NYSEF is proud to recognize exemplary athletes for their achievements on and off the hill through the new Athlete of the Month program.
Athletes throughout the club will be highlighted for their accomplishments including community service, sportsmanship, academic & extracurricular achievement and athletic performance.
January Athlete of the Month: Joseph Wilson
Joseph Wilson is a U18 Cross-Country (XC) ski athlete from Keene, N.Y. Unlike many of the XC Junior athletes, Joseph began skiing with NYSEF two years ago in the summer of 2016. “I started skiing one a day a week working with the Saranac Lake modified team and joined NYSEF for more in depth training,” Joseph said.
Since Joseph’s time skiing competitively, he has made Junior Nationals and had a few podiums in several race events. When asked why the urge to join a XC ski program in high school, Joseph answered, “I appreciate how cardiovascular demanding the sport is, enjoy the community and most importantly, the camaraderie of having everyday training partners, my teammates.”
Head Coach, Shane MacDowell, said “Joseph takes a skill and applies it during training and in the race.” Shane has seen Joseph’s progress and his attention to focus on technique to strengthen himself as a racer. “Joseph has a great engine and is getting faster because he works hard,” Shane concluded.
Some of Joseph’s goals are to make Top 30 in Classic race at Junior Nationals and to eventually ski in college. When asked if Joseph has any pre-routine or ritual before a race, he mentioned, “I always have a peanut butter and banana sandwich and get to the race early for warm up.” As long as there is peanut butter and banana available for Junior Nationals, we expect to see success for Joseph. Way to go, Joseph, and good luck this season!
December Athlete of the Month: Brady Mason
Brady Mason is a first year U16 alpine skiing athlete from Silver Spring, Maryland. Although Brady’s home ski area is Roundtop Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania, he had the opportunity to train with NYSEF in the December Winter Term program. December term trained in Copper, Colorado and at Whiteface Mountain. “Coming from a small mountain to being able to train two weeks in Copper Mountain to being surrounded by Olympic athletes made me feel like I was living the lifestyle of a true athlete…I had to make sure my hard work on and off the snow showed that,” Brady commented. Winter Term Program Director, Beatty Schlueter said, “Brady gave 100% on the hill and in the classroom, his attention to detail in the sport and in his studies made him a great role model for other student-athletes…we would be excited to have him a part of our Winter Term next season.”
While Brady was training with NYSEF he worked with Head U16 Alpine Coach, Patrick Purcell. “Brady was eager to understand the skills and fundamentals of skiing which translated well once he got into training gates,” Coach Purcell said. Brady knows he still has skills to work on and was able to develop consistency with his training throughout the month of December and into the season. “I am a very technical skier and like to know exactly what I need to do in order to be better and to be faster,” Brady said.
Brady’s goals for the season are to be a top first year U16, be a top competitor as Eastern Finals in Stowe, Vermont and continue to work on his Giant Slalom. When Brady is not on snow, he trades his poles and skis in for a Lacrosse stick and travels competitively.
March Athlete of the Month: Emma Lauria
Emma is currently enjoying what she feels is one of her strongest seasons to date. She has placed top-10 in singles and top-8 in dual mogul events on the regional circuit all winter. For the second year in a row, she has qualified to take part in both the Junior National Championships and US National Championships.
“What makes Emma a great athlete is her competitive drive,” writes NYSEF Mogul Coach Nick Arnold. “When she does well, she looks to do even better. When she doesn’t perform her best, she looks for ways to improve. Emma has also been set back by several injuries this season, the latest being a broken bone in her hand. Despite these hurdles, Emma has demonstrated time and again her dedication towards achieving her goals.”
Lauria’s proudest accomplishment this season was qualifying for two FIS North American Cups, at Killington, VT and Val St. Come, Quebec, Canada. “This was really special for me because these events feature skiers from around the world,” reports Lauria.
A third-year student in the NYSEF Winter Term program, Emma has become adept at balancing a busy travel schedule with her one-on-one tutorials with Winter Term tutors. While she acknowledges that challenging courses combined with weeks away from school at a time isn’t always the easiest way to learn, she’s picked up some valuable study skills along the way. “Emma is highly proactive about her schoolwork,” reports Winter Term Program Director Dave McCahill. “She’s organized, methodical, and seeks out assistance when she needs it. She’s learning skills that will serve her well through college and beyond.”
Coach Arnold also notes Emma’s positivity and contribution to the team atmosphere. “Emma is a really supportive teammate. When one of her teammates is in the gate, Emma is always there to support them and cheer them on.”
When there’s no snow on the ground, Emma competes for two softball teams. She also helps her dad with the local Booster Club to help raise money for their school and local sports teams.
Looking forward, Emma departs on Tuesday for the US National Championships, held in Steamboat Springs, CO. She’s hoping for a top-25 finish there, and aims to qualify for all four North American Cup events next year.
Congratulations Emma, and best of luck this season!