Credit: Submitted photo
League champs: Hood River Valley snowboard team won Gorge League titles and moves on to state this week.
Hood River Valley Snowboarding Club boys and girls teams claimed individual and team Gorge League titles this month after solid performances throughout the season. The team of high school snowboarders will train this weekend in preparation for the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboarding Association state championship, held March 13-16 at Mt. Bachelor.
Leading the way for the boys will be senior Connor Goodwillie, who claimed individual league titles in slopestyle and halfpipe events to help the team to first-place finishes in both events. The girls team also claimed the overall title, with Autumn Inouye finishing first in halfpipe and Maddie Collins taking top slopestyle honors.
“It’s hard to say exactly what to expect at state,” said coach Phineas England. “OISA is so big that it’s hard to tell the level of competition in other leagues. I’ve heard coaches from other leagues talk about how tough the Gorge League is, so that’s a good confidence booster for us.”
Next week’s state championships will bring together the top snowboarders from 26 teams in the state. The HRV squad will be represented by four boys and four girls and will compete in banked slalom, boardercross, halfpipe and slopestyle events.
“I think Hood River can take everything this year,” assistant coach Wally Inouye said. “There will be other riders from other leagues to worry about, but we’re a strong enough team that if everyone does well we can win it all. That’s especially true for Connor (Goodwillie); I think he’s probably the top kid in the state right now.”
Backing Goodwillie are team leaders Ethan Field, River Rudhe and Isaiah Arnold, all of whom are capable of podium finishes at state.
On the girls side, Inouye and Collins, both freshmen, are a sign of a strong future of the HRV team.
“We definitely had some positive growth this season,” England said. “With our young riders blossoming into future leaders of the team, we’re re-establishing ourselves as a force to be reckoned with.”
The following riders will represent HRV at state:
Autumn Inouye, Maddie Collins, Katie Middle, Rain Vaday, Conner Goodwillie, Ethan Field, River Rudhe, Isaiah Arnold and Brandon Fisher.