New coaches continue to slide through Nordic team


Nordic skiers relax and get ready for an hour long practice at Theodore Wirth Park. The Nordic team practices everyday after school until a little past five, depending on weather the team is doing strength workouts, waxing their skis, or getting out to the park to ski. Photo: Luciana Rian-Senna

Every year around the beginning of November, South students come from the swim team, cross country running, ultimate Frisbee, mountain biking, soccer and volleyball to get together for Nordic skiing. Some are new and some are returning skiers. Traditions, expectations, and skiers stay the same but there is one thing that never does, the head coach.

Every year, for the last three ski seasons, the Nordic skiing head coach has been a different person. There have been several reasons that people have thought the coach never stays. “It’s harder than people expect” said Isabel Strebe, a captain of the team.

It’s taking on a lot of responsibility being in charge of around 70 students at one time. “It’s a hard team to deal with” said junior Darla Dennis.  Luckily there are the assistant coaches and the captains to help out. “Skiing has a lot of traditions and ways we do things that like, I think captains carry more than the coaches.” said Strebe. There seems to be a couple different points of view on what the captains do for the team. “The captains don’t seem to do much because the booster club does a lot”

There is a booster club for most sports teams. Their job is to help out with fundraising, planning trips and events, and to support the team. The team uses Teamsnap, an interactive sports messaging app to stay connected. They send out the schedule every week, what equipment students will need for the day, they make sure to keep the students and parents who are a part of the team updated throughout the day by letting everyone know when practice time or location changes.

With organizing their annual trip to Maplelag resort, the coaches have a lot to do at the beginning of the season. “It’s a learning process.” said the new coach Kevin Johnson.  One of the things that is hard about having a different coach each year is that they don’t know your skill level so the students and the coach have to get to know each other.

The new head coach this year, Kevin Johnson, has been a ski coach since 2003. One of his goals for this year is to teach people to like skiing more. “My big goal is to have people really like being a part of the ski team and want to keep skiing for the rest of their life.” said Johnson.  Luckily for the team he is willing, patient and passionate about skiing. “I like the group of student athletes that we have.” he said.  

Hopefully Kevin Johnson (KJ as the team members call him) will like the team and the job enough to coach again next year!