Three consecutive state titles. Three of the top individual performers at the 2001 OISA state championships. One returning individual champion. What else could a coach want?
“This year we want to raise the level of the individual rider,” Summit Snowboard Team coach Eric Schultheiss said. “Winning three state titles can make you lazy, so we’re going to push the kids this year to reach an even higher level.”
The boys team, led by Boardercross individual champ Ben Connors and half-pipe wizards Colin Franger and Paul Rovianek, looks as strong as ever, with all the top state finishers returning this year.
The girls, despite losing team captain Lindsay Franger, also appear poised to make a run at four straight, with Elie Meierbachtol and sisters Lisa and Jenny Page leading the way.
“Our secret last year was discipline and a willingness to learn,” Schultheiss said. “Everyone on the team is good at every event, and it’s been the consistency that has made us so tough to beat.”
Schultheiss said that his team works remarkably well together, and each rider is supportive of one another. Not only are they good teammates, but they are extremely hard workers.
“I like to see riders who try hard and really want to learn,” he said. “Danny Rawson is a great example of someone who pushes himself, and he made a name for himself last year.”
Rawson is one of many returning boys’ team members who will make Summit tough to dethrone in 2002. Also returning for the boys are Matt McClure, Tad Hukari and Todd Anderson.
On the girls’ side, Schultheiss and his assistants will look to Melissa Holmes, Lauren English, Tessa Kelleher, Holly Low and Megan Ferns to help the team maintain its elite status.
The primary competition in the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboard Association this year will be Barlow, Lakeridge and Lake Oswego. Schultheiss knows these teams have set their sights on beating Summit, but he believes in his riders.
“The competition has gotten better each of the past three years,” he said. “But we have risen to the challenge.”
One factor that will help make Summit’s journey toward the top a little smoother this year will be transportation. Team manager Cheramy Rovianek was able to secure a Mt. Hood Meadows bus this year for just $2 per rider per day.
“Cheramy has been here since the beginning and has really helped make this team great,” Schultheiss said. “Who knows where we’d be without the support of Cheramy, Marcia Page, Therese Franger and others.”
Summit begins its state title defense with a Boardercross event Jan. 12 at Meadows.