South Tahoe Vikings nordic squad gearing up for opener
Maybe the South Tahoe High School nordic team has created a sport we’ll see in future Winter Olympics, called something like Ultimate Friskiing.
The Vikings warmed up at practice Tuesday, Dec. 5, by cross country skiing from one end of Viking Stadium to the other on 4 inches of powdery snow.
After getting their blood pumping on a chilling-cold afternoon, out came the Frisbee.
The Vikings team of seven girls (Anika Johnson, Theresa Sandborn, Jessie Brown, Eliana Carney, Melanie Maher, Nicole Morgan and Sierra Dahl) and five boys (David Holmes, Ryan Newberger, Christopher Hoefer, Joshua Novak and David Moreno) split into two teams and began a game of ultimate Frisbee on skis.
“I get a kick out of it,” said Vikings head coach Mark Hoefer. “It’s so nice to have them be able to do this with such little snow.”
The 12 athletes on Hoefer’s roster represent the smallest group to start a season that he has had in his eight years. He says there are usually around 25 to 30 kids.
But he likes his team and picked a few he thinks will lead the group this season including: Hoefer, Holmes and Newberger for the boys; and Brown and Sandborn for the girls.
The Vikings train for three grueling hours on Wednesdays at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. The kids get out of class at 12:45 p.m. and are skiing up and down hills until about 5 p.m.
“Three hours is hard, it takes its toll,” Hoefer said.
But the team also will ski around the school when snow permits or Lake Tahoe Community College and Blue Lakes Road off California Route 88 headed to Kirkwood.
The team will start competing in its nine-team league Friday, Dec. 22, at the Foothill Classic hosted by the Auburn Ski Club.
The team’s next competition will be its lone “home” meet, Friday, Jan. 12, at Kirkwood.
“My big thing is to make sure the kids are out there having fun,” Hoefer said. “Am I competitive? Yes. We try to put them out there and make sure they have the best chance to succeed as they can.”