Cardinals brace for promising season following shutdown
Between warm weather and a pause on youth sports, getting repetitions in has been a challenge for Alexandria's Nordic ski teams.
Youth sports are on hold across the state for now. Barring a shutdown extension, The Alexandria Nordic ski teams are looking forward to seeing their teammates at practice as soon as Dec. 21.
“Nordic is one of my favorite sports, and it’s the main sport I’ve been doing,” senior Nathan Halstead said. “I’m excited to see my friends again because I haven’t seen them that much. I think we all just want to get back to normal right now.”
When Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a pause on youth sports, the news was met with some sadness. The Cardinals were anxious to hit the slopes only to find out they’re going to have to wait a little longer.
“I was disappointed because I love skiing, and I want to be with my team,” senior Kaisa Bosek said. “I understand what had to be done at that moment, but I hope that we will still be able to have a season. I’m just hoping for the best.”
Over the last few weeks, there’s been little natural snow at Andes Tower Hill, the place the Cardinals call home. However, because of their ability to make snow, it’s kept several runs open to the public during the pandemic. Alexandria skiers have taken it upon themselves to get out and practice without the guidance of their coaches.
“I’m really glad we have Andes here because I know a lot of other towns don’t have places they can ski right now,” Bosek said. “It’s cool that we can go out there and be able to ski around. We all want to be on the snow, so getting the chance to do that as individuals is good.”
The Nordic ski teams have a plan in place if the weather stays warm in the coming weeks.
“We can do a lot of dryland practices on roller skis and roller blades,” Halstead said. “We can offset not having snow by running and doing strength circuits. For meets, we would have to go in shorter loops that are up and down the ski hills at Andes.”
Interaction with coaches is limited during this time, but head coach Jeremy Rapp provides his athletes with workout plans to pass the time.
“We’ve had some team meetings to go over stuff and did some exercises to try and bring the team together,” Halstead said. “Jeremy sends out weekly practice schedules that are optional. He’s been encouraging to us because he wants us to be positive and ready for when the season starts.”
Halstead and Bosek are two of the five combined seniors on the boys and girls teams. Getting a chance to ski one more season makes the preparation worth it.
“It’s my last season, so I’m just excited to spend time with my friends for one last year,” Bosek said. “The girls team is really close, and I know the boys team is too. I hope to make some great memories with my teammates and have some competitive races. I just want to get back to being in that team atmosphere.”