Despite loss, Mohawk girls should be in mix

  • Frontier's Corriann Delaney competes in the slalom during last year’s MIAA State Alpine Championships. The junior once again leads the Red Hawks on the slopes. FILE PHOTO/Dan Little

  • Mohawk sophomore Taylor Loomis headlines a young but talented group of Warriors this winter. File photo/Dan Little

  • Mohawk senior captain Bennett Boucias is back for one more year with the alpine Warriors. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Staff Writers
Published: 1/9/2019 5:08:33 PM

The eyes of the high school alpine ski world turn to Berkshire East Mountain Resort today.

The PVIAC season kicks off with Race No. 1, as the boys teams race giant slalom and the girls teams tackle the slalom at 5 p.m.

Locally, things have gone well in recent years. Last year’s PVIAC season was dominated on the girls side by Mohawk Trail Regional High School, while Frontier Regional School, the other Recorder-area team, had plenty of involvement in important races.

While numbers are down overall, there’s no shortage of talent in Buckland and South Deerfield. The Mohawk girls should once again be in the mix to win the PVIAC North title, while Frontier, led by a star junior, is also a key competitor. The boys side has plenty of strong skiers, and at least two Warriors should be near the top of the standings throughout the 2019 campaign.

The regular season begins today and continues with the seven-race schedule coming to a close on Feb. 5. The PVIAC Individual Championships are set for Feb. 12. All races will be held at Berkshire East.

Here’s a closer look at the two local squads:

Mohawk

Last year’s top team in the PVIAC, the Mohawk girls have their eyes set on another big season with a talented roster again at their disposal.

There is one notable loss, however. Ashley LaCross won the PVIAC individual championship a year ago as a freshman but won’t be around this winter after transferring to Northfield-Mount Hermon School. LaCross helped the Warriors to a third-place team finish at the state meet, taking third overall in the slalom to boost the performance.

“That’s obviously a big loss, no doubt about it,” said Mohawk head coach Brandon Boucias of LaCross.

Despite the loss, there is no shortage of talent on this year’s Mohawk squad. Sophomore Taylor Loomis is back and ready to go, and she was right up with LaCross last year as a freshman, finishing fifth at the PVIAC meet while taking sixth in the state meet in the slalom while being the team’s top finisher in the GS.

“Taylor as a sophomore, she’s no underclassman,” said Boucias. “She’s an experienced skier; really self-motivated.”

Senior captain Erin Laffond was also a top 10 finisher at last year’s PVIAC meet, crossing ninth overall to help the Warriors to the team title. In addition to her skills on the slopes, Laffond’s leadership ability is also an asset to a Mohawk team that has only sophomores and younger beside her.

“She’s just a solid leader who works hard and does everything we want from an athlete,” Boucias said of Laffond.

Sophomore Amelie Rowehl returns to the fold and should be in the mix for the No. 3 scoring spot. Seventh-grader Emmy Sissum should also be a scoring factor in her first varsity season.

“It’s ski racing so anything can happen but I really like my team,” said Boucias.

Sophomore Lydia Sargent and eighth-grader Myah Grant will look to make their mark on the squad as well, as the Warriors have just six skiers on the roster.

• The Mohawk boys return their top two skiers from a year ago, as seniors Bennett Boucias and Dan White are experienced and talented and are seeking emphatic ends to their high school careers this winter.

“They’re both super competitive, both want to do as best as they can,” said Mohawk boys coach Sean Loomis of the tandem. “I think their expectations are pretty high this year. Some other teams lost seniors so I think they see that opening and are hoping for top 5, top 10 finishes in every race.”

Both Boucias, who is the team’s captain, and White qualified and competed in the state meet last year as juniors, and while they’re firmly entrenched atop the Mohawk lineup, the team will be relying upon underclassmen for much of the other scoring load.

Freshman Nick Boesel-Stravino is probably the team’s No. 3 skier entering the season. Last year as an eighth-grader, he proved to be a consistent scorer, and Loomis thinks he’s ready to make a move up the leaderboard.

Seventh-grader Weston Den Ouden is new to the squad but certainly not new to the sport. A talented club skier, Den Ouden has the tools to be an impact performer immediately.

“He’s going to be a great racer,” said Loomis of Den Ouden. “He’ll be a big asset to the team. How quickly he’ll do it at the high school level as a seventh-grader? We’ll see.”

Senior exchange student Nicolas Vera Arrasate joins the team during his year abroad from Spain. He has plenty of skiing experience in Europe, though hasn’t done much in the way of racing until this winter.

“So far he’s been skiing really well so it’ll be interesting to watch his growth,” said Loomis of Vera Arrasate.

Sophomore Michael Harrison and freshman Travis Russell round out the seven-person roster, and both skiers are back from last year’s team.

“Our expectations for them is to come to practice every day and give it everything they’ve got,” Loomis said. “We had a great dryland training season. It’s pretty intense but it’s something we feel very strongly that the kids need. We’re hoping the work they’ve put in early in the season will pay dividends now that we’re on snow.”

Frontier

The Frontier girls team will once again have one of the top skiers in the PVIAC this season.

Junior Corriann Delaney returns for her junior season in South Deerfield and she is only looking to move up the ladder to the top of the PVIAC.

Delaney finished third in the PVIAC North as an individual last season and then followed that up with a third-place showing at the PVIAC Individual Championships. Her performances helped the Red Hawks to a fifth-place finish in the league during the season. Delaney then moved on to the All-State meet and finished 23rd in the slalom and 11th in the giant slalom to help the Red Hawks to a 16th-place finish.

The Red Hawks have three other returnees on the girls side and two newcomers. Freshman Maddie Raymond and classmate Cali Price will slot in behind Delaney in terms of team scoring, and senior Paige Moriarty is the fourth returnee. Freshman Areia Heilman and seventh-grader Patrice Moriarty are the two newcomers, giving the team six skiers.

On the boys’ side, Frontier will not be able to score as a team with just two skiers. Sophomore Ben Martino was the top performer for the Red Hawks last season and is a constant threat to crack the top 10 in the PVIAC South. Martino finished up his freshman season last winter by placing 20th overall at the PVIAC Individual meet.

Eighth-grader Ben Makosiej will also try to move up the rankings in his second season with the club.




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