The Carson High boys ski team will have a tough act to follow this season: A state championship.
Carson's boys won the sixth overall state title in skiing for the school and now the Senators set out to defend their crown when the season begins on Tuesday. The Senator boys and girls will open up with giant slalom races against McQueen and Rite of Passage.
The goal for both teams is to qualify the maximum number of 10 skiers for the state championships scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13. Races in giant slalom and slalom will be held with the combined scores from the two events to determine the overall champion.
Carson's boys will be hard pressed to repeat as overall champions. "Most of my rockets graduated," CHS coach Jack Reinhardt said. "We don't have the depth that we had in the boys team. We've got a fairly young team."
Among the skiers who graduated was Danny Rotter, who tied for the state overall title last year. But the cupboard isn't exactly bare for the Senators. Carson returns two state champions from last year, including the skier, who tied for the overall title with Rotter, sophomore Mats Boehnke.
Boehnke became only the second skier at Carson to win the overall state title as a freshman, following Cathy Marty, who went on to win three overall crowns. A knee injury prevented Marty from winning the overall state title all four years. Boehnke has the chance to become the first Senator skier to win the overall state crown all four years.
He'll be joined by Devon Anderson, who won the state giant slalom title last year. Among other returners for Carson are Chris Bessette, a two-time state qualifier, Mike Beasom and Caleb McCoy, who played a key role in the Senators winning the overall state title last year.
Mike Cooke is another state qualifier who returns. The Senators also have two talented freshmen in Mike Agiletti, who's a talented hockey player as well, and Chris Brown. Other top skiers for the Senators should include Kevin Sinnott, Rusty Turner, Daniel Adams and Andy Hook.
Carson's girls will be able to field a full team this year with 12 skiers, something the Senators weren't able to do last year as they didn't have 10 skiers. Sports like snowboarding continue to affect participation on the ski teams. "That's made tremendous inroads," Reinhardt said.
The Senators have 28 skiers this year. In the past, Carson would have up to 90 skiers come out for the teams.
Carson's girls return their top skier from last year in Jessica Goddard. Other top returners include Aysia Roberts, Megan Carter, Krista Wisbar and Yvette Hollett. Other top skiers should include Italian foreign exchange student Georgia Tomba, freshman Kacey Potter, Elizabeth Peebles and Jennifer Faiella. Dusty Brower, who skied as a freshman, is back as a junior.
Another skier to look for is Cassie Larson. "I think she works the hardest of anyone on the team," Reinhardt said.
Reinardt said Galena is the favorite for the girls title while Reno is the favorite for the boys. Along with Galena and Reno, Reinhardt said McQueen and his teams should be in the mix. "There's a lot of good skiers in the league," Reinhardt said.
"They're all really good kids academically," Reinhardt also said about his teams. "They've been working hard at their dry land training.
"The conditions have been weird because of lack of snow and too much snow. Now we're looking good."
But that may change with another storm expected this weekend. Carson was able to recently have an excellent practice at Homewood where there was an eight-foot base. "They really, really take good care of us," said Reinhardt about Homewood.
Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1214.