Tigers to build on strong 2004-05 campaign
by Joey Crandall
Now if it would just go ahead and snow …
You’ll have to forgive first-year Douglas ski coach Ginny DeRosa if she’s not quite sure what she has for this season.
It’s nearly two weeks into practice and the Tigers have yet to actually get out on the mountain. There’s just not enough snow yet.
“They’re kind of itching to get out there and get to work,” DeRosa said. “We’ve mainly been sticking to conditioning these first couple of weeks. We run for a bit and then play frisbee or football to stay loose and keep our bodies moving.”
What DeRosa has on her hands is a talented group of returning athletes from a team that placed third overall in the Tahoe Basin Ski League last season.
Senior Holden Sapp leads the veteran core, coming off a season in which he regularly turned in top-10 finishes, and more often than not finished in the top five.
Junior Ryan Smith, and seniors Travis Johnson, Brady Haws and Morgan Hall round out the list of returning boys while juniors Blake Maxwell, Kyle Neddenriep and Alex Ristorcelli are all coming off successful junior varsity seasons.
The girls’ team returns a wealth of varsity skiers, led by junior Avery Carrig, senior Courtney Zaninovich and senior Lauren Martin.
Sophomore Jennifer Stice, senior Leah Plaugher, senior Michelle Nenzel and senior Kristin Lovell all had successful seasons on the varsity level as well last year.
Sophomores Alicia Dreyer and Danielle Kochen are the team’s top returners coming up from the junior varsity level.
“There’s a good foundation here,” DeRosa said. “A lot of these kids know the team well and know the league well, so they are showing the younger skiers.
“It’s a very dynamic group. I want them to be able to have fun out there. We want to get them in shape and prepared for the season, but I also want this to be a lot of fun.
“They’ve been working very hard so far.”
Travis Johnson said he likes what he’s seen so far from the team.
“Just looking at the returners, we have improved a lot since last season,” Johnson said. “A lot of the freshman (The Tigers have six of them this season) have been very enthusiastic. We’re still getting to know eachother, but it is a good mix.”
Junior Cody Burkhauser, entering his second season with the team said he’s enjoyed finding a balance between the work and the fun.
“There are so many different levels of skiers out here with us,” he said. “Coach DeRosa has been doing a good job of catering to everyone’s needs.
“There are a lot of new kids, so we have been trying to find that balance of keeping it fun in order to keep them interested until we can get out on the snow and keeping it serious enough so that the returners are continually challenged.”
Kyle Neddenriep said he’s just looking forward to getting on the mountain.
“We haven’t been able to get out there as a team yet, but we’ve sure all been thinking about it,” he said. “There is some snow here and there up in the mountains, but not enough to do any serious work. We can’t wait to get out there. It’ll be interesting to see how the group improves once we get out there.”
n Joey Crandall can be reached at email@example.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.