Alexandria Nordic ski head coach Jeremy Rapp went into this winter season with a mindset that he wants his athletes to enjoy the time they get together.
“To be honest, I'm not really focused on this aspect yet,” Rapp said when asked what his expectations are for his boys and girls teams on the course if they are able to get a season with postseason events in during the pandemic. “I think we all know that we need to practice and train just like we have always done, and I think the competition success will fall into place.”
Emma Reineke, Bethany Miller and Kaisa Bosek formed a solid nucleus on the Alexandria girls team last winter as all three competed at the state meet individually. Bosek led that trio with a 53rd-place finish overall in Biwabik in a total time of 37:18.6 (freestyle 17:58, classic 19:20.6). Bosek and Reineke (107th at state, 39:33.6) were both juniors who are now being asked to lead this group through the challenges of the 2020 season. The two other seniors on the team are Allea Balcome and Kamryn Coauette.
“What we want to get out of the team isn't going to change,” Rapp said. “We want everyone to get better and feel better about their skiing from week to week. We also want to be able to handle any setbacks the best we can.”
The Alexandria boys have six seniors in Kyle Feldhake, Nathan Halstead, Bryant Johnson, Jack Struck, Jacob Tiegen and Bennett Wirth. Ryker Bosek, a sophomore, leads a host of young athletes as well after he finished third on the team at sections a year ago after graduated senior Brian Denke and Struck.
Rapp has seen numbers grow in the program in recent years, and he has been excited about seeing that interest in skiing. He and assistant coaches Casey Call and Katie Ledermann are looking forward to working with this group to see what the athletes can accomplish during the time they have together.
“To me, (the high participation numbers) tell me that the team's reputation and culture is something people want to be a part of,” Rapp said. “Although it is always a challenge to get teenagers to get along, we certainly have an improving culture of training and camaraderie on the team.”
2021 ALEXANDRIA BOYS NORDIC SKIING
SENIORS - Kyle Feldhake, Nathan Halstead, Bryant Johnson, Jack Struck, Jacob Tiegen, Bennett Wirth
JUNIOR - Matthew Johnson
SOPHOMORES - Nick Borden, Ryker Bosek, Spenser Chinn, Gabe Hoven
FRESHMEN - Cyler Coauette, Colton Converse, Owen Jensen
2021 ALEXANDRIA GIRLS NORDIC SKIING
SENIORS - Allea Balcome, Kaisa Bosek, Kamryn Coauette, Emma Reineke
JUNIORS - Dulce Bakker and Lauren Englund
SOPHOMORES - Amanda Bergerson, Teresa Bitzan, Emma Hochhalter, Lauren Huber, Lexi Johnson, Mattie Scholten
FRESHMEN - Tiahna Goeke, Madeline Hochhalter, Tatum Ketelsen, Jaelyn Miller, Meredith Sundby
ALEXANDRIA NORDIC SKIING SCHEDULE
Jan. 14 vs Moorhead at Detroit Lakes, Maple Lag
Jan. 23 at Bemidji, Buena Vista Ski Area
Jan. 26 vs. Moorhead at Detroit Lakes, Maple Lag
Jan. 30 vs. Little Falls at Camp Ripley
Feb. 4 vs. Fergus Falls at Spidal’s Ski Resort
Feb. 9 vs. Brainerd at Northland Arboretum
Feb. 16 vs. Detroit Lakes at Detroit Mountain
Feb. 20 Home at Andes Tower Hills
Feb. 25 CLC Championship at Willmar, Eagle Creek Golf Course