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skitheweekends
Not going to state finals
Date: Feb 28, 2011 4:37:12 PM PST
Author: skitheweekends

We have traveled for years to go south for state finals. We have been stayed up to a forty minutes drive from the mountain. We are no stranger from long bus rides (at least five hours long) and have arrived at the mountain looked down upon by the other teams from our own area as well as other schools as the underdog. We have not been expected to place let alone win. We would never consider NOT taking our kids to the state meet no matter if we had to fund raise to get them there and no matter what place we may end up in after all was said and done. This is all about the kids. They are all winners in the end. We are all a winning team no matter what. You have the wrong attitude when it comes to your ski team. Be supportive of them and let your possitive attitude shine through. Don't wait until the "better" competitors on the other ski teams go away.
 

 

Chandy
Not going to state finals
Date: Mar 3, 2011 8:31:27 AM PST
Author: Chandy

Skitheweekends,

I respect your passion for the sport, but I think you missed my point, well maybe. Its hard to tell from your last post. Quite simply, my boosters club had to add 4 fundraisers this year, just to pay for one race. I am very lucky to live and coach in a very affluent area of the state, and we still had to struggle a little. In the end, we were able to strike a deal with the school district... we traded them the transportation expense for hotel rooms. We actually saved the school money by asking them to pay for 3 hotel rooms, rather than transport us up and back in a school bus! I would not likely skip the finals, ever, but for some programs, I would not blame them if they did. I can appreciate that a team full of freshmen, who race on twin tips, with their extra puffy jackets on, may not choose to spend the dollars to transport, house and feed those kids when the team members themselves do not really care about the race. I was really looking to start a discussion about the real impact of having the finals that far north. I am glad that your team was able to have a quasi "home race".

For what it is worth, I created another post about the actual race. Everything I heard was pretty accurate. Great people up Maine, the hill was a little underwhelming, but everyone races the same course, so I am fine with it. I can see where people would say that the "best skier does not win there" given the pitch. It's not about the best though, its about the fastest... I thought the GS set was a bit tight for todays modern GS skis... but again, my team did just fine with it. I thought they could have done a better job communicating with the coaches, I felt the TD from the mountain rolled over as soon as there was a disagreement, and the lodge was far to small for my team alone, let alone all the other teams and parents. I also thought there was a serious lack of netting on the course, but given the low speed of the race, it was probably enough. One athlete did manage to fall into the woods and crack his helmet though... Lots of stuff I would compain about that was out of everyones control, so not worth a mention really. All in all, it was a good time. I wish it did not take up next years entire training budget to pull it off though.
 

 

bystanderinME
Not going to state finals
Date: Mar 4, 2011 1:35:18 PM PST
Author: bystanderinME

Let me get this straight Chandy:

1. Your "boosters club" had to add 4 fundraisers to send your team to the state meet.
2. Your team had to "struggle a little".
3. You had to "strike a deal with the school district" by trading transportation for hotel rooms.
4. You had to crowd the entire team into 3 hotel rooms.

.... and you live and coach in a very "affluent" area of Maine? Good Lord... Is this what has become of Maine High School sports in Southern Maine? WOW! Do all varsity teams in your area have to fund raise and make sacrifices to attend basketball tournament games, hockey playoff games, swim meets, wrestling meets, cheering competitions etc...? That is hard to believe and I hope that "affluent" area of the state doesn't infect the rest of us. I can't imagine a School District sponsoring a varsity team and then setting them loose on providing their own transportation and housing for championship contests. If times are that tough that each team is responsible for raising their own money to compete maybe it's time for that district to seriously consider dropping some extracurricular choices. Maybe your school should just have a "ski-for-fun" club and go on a few outings. If the school district can't (won't) support a team it's time to pull the plug. I honestly had no idea there were schools in Maine that made the kids/parents pay to compete in their chosen sport.

On another note…. I can’t imagine ANY school anywhere in Maine spending money on a “team” full of freshmen who race on twin tips, with their extra puffy jackets on who don’t care about the race. Why would a school spend money to send them FIVE miles if this were the case? I would say it’s time for that school to drop that varsity program.

 

 

Chandy
Not going to state finals
Date: Mar 8, 2011 11:53:45 AM PST
Author: Chandy

Bystander,

I am a little confused by your post. Are you upset that the parents of the skiers in our neck of the woods work so hard to support a Varsity Ski Team that exists so far from the mountains? I have no idea how the tremendous efforts we go through would upset you. We have put together a pretty successful program for a school that is closer to ski areas in NH than we are to any in ME. The kids love it, and the experience builds character (as does any varsity sport) that you cannot get from any other source.

The school district is very supportive of all of their athletic teams. The state of ME in general (you may or may not know) is facing tremendous budget cuts for education. My team, has been willing to work with a flat funded program for several years in order to prevent being cut. I honestly dont know what it is, because we have to raise so much money to support the program anyway. Why would the school cut a successful program, because the boosters work hard to support it? That seems silly, doesn't it?

With the exception of possibly Hockey and swimming no other programs are forced by the nature of their sport, to practice or compete off site. This causes a logistical problem for the sport and the schools in general. No other sport would have to travel the equivelent of Boston to Washington DC for a playoff either. The district was reasonable in realizing that the kids parents would be driving up to watch/ support the teams anyway,so the hotel rooms vs the school bus/driver/gas/driver food and lodging was a good trade off. And for what it's worth, the whole team fit in 3 hotel rooms... no one was on the floor. Again, whay would it upset you that we found a way to save our district money, and still participate? I must be missing something.

Im not sure how to take your comment on our area being "very affluent". Quite frankly, you sound rather snobby. Maybe I sounded snobby in my first post. Sorry-Maybe we are not as well off as you are... perhaps we are better than some others...I ll try to clarify. Our area exists on a major industrial river between NH and ME. We have a shipyard close by, and a fairly large tax base given Ocean front homes etc. As with any town, there is the polar opposite of this as well. We are lucky that the industry, location and quality of life in our area lends itself to a comfortable lifestyle. I could only hope for any area in the state that they are infected with what we have.

For what it is worth, "pay to play" was in place in many schools for a time, including mine. It is no longer a policy, but at the time, it was needed. After further review, the vote was that this was not the best option any longer.
 

 

northernfolk
Not going to state finals
Date: Mar 22, 2011 6:30:20 AM PDT
Author: northernfolk

Originally Posted by bystanderinME:
Let me get this straight Chandy:

1. Your "boosters club" had to add 4 fundraisers to send your team to the state meet.
2. Your team had to "struggle a little".
3. You had to "strike a deal with the school district" by trading transportation for hotel rooms.
4. You had to crowd the entire team into 3 hotel rooms.

.... and you live and coach in a very "affluent" area of Maine? Good Lord... Is this what has become of Maine High School sports in Southern Maine? WOW! Do all varsity teams in your area have to fund raise and make sacrifices to attend basketball tournament games, hockey playoff games, swim meets, wrestling meets, cheering competitions etc...? That is hard to believe and I hope that "affluent" area of the state doesn't infect the rest of us. I can't imagine a School District sponsoring a varsity team and then setting them loose on providing their own transportation and housing for championship contests. If times are that tough that each team is responsible for raising their own money to compete maybe it's time for that district to seriously consider dropping some extracurricular choices. Maybe your school should just have a "ski-for-fun" club and go on a few outings. If the school district can't (won't) support a team it's time to pull the plug. I honestly had no idea there were schools in Maine that made the kids/parents pay to compete in their chosen sport.

On another note…. I can’t imagine ANY school anywhere in Maine spending money on a “team” full of freshmen who race on twin tips, with their extra puffy jackets on who don’t care about the race. Why would a school spend money to send them FIVE miles if this were the case? I would say it’s time for that school to drop that varsity program.



Why would anyone drop a Varsity program because of flat funding? This can't make any sense. I believe you will find several schools in ME with several sports that have very active booster programs. These programs raise money so kids can compete in their chosen sport.

It should not be so hard to believe that a school does not fund all of a particular sport. I think you will find that across the state - teams may all receive similar funding, but this may not be enough for all sports to effectively compete...Hence, parents do need to raise money and contribute to certain sport's programs. This is certainly not a reason to ask varsity athletes to trade in their GS suits for a "recreational weekend" club program...
 

 
 
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