Ski Team 2021


Abigail Warnez

The 2021 Trojan Ski Season started with much uncertainty, as players and coaches alike held their breath waiting to see if they would have a season. 

“I was sad because I had a lot of fun last year and this year would be my last chance to race,” said Karley Way ‘21 

Luckily enough for the Thornapple-Kellogg or TK and Plainwell combined ski team, they will be able to have a season. TK and Plainwell have been a combined team since to 2018 season due to a lack of racers from both schools. TK is North of Plainwell near Middleville, South of Caledonia. There are five coaches, three from TK including Chris Gielincki, Doug Nagel, and Rhys VanDemark, as well as two from Plainwell including physics teacher Stephanie Larson and Keith Bacon. The skiers from both teams have come together flawlessly to create a competitive, fun, growth-focused environment. Some racers have been skiing for years, and others are brand new to the sport. There are racers at every skill level, and they all come ready and willing to work hard to improve. 

“I was relieved because I wasn’t sure if we would be able to ski this year,” said Dillon Vlietstra ‘22

Upon getting the all-clear from MHSAA, Plainwell, and Thornapple-Kellogg, the team hit the slopes and began preparing for their first meet on Jan. 13, at Timber Ridge.

Some aspects of racing are different due to Covid restriction, but for the most part, the season can move forwards like normal. 

“It’s similar to normal but still different, we have to wear a mask, and can’t ride the chairlift with strangers,” said Whitney Johnson ‘23 The Ski Team has to adhere to social distancing guidelines and check in with a temperature test every day to ensure the safety of everyone involved. 

It looks like a promising season for the Trojan Ski Team, having grown in size, now supporting a Men’s Varsity, and Women’s J.V and Varsity team. There is almost an equal number of racers from both Plainwell and Thornapple-Kellogg, which bodes for a strong future for the growth of the program. The lack of cold weather along with covid has caused a slow start to the season. Now that there is a solid base of snow more races can be scheduled, but fingers are still crossed for more snow!