there is a pandemic, so my expectations are focused on the next hour and long term is usually the next day. I figure my focus is to help my skiers have fun and improve and if we get to race on occasion, then great!”

DeAngelis said Maranacook’s team chemistry, strong captains and skiers who like to be on the slopes should keep Maranacook on course.

 

Comments are not available on this story.