The Andover High School Ski Team is back and ready to go after their off-season. The team is more than excited to get back at it.

“If we put forth the effort we always do we should do well,” said head coach Tom Busta. “We’ve had some key graduations but I like the team we have now…great group!”

Key skiers include Sara Faigel and Julia Ganley for the girls, and Jake Tarricone, Ian Bensley and Jason Grosz for the boys. Tom Busta stated, “We have a nice core group, both boys and girls, that continue to be right there in the standings, separated by tenths.”

The team has worked hard over the past few weeks, doing conditioning training at the high school. It is often frustrating for the team because they have to wait to get on the slopes, but both boys and girls understand the purpose of conditioning. The Ski Team first got to Bradford Ski Area on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

The girls have their first race on Jan. 6, and the boys have their first race on Jan. 7.  The team races at Bradford Ski Area, a 20-30 minute drive from AHS.

One of the issues the Ski Team faces is the lack of support from its school. Nicole Ericson, one of the girls’ captains, said, “I would love it [if students would show up to the races]. Maybe if we got an extra fan bus it would be easier. It would be awesome if we could have Andover fans cheering on at the bottom.”

Ian Bensley, a senior, added, “We should receive more recognition for the amount of hard work we put in. Skiing is just as much of an equal sport as basketball and football; people don’t realize how invigorating it is to watch.” And that’s exactly it: skiing is invigorating to watch.

Skiing is simply a sport that is one of a kind. There’s no running involved, there’s no ball involved, and there’s no scoring goals involved. Jason Grosz, a key junior on the team, said: “Ski team is a nonconventional sport. This is one of the few chances you get to see something like skiing.” However, what is involved is nature. Skiing, unlike most sports, has a lot to do with nature, and Andover High School skiers sure embrace that nature.

Grosz said, “I’ve loved skiing my entire life; it’s my favorite sport. It’s completely different than any other sport.”

And there you have it: ski team is unique. No other sport is like it. To conclude, there must be a message sent to Andover High School and the Jungle: COME WATCH THE SKI TEAM COMPETE. Nick Valeri, Joe Benjamin, Ben Hartford, Shannon Taylor, we all know you are reading this. Now get over to Bradford Ski Area for the first girls race on Jan. 6 and the first boys race on Jan. 7 and show your AHS spirit.

Nothing compares to the sport of skiing. Nothing.

By Alex Bensley