The Dodge Ridge Race Team is gearing up to defend the Silver Cup championship for a sixth straight year.
With a still-strengthening El Nino weather pattern developing in the Pacific Ocean, Dodge Ridge Race Team members are getting geared up – literally and figuratively – for the upcoming 2015/16 race season.
Team members gathered at Dodge Ridge on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 3 and 4, for the 15th annual Race Team Weekend event to catch up with other team members, meet with team coaches and get outfitted with new gear for the 2015/16 season. Sales reps from Volkl, Atomic, Tecnica, Blizzard and POC were on-hand to help fit new skis, boots and helmets, and new families in the team program were able to connect with other families and resort staff.
Competing in the USSA Far West Central Series division, the Dodge Ridge Race Team has won the prestigious Silver Cup – awarded to the top program in the Central Sierra – for a record five years in a row over the past five seasons, and is looking to build on that streak by carrying their momentum into the 2015/16 season.
As the largest and best-organized teams program in the Central Sierra region, the Dodge Ridge Race and Devo teams expect to train over 40+ kids during the 2015/16 season, with slots still open on both teams for prospective new racers.
Will a sixth Silver Cup championship be in the cards?
Race Team Administrator Sally Harms thinks so. She was excited to see over 25 race team families over the course of the Race Team Weekend event and said that all the kids had a blast hanging out together, trying on the latest new ski gear, and posing for photos with the Silver Cup trophy, while the parents and coaches made plans for a great season ahead.
“I think we have a great team and a super strong coaching staff and unbelievably dedicated parents,” Harms said. “The parents continuously hang in there and support our program, and I think that speaks volumes for the type of race program we offer.”
The 2015/16 Dodge Ridge Race Team – the largest ski team program in the Central Sierra region – will likely be comprised mostly of returning racers from last year’s Race and Development teams, as well as kids who are making the step up to the Development Team from Dodge Ridge’s legendary Kids Club program. However, there are still plenty of spots open for prospective racers to join in the fun and skill development that the race programs provide this season.
A tradition of excellence with an emphasis on fun
“We’ve produced some amazing kids from the program that have gone on to do amazing things,” Harms said. “But it’s a very kid-friendly, family-friendly race program.”
Harms said she is especially excited to add a U16 division to the Dodge Ridge Race Team this winter, so that 14 and 15-year-olds can continue to compete without having to commute up to Lake Tahoe area resorts to do so.
Head Race Team Coach Cory Perry attended the Race Weekend event and liked what he saw from the returning racers and new team members.
“We have some little rippers with a ton of talent and most of them are coming back, so I’m excited to see what they can do this year,” Perry said. “We also have some new racers coming in, including some from Sweden. So I’m excited to see them too.”
Asked what he’s most looking forward to, Perry repeated a common theme: “It looks like we’re going to have some snow this season, so we can have some effective training this year. Plus, we’ve got a really solid coaching staff. They’re all fired up and we’re ready to get these athletes out there and rip.”
In thinking about what has been the secret to the team’s success over the years, Perry wanted to thank the team parents: “It’s taken a lot of dedication from the parents, for sure. The parents getting their kids to training every day, that’s been our secret. And we’ve got some great coaches who make it fun and are always pushing the kids and themselves to get better and better.”
Perry and the other coaches know that while individual ski racing results often come down to technique, conditioning, and a little luck, it’s factors such as camaraderie, friendship and the ability to confer a lifetime’s passion for skiing that lead to a successful teams program. And fortunately, here at Dodge Ridge, all the pieces are in place to continue building on the program’s amazing success.
Thinking of joining the Dodge Ridge Race or Development teams program?
New families interested in more information about the Dodge Ridge Race Team or Development Team programs are encouraged to check out more information on the Teams page of our website.
The Central Series Race Team provides race-focused training and exposure to competitive ski racing for ages 7 – 13. Training will begin as soon as the resort opens for the season and will be held on weekends and holidays throughout the season. The focus will be on fundamentals, tactics and racing in the USSA Far West Central Series. Cost of the Race Team program is only $1,150 for the season, and includes an unrestricted season pass for the racer.
The Development Team is designed for 5 – 8 year old skiers who have progressed through level 5 or 6 in the Snowsports School and are ready for a fun-filled season of mountain adventures with a great coach and group of friends. The Devo Team will further develop skiing skills through regular training to prepare kids to move up to the Race Team. Cost of the Development Team program is only $995 for the season, and includes an unrestricted season pass for the racer.
The Dodge Ridge Kids Club program is the gateway to the teams programs, providing children ages 4 – 12 the technique and confidence they need to become lifelong skiers as well as to progress up to the Development Team. The Kids Club Season Membership allows your child to take unlimited lessons throughout the season, with unlimited rental equipment and a season pass included for the incredible price of just $998.
Finally, families looking to help support the teams programs are encouraged to join the Dodge Ridge Race Club, which hosts numerous social events throughout the ski season for parents and kids to develop lifelong friendships and to raise money for team equipment needs and coach training. The Race Club also organizes many of the on-hill volunteers needed to successfully host the USSA Central Series giant slalom race at Dodge Ridge each season.