Mt. Abram senior Charlie Pye races down Grey Ghost during the MVC giant slalom championship at Saddleback Mountain in Sandy River Plantation in February. Pye won the boys GS and slalom conference titles. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Athletic awards have never been a concern of Charlie Pye’s.

The Mt. Abram senior was pleased to learn that he has been named the Sun Journal All-Region Boys Alpine Skier of the Year, but accolades are not why he straps on skis and braves Maine’s cold weather.

“I never really thought about an award at all, I guess,” Pye said. “I kind of ski for fun, and I enjoy it a lot. That’s why I do it.”

Pye does it well, too. He copped top-10 finishes in the giant slalom and the slalom at the Class B boys Alpine championships in February. Pye finished 10th in slalom, coming in at 1:13.92 after two runs of competition. He moved up several notches in the giant slalom portion, finishing in fourth place at 1:26.72.

“After his first GS run at states, he told me he really needs four-tenths of a second for next run,” Mt. Abram coach Leah Danala said. “He was sitting at sixth and really wanted to be in the top five. I told him that he needed to go get it, it was all on him. So, he did.

“He gained almost a second and a half the second run. It was the third fastest time for that run, losing by only one-tenth of second to the second-place guy. Charlie ended up fourth overall for GS, and that determination is really a testament to the type of racer and athlete that he is.” 


Pye won both races at the Mountain Valley Conference championships, snatching the GS title with a time of 1:34.49 and slalom at 1:19.28.

“Racing is about finding that line where you are comfortable and then pushing it to be faster, and Charlie is really good about looking for the really clean fast turns and then pushing the line to be fast when it matters,” Danala said. “It’s fun to coach an athlete like that. He’s got a really positive attitude and a great work ethic. Those things combined make for a great teammate.”

Pye is an old farm hand when it comes to skiing, which he has been doing since he was a fourth-grader.

“I always try to stay in a positive mindset, and, like, if I felt like I didn’t do good in my race before, just focus on the next race,” Pye, who skied for Rangeley early in his high school career, said. “It is mostly about mindset and being in a positive place.” 

According to Pye, this was not his best season. He said the winter got off to a rough start and he didn’t start skiing as well as he wanted until the MVC championships.

“I had issues with my (ski) boots that was causing my pain in my feet, and my giant pond skis were broken and I was skiing on them,” he said. “And my confidence wasn’t that great. I wasn’t skiing very well for a very long time because I had a lot of gear issues. But toward the end of the season, I figured out those issues with my gear and I started to ski pretty well.”


Danala said she was confident Pye could put together a fine season for himself and the team.

“I’m not surprised that he had a great season,” she said. “He’s a great racer, he works hard, and after setting some goals this season he continually became a better racer and achieved those goals. It was great to see him do well at states, finish well at the shoot-out race and then go onto ski for the Maine Team at Eastern High School Championships. Those were well-deserved accomplishments.

“He is always skiing. He skis before a race, he skis after his race, he skis on the weekend. He is always putting in the work and looking for ways to better himself.”

Pye said he is proud of the Mt. Abram Alpine team, which placed seventh at the state championships and won the MVC title, for several reasons.

“We have such a great camaraderie as a team. We are all basically one tiny little family. The trip to Fort Kent was so much fun,” he said, referring to the Class B state championships. “We all love being around each other. I am just really grateful for the team, my coach and especially … Saddleback (Mountain). I am also very thankful for my parents’ and sister’s support for my racing.”

Pye also plays soccer for the Roadrunners, and he said both sports are his favorite.

He plans on attending college and perhaps majoring in biochemistry, but he hasn’t yet decided where to go. He does, however, hope to continue competing in one or both of his favorite sports.

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