by MATTHEW DAVIS
With three skiers from the top 12 of last year’s conference meet, the Champlin Park Rebels girls Alpine skill team hopes for big things.
Lisa and Tara Dalman and Allison Phleger return after finishing in the top 12 of the Northwest Suburban Conference last season. They will help the Rebels aim for the top three as a team in the NWSC this season.
Belinda Huang, Zoey Rugel, Tyra Crushshon and Hannah Geiger all return for the Rebels. They all have 2-3 years of varsity key experience and can help the team meet their goals. Sending skiers to state individually is also a goal.
“We hope to get two boys and three girls into the state meet this year,” Rebels coach Gary Phleger said.
The Rebels boys team will have a small crew of six skiers this season.
“We need more kids in the program to compete at a state qualifying team level,” Phleger said.
Four-time state skier Joshua Phleger graduated, but Anson and Tony Kuznik are two of the top skiers in the NWSC. Anson reached the state meet last season too. Cooper Johnson, Gunnar McLellan, Parker Toenies and Zachary Kamp all have 2-3 years of varsity ski experience.
The Rebels have key NWSC meets early on December and January at Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls or Trollhaugen in Dresser, Wis. The Rebels will race at the Section 7 meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik in early February.
Champlin Park Nordic
The Rebels boys team will look to younger skiers to step up, and the Rebels girls team will look for a veteran group to make strides.
“We hope to move up this year in the conference championship with both boys and girls team,” Rebels coach Charlie Rietsche said. “We are a young team this year, but they are hungry to move up the standings.”
Five seniors graduated from last year’s boys team, three of which were their top skiers. The Rebels will have captains senior David Urvig and junior Tim Scheller returning.
“We have a very young group of skiers coming back,” Rebels coach Charlie Rietsche said.
The girls team will return all of their top seven skiers. This includes captain Shannon Wald, who will have a shot to make the state meet after coming close last season.
Senior Jennifer Nordlund and Andrea Wagner also return as captains.
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