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Winter Wreaking Havoc on Sports

Wildcats Competing in Considerably Bad Conditions

Alpine+ski+team+member+Alex+Graves+%E2%80%9820+finally+has+a+chance+to+compete+on+the+slopes+with+some+agreeable+weather.+
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Winter Wreaking Havoc on Sports

Alpine ski team member Alex Graves ‘20 finally has a chance to compete on the slopes with some agreeable weather.

Alpine ski team member Alex Graves ‘20 finally has a chance to compete on the slopes with some agreeable weather.

Debbie Ackerson

Alpine ski team member Alex Graves ‘20 finally has a chance to compete on the slopes with some agreeable weather.

Debbie Ackerson

Debbie Ackerson

Alpine ski team member Alex Graves ‘20 finally has a chance to compete on the slopes with some agreeable weather.

Alex Walsh, Staff Writer

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First: no snow and warm weather. Then: a blizzard and subzero temperatures with windchill. It seems the 2017-18 winter sports season can’t catch a break, particularly the ski teams since skiing depends heavily on outdoor conditions. With the weather Aroostook County has had this year cancellations have been rampant.

“It’s worse than previous years, such as the cold snap around Christmas. Last year was perfect – enough snow and not too cold,” Debbie Ackerson, assistant to the athletic director, said of the ski team’s current season.

It’s only about a month into actual competitions and there have been two postponed ski meets and five cancellations, all due to the poor weather. One was even for -30 to -35 degree windchill; anything lower than 0 degrees results in meet cancellations.

Even though schools cancel events on the worst days, the skiers have found ways to cope with chilly weather they sometimes still encounter. For instance Amanda Winslow, freshman Nordic ski team member says, “You just have to put on more layers. I guess you get used to the cold.”

“Just ski, don’t stop,” Garrett Morneault, junior Nordic ski team member says is his advice to make it through the colder days.

Although Mr. White, the athletic director, and coaches conference carefully to determine cancellations, some are nearly impossible to avoid. According to Ackerson, the hardest to postpone or change are state competitions. The number of people attending makes it much more difficult to coordinate with all the teams to reschedule.

The effects of the weather span also to other sports, such as basketball. Nagoo Morey, a junior member of the JV and Varsity boys basketball teams can attest, “It took us five hours to get to Orono for a game. We could barely see, it was snowing so badly.”

Coaches have felt the effects as well. One in particular is math teacher Jeff Hudson, coach of the Varsity girls basketball team, who expresses the difficult challenges the team faces, such as a congested schedule and breaks that make getting in game-shape hard.

“They are handling it pretty well. We had three games that had two days off before them and they played well,” Hudson says about the players, also adding he hopes that it doesn’t storm anymore.

Transporting these players and coaches is another issue the school faces. Director of operations, Robert Gagnon, says that it is fortunate most storms have taken place on weekends, although there are more to come.

“They need five buses, we get them five buses. Even if we need to get our night custodians to drive or consolidate bus runs,” Gagnon says. He is devoted to making sure buses are there when they need to be, providing a safe form of transportation for players and coaches.

While this year most certainly isn’t the worst ever, it’s the worst in recent times. With weather predicted to warm up, and even a possibility of rain, all teams should have more opportunities to hit the slopes, court, pool, or the ice soon.

Debbie Ackerson
Coach of the Alpine ski team Scott Smith and team member Riley Roderick ‘20 talk a moment during a rare meet not disrupted by weather at Big Rock.

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