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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Alpine Ski gears up for the upcoming season

Westford+Academy+Alpine+Ski+poses+for+a+picture+after+winning+the+Boys+2022+DCL+title.
Provided by WA Alpine Ski Instagram
Westford Academy Alpine Ski poses for a picture after winning the Boys’ 2022 DCL title.

As the cold weather comes to Westford, it brings a new winter sports season, and WA’s Alpine Ski team is getting ready to hit the slopes. The team is looking forward to competing and regaining their spot at the top of the DCL.

The team is coached by math teacher Erik Ruhmann and is led by four senior captains: Alex Popelka, Justin Davighi, Olivia Valcourt, and Marisa Cline. The team members have high hopes for their team, which is full of very talented skiers.

“[This season is] definitely promising. We’ve got a couple of upcoming seniors that should be good, like me, Justin, and Alex are three big seniors coming up,” senior Dillon Power said.

Last year, the boys finished in third place and the girls’ team finished in ninth place. Ruhmann is excited to start the season and he has a good feeling about the future of the program.

“We have a [good] number of new kids on the team, so I’m pretty excited about that. I think probably the biggest thing we’re hoping for is a little more snow than we had last winter,” Ruhmann said. “That’s going to make the season, if we can get that, and it seems to me that the chances of having two seasons in a row [with last year’s amount of snowfall] seems unlikely.”

Two members of the boys’ team qualified for states last year, with Tyler Murray [Class of 2023] and Popelka representing WA. Valcourt was the lone member of the girls’ team to qualify for states. Ruhmann wants to have a bounce-back season and is setting high expectations for the team.

“Usually the goal would be DCL champs but it’s tough to do that. The league’s pretty competitive but we’ve done well over the years with that,” Ruhmann said. “So if we can pull off first place or second place, [we’d be] pretty happy with that. Typically, as a team, we will qualify for state championships.”

Ruhmann said that the way he prepares his skiers for the season is dryland training and a lot of team-building exercises. Then, once the ski areas open, he gets his team ready to hit the snow.

“It used to be that Nashoba Valley Ski Area was opened the first weekend in December. [But] it’s been a number of years since they’ve been able to get open that early in the season,” Ruhmann said. “It depends on natural snow or cold temperatures so that they can make snow, so that’s been challenging for them. They do have new snowmaking equipment this year that they say is better.”

The first race for the team will be on January 9th at 3pm at Nashoba Valley Ski area.

“This is my 24th year as a coach in the league, and so I know the coaches on the other teams pretty well,” Ruhmann said. “I feel that competitiveness and I want to beat them all every year, [but] it’s always nice to beat Acton-Boxborough.”

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Tyler Olsen, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Tyler. I am a senior at WA. This is my first year with the Ghostwriter as a staff writer. I enjoy watching and playing sports, my favorite sport is hockey but I also play lacrosse. Outside of school I enjoy hanging out with my friends and teammates. I love listening to music, mostly country. 

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