PVIAC alpine ski preview: Mohawk Trail loaded with talent as new season arrives

  • Mohawk Trail’s Weston Den Ouden (521) competes in the giant slalom at the PVIAC Individual Competition at Berkshire East Mountain Resort last season. Staff file Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/12/2022 4:47:58 PM
Modified: 1/12/2022 4:47:06 PM

Western Mass. alpine ski athletes waited many years for Mohawk Trail’s Taylor Loomis to graduate. 

Little did they know there’d be another Loomis waiting in the wings with the potential to take her sister’s spot at the top of the PVIAC leaderboard. 

While Taylor Loomis was tearing up the trails during her senior year last winter — winning all five PVIAC races to take home her third straight PVIAC individual championship— her sister, Addie Loomis, wasn’t far behind. 

Addie Loomis finished second, third, fourth and sixth in four races last year as a seventh grader, placing fourth overall in the league on the season. She returns along with a group of talented skiers that have Mohawk Trail eyeing a second consecutive PVIAC North title. 

“Addie, Taylor, [Warrior boys coach Sean Loomis] and I were all skiing together last month and I told Taylor she was lucky she got out this year because her sister might have handed it to her,” Mohawk Trail girls coach Brandon Boucias said. “Naturally she didn’t agree but we have a really talented team this year.”

Loomis isn’t the only talented returner for the Warriors. Ellie Pinkham finished fifth overall in the PVIAC last year while Emmy Sisum took seventh.

Both should continue to be some of the strongest skiers in the field and have Mohawk Trail competing for yet another league title.

“We’re a young team but I think we can be really good,” Boucias said. “I don’t like to say that before seeing the competition but everyone is skiing well. These girls work really hard. They work hard before they get out there and actually ski — they’ve been training for two months — and I’m super proud of them for that. It’s fun for me as a coach.”

The PVIAC season will consist of seven races this year at Berkshire East, beginning on Thursday (the opening meet was supposed to be on Tuesday but was postponed due to the cold weather). One issue thus far this season has been a lack of snow, but after Friday’s storm there should be plenty of fresh powder down for the opening meet.

The Warriors will co-op with Frontier for the second straight year, a partnership that has gone well thus far.

“Ten years ago there was a lot of trepidation about co-ops,” Boucias said. “From what I’ve seen so far very rarely do they turn out poorly. If you come in and work hard, it will be easy to make friends and have fun. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Frontier’s Cali Price is the lone senior on the nine-member Mohawk Trail girls roster. Myah Grant is the only junior while the rest of the team is sophomores or younger. They’ll be looking to replace three seniors who graduated last year. 

The expectations are high for the Warriors, who are coming off a year in which they won the PVIAC North Division. Taylor Loomis took first in the league while Mohawk Trail had four girls in the top 10 and seven in the top 25. 

Boucias, like all coaches this year, will be relying on his entire roster, not knowing when he might lose a skier for a race due to COVID-19 protocols.

“It’s a challenging year with this new strain of COVID,” Boucias said. “We’ve already had two kids out and had two kids enter protocol this week. Thankfully our sport is pretty safe but you never know. If everything goes OK — no COVID, no injuries — we’ll be a good team. From what I’ve seen I don’t think we’ll miss a beat from last year but it’s sports so you never know.”  

For the Warrior boys, Weston Den Ouden will look to once again find his way into the top three of the individual standings.

Den Ouden finished third overall in the PVIAC last season and will be part of a 10-racer Mohawk Trail squad that is looking to repeat as PVIAC North champions. 

“It’s a young team but we’re looking pretty good,” Warriors coach Sean Loomis said. “We have a bunch of kids returning as well as some new kids. There’s a lot of promising signs so far but you never know until the first race. So far we’re looking good and I feel good about this team.” 

Den Ouden and Ben Makosiej will serve as the captains for the Warriors, and Loomis said he’s been very impressed with how Den Ouden looks thus far. Makosiej is coming back from an injury and has gotten stronger and stronger throughout the preseason. 

Gage Patenaude, Phineas Tuttman and Liam Green also return to Mohawk Trail while newcomers Grady Patenaude, Mohamed Abdelgawad, Wyatt Sisum and Oliver Johnson are showing promise. 

“Everything is looking good,” Loomis said. “We were out on the snow [Tuesday], we got out there a couple days last week. It’s nice to see them ski. They spent a ton of time doing dry land work — we put them through the ringer — and they come out stronger on the other end and it’s showing in their skiing.” 


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