Berkshire County League Nordic skiing previews, 2017

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Amherst

Coach: Steven Kalt (1st year)

Key returnees: Willy Wright (Jr.); Luke Sedor-Protti (Sr.); Sam Hare-Steig (Sr.), Ryan Dinger (Sr.); Katy King (Sr.); Kendal Pittman (Sr.); Claudia Danford (Sr.); Piper Lacy (Sr.).

Outlook: With the head coach from over the past few seasons, Nat Woodruff, taking a sabbatical, former Amherst Nordic ski team member Steven Kalt takes over the head coaching duties along with assistant Charlotte Malmborg.

Some of the key skiers, listed above, are joined by Nor Young and Wyatt Kellman for the boys and Callaghan Pittman and Sophia Cable for the girls as skiers to watch. The boys were second at last year's state championship while the girls were 11th.

Hoosac Valley

Coach: Alicia Gwozdz (13th year)

Key returnees: Mitch Barnes (Sr.); Derek Koffi-Ziter (Sr.); Jamie Barthe (Soph.); Mia Gale (Soph.); Allison Racela (Jr.); Suki Liang (Soph.); Katie Bentz (Fr.); Arianna Harrington (Soph.).

Outlook: The Hurricanes enter this year's campaign with 33 skiers, including 19 girls and 14 boys.

Many of the skiers are new to the sport or only have last season's experience, according to coach Alicia Gwozdz. In addition to the eight key returnees listed above, Liz Levesque and Jenna Levesque are skiers to watch in their return to the squad.

Hoosac's girls were 12th at last year's state championship while the boys were 14th.

Lenox

Coaches: Joe Bazzano, Kyle Zinchuk, Cam Zinchuk

Key returnees: Miles Marshall (Sr.) Harry Burns (Jr.); Noah Kalischer-Coggins (Jr.); Alice Huth (Sr.); Emma Jourdain (Sr.); Marion Huth (So.).

Outlook: Lenox, fourth place in last year's boys state championship race and seventh in the girls race, returns a lot of its top skiers.

For the boys, Miles Marshall finished tied for third in the season opener this year and Noah Kalischer-Coggins was 10th, among others.

On the girls side, Alice Huth, Emma Jourdain and Marion Huth were second, fifth and ninth, respectively, in the opener. Maggie Sorrentino also registered a top-20 finish.

Mohawk

Coach: Peter Rayton (10th year)

Key returnees: Max Carr (Sr.); Guy Rice-Lesure (So.); Clarissa Pollard (So.); Lilly Wells (Jr.); Sarah Gokey (Sr.).

Outlook: The Mohawk girls are coming off a sixth-place finish at last year's state championships, and the squad returns some talent. Clarissa Pollard, Lilly Wells and Sarah Gokey all finished in the top 10 of this season's opening race.

On the boys side, Max Carr and Guy Rice-Lesure are back, and each finished in the top 30 at this season's opener. The boys were 15th at states in 2016.

Mount Greylock

Coaches: Hiram Greene (boys, 27th year) and Hilary Greene (girls, 17th year)

Key returnees: Ric Donati (Jr.); Jakin Miler (So.); Jacob Adams (Jr.); Evan Arthur (Sr.); Cameron Castonguay (Sr.); Niku Darafshi (Sr.), Brandi Gill (Fr.); Margo Smith (So.).

Outlook: Grace Smith won the individual state championship last season, but she has since graduated. In addition to her victory, both the Greylock boys and girls squads are coming off state championship victories. The boys' state title was its sixth straight.

In this year's opener, Mountie boys occupied the top two spots and tied for third. Ric Donati won, followed by Jakin Miller (second), Jacob Adams and Evan Arthur (tied for third). On the girls side, Niku Darafshi won, while Brandi Gill and Margo Smith were third and fourth, respectively.

Northfield Mount Hermon

Coach: Stephen Allison (11th year)

Key returnees: Toby Weed (Sr.); Kent Yoshikawa (Soph.); Nevada Powers (Sr.).

Outlook: Northfield Mount Hermon will have smaller teams on both the boys and girls sides this year.

Key skiers should be competing once again for top-10 finishes at the league races, according to coach Stephen Allison.

Toby Weed of Putney, Vt. and Kent Yoshikawa of Fairbanks, Alaska are two that could be gunning for the podium.

Simsbury

Coach: John Mudano (23rd year)

Key returnees: James Hammel (Soph.); Guy Weiland (Jr.); Nathan Rogers (Soph.); Adam Bosenberg (Soph.); Katrina Cirilli (Sr.); Kyra Steinmetz (Sr.); Molly Carr (Jr.); Claire Harper (Jr.); Maddie Goldfarb (Jr.).

Outlook: While not every squad in the Berkshire County League is in Berkshire County, Simsbury is the only Connecticut team.

On the girls side, keep an eye out for Katrina Cirilli, while James Hammel, Guy Weiland and Adam Bosenberg are among the boys to watch. Bosenberg was 26th in the boys season opener while Cirilli was 31st in the girls race.

According to coach John Mudano, the team has been on skis more this preseason than they were all of last year, due to the snowfall.

Taconic

Coach: Stephanie Ambrose (5th year)

Key returnees: Noah Shepardson (Sr.); Rachel Tynan (Sr.); Mary Hayes (Jr.).

Outlook: Taconic finished 17th in both the boys and girls state championships last season.

This year, Noah Shepardson checked in at 11th place in the season opener while Jackson Rich was 20th and Ryan Serre was 30th.

For the girls, Rachel Tynan was 34th and Mary Hayes was 35th. Each competed at states last year.

Wahconah

Coaches: Kiersten Touponce (7th year) and Ryan Touponce (7th year)

Key returnees: Hayden Cantoni (Sr.); Dalton Dean (Sr.); Sean Harvey (Sr.); Sam Pyser (Sr.); Olivia Hines (Sr.); Gabby Orlando (Soph.); Isabelle Viner (Soph.).

Outlook: Despite a lot of graduating seniors from last season, a bunch of talent returns this year to to the Warriors.

The numbers will be smaller, but Kiersten Touponce wasn't the only coach to mention the early snowfall as a positive to the preseason.

Wahconah's boys were ninth at last season's state championship race while the girls finished 10th overall.

The Warriors also went to Lake Placid over the December break for a change in scenery before the season was set to begin.


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