Scott Berube is in his third year of leading the Edward Little Alpine ski teams, and the roster numbers have grown each winter.

This year’s Edward Little roster includes nine girls and 14 boys — as well as two girls from Leavitt, who train with the Red Eddies — the greatest number of skiers in recent history.

Berube is a former Alpine skier himself, training at Lost Valley in high school before becoming a Junior Olympian and walking on to the Alpine team at Plymouth State University.

“This season’s been super, because we have a really good batch of young kids coming up and we have some real good veterans with lots of experience,” Berube said. “Those two elements really help to help strengthen our team and give us a little bit more depth for success in the races.”

Senior captain Evan O’Donnell credited the Auburn Middle School Alpine ski team as a natural outlet to the high school team, as the middle school program is seeing “exponential growth.”

The Edward Little boys are the reigning KVAC champions. O’Donnell, a senior, said he hopes the Red Eddies can finish first not just in the conference but also at the Class A state championships.


“We had a really strong team (last year), but all of us, me included, had a lot of crashes during states,” O’Donnell said. “Luckily Calvin (Vincent) did great, finished both races, but the rest of us didn’t quite do our jobs as well as we could have. It was a little bit tough, but we’re hoping to do better this year.”

The start of Edward Little’s season included a few obstacles, the weather taking its toll both in lack of snowfall and subsequent canceled practices and meets from too much snowfall. The Red Eddies — and Mother Nature — have finally found their pace and are able to train for the conclusion of the 2023-24 racing season.

“We’ve faced a lot of obstacles up to this point, with canceled races and rescheduled ones, but the administration has been really supportive, and the parents have been flexible,” Berube said. “And now I feel like we’re just all coming together at a good point in time in the year, just ahead of the conference championship and the states.”

Results wise, Berube said the team has been “doing OK,” at races, taking home a couple of wins as well as second- and third-place finishes.

Senior captain Ethan Levesque said the Eddies had a strong slalom race at Pleasant Mountain, where the boys just “absolutely dominated by about 20 points.” He also said there have been a couple Black Mountain and Lost Valley Slalom races that the team “took by storm.”

According to Berube, the two teams to beat are Falmouth and Freeport, and the Red Eddies are aiming to compete with both.


“I think we’re in a good position to give them a good talent,” Berube said.


Most recently, the boys team won the giant slalom race Wednesday at Saddleback Mountain. Levesque led the way with a second-place overall finish, while Brayden Bashaw and Carter Hill took fifth and sixth, respectively.

“The girls had a tough day,” Berube said, but Leavitt skier Sophie Simard placed ninth and Edward Little’s Maddie Ranger placed 15th.

Bashaw said the team has more depth this season than they have in recent seasons, and this is a benefit when it comes to races but makes the fight to land in one of the top four point scoring spots uber-competitive.

“That was something I was kind of wondering about during the season … where everyone was going to stand,” Bashaw said. “I think we’ve worked through the order now, and we have a good idea where people are. Everyone, all 22 kids, obviously can do well.”


The team’s competitive drive is something Berube admires this year in particular.

“I think they’re really competitive, and they really get along with each other and help support each other,” Berube said. “There’s a lot of kindness, competitiveness and good energy.”

Levesque said he loves how strong the team is this season and credited the five freshman boys for bringing new energy and life to the team.

“The team is phenomenal,” Levesque said. “We’ve had, I believe five freshmen boys come up, and they’re amazing. Our team is so deep and people are so deep in skill and talent.”

Simard, a junior at Leavitt, said the team competition is never mean-spirited, and is “just you supporting everyone else while trying to get yourself to the top six so you can make a space, but while rooting for your friends.”

As one of three senior captains, Levesque said the mentoring aspect that comes with seniority is “wonderful.”


“I love it, I love sharing my experiences and my thoughts with them,” Levesque said. “As far as I’m concerned, they love listening to me. I’m a good-cop kind of guy, until they really need to hear it, and then I’ll give them a good wake-up call, that’s for sure.”

Despite the challenging weather conditions at the start of racing season, O’Donnell said Lost Valley’s snowmaking capability has been crucial for allowing the Red Eddies to get on the hill for practices.

At Tuesday’s practice, despite the big snowfall Sunday evening, many skiers commented to Berube about how hard and icy the hill was, which he said forms “cookies,” or hard balls of snow the size of marbles.

Each practice begins with at least 30 minutes of course surveillance, warmups, track setting and walkie talkie communication before each bib is set to record times.

Team manager Chance Childs is Berube’s right-hand man, taking runs down the hill, communicating with people at the top of the hill and taking videos of each practice run down the course.

“Chance has been a great asset to the team, he really helps out with some of the details, like videoing today. Super valuable for our team,” Berube said. “They love to go watch and review. He’s been a great asset.”



Bashaw, another senior captain, said the focus on mindset-based pre-race preparation this season, especially, has been a game changer for races.

“I think last year, all my problems stemmed from me skiing too hesitantly, and not taking enough chances,” Bashaw said. “This year is kind of my last year to have nothing else to leave out there, you know?

“It’s a confidence thing — confidence in your skill, confidence in the rest of your team. If you’re trying to push (speed), it’s going to increase your chance of falling, so you need to be able to rely on the rest of your team to pick you up if something happens on your run.”

Other new changes include new assistant coach, Joshua Gillis, who started a few weeks ago. Gillis works at Lost Valley and credited the Auburn ski hill as the origin of his love for skiing.

According to his biography on the Lost Valley Ski Club website, Gillis has been skiing since he was 4 years old and worked his way to Mount Snow Ski Academy, UConn, EuropaCup Ski Cross, US National Junior Championships and European slopes.


Most recently, he has competitively skied in Sweden for 18 years, and Italy for 16 years.

The coaching match has been good, Berube said, because Gillis brings the analytical technical coaching, while Berube brings the high-energy motivational skillset.

“I just love to play, so you kind of keep it fun and incorporate a little hard work in there, and yeah, it seems like a good recipe,” Berube said.

Specifically, Gillis is teaching the team about “neurotraining,” which is a training method “focused on stimulating the brain’s neural pathways through targeted exercises and activities,” according to the Neurotraining website.

The technique is designed to increase muscle memory capabilities while also improving memory, attention, processing speed and problem-solving skills.

“Usually when we’re skiing really fast, we’ll get in the back seat because we’re scared to go that fast,” Levesque said. “So, we’re trying to break through that wall with that (neurotraining).”


Freshman Leavitt skier Ava Twitchell said her confidence has grown on the team this year, being surrounded by familiar faces unlike middle school.

“Last year in middle school, it was kind of a struggle because there was nobody else no other girls on my team that were from Leavitt,” Twitchell said. “So I kind of had nobody to talk to, I didn’t know anybody. I’ve been friends with Maddie (Ranger) since pre-K, I’ve known her for forever, and then me and Sophie (Simard) go to school together.”

Twitchell has been skiing since she was 8 years old and said her ski idol is Mikaela Shiffrin — who, incidentally, was coached for several years by an Auburn native who grew up skiing at Lost Valley, Mike Day. Simard has been skiing both recreationally and in races since she was 6, and is taking the time to enjoy her last two high school seasons.

“I just I love being out here, being in the fresh air for so long,” Simard said. “It’s my favorite place to be. It’s always been my favorite place to be, and I just have fun with it now. I’m not as competitive with it now that I’m getting closer to college, and I just enjoy being out here with the team.”

Simard said she thinks she will ski club in college, because she loves the sport and can’t envision giving it up in a year and a half. Her goal this season is to place on the all-state team again, like last year, since Leavitt skiers cannot contribute to team points due to new MPA rules this season that don’t allow skiing co-op teams.

Bashaw said his personal goal is to have four solid, competitive runs and make shootouts at the state championships. Levesque’s goal is to not fall at the state meet, and to hold his own under the pressure of the biggest high school races. O’Donnell is hoping the team wins states this year. Berube said he has high standards and big goals for the team, but that they’ll remain a secret to any outsiders.

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