By Ben Murphy
Fourth year Jann Cleary has high expectations for the Clare varsity skiing teams this season. The boys return every key member from last year’s Central Alpine Conference championship team, and the girls squad welcomes a host of newcomers.
Returning from last years boys team are seniors Timmy Badour, Jordan Hales, Jeffrey Staten (two-tiem state qualifier), Brett Acton (state qualifier) and sophomores Charlie Bugbee, Jay Poet and Zack Brockway. New to the team is senior Kevin van Melis and freshmen Ryan Whiteman and Zach Merchant.
“Our boys team is just going to be really solid, my top six guys are all pretty good,” Cleary said. “Our goal is for the whole team is to go to states. If they work as hard as they did last year, there should not be any problem with that.”
Returning for the girls team are seniors Maggie Merillat, Leagh Bugbee and junior Madi Cleary (two-time state qualifier).
New to the team are juniors Megan Blakely, Robyn Stanley, sophomore Nina Sperier and freshmen Paige Gould, Hannah Hofweber, Hannah Bauman, Emylee Allen, Sierra Kwiatkowski, Alise Cronin and Milly Merillat.
“We’re really excited about the girls,” Cleary said. “We’re hoping that our girls will be able to win conference and go to the state finals meet as a team.”
As of December 19, the team had yet to hit the slopes, as snow had yet to be made at most local ski hills.
“We’ve been doing dry land training to condition and prepare for skiing,” Cleary said. “We’re just getting ready, we’re real anxious to ski. We should have a great year. Hopefully we’ll be able to get on the hill. We’re all in the same predicament.
Clare is scheduled to host the first Central Alpine Conference Jamboree on Jan. 8 at Snowsnake.