Winter Sport Student Athletes Transition Between Conditioning to Competing

As fall sports close, students begin their new winter season


L. Branco

Student athletes on the Ski team participating in dryland training

Cici Copenhaver, Staff Writer

  For athletes, the first fall of snow brings in more than just winter; it signals the start of winter sports. With basketball, skiing, wrestling, hockey, and bowling taking place, students have been busy for months in preparation for the upcoming season. Sophomore and Varsity Ski Team member, Ellie Gruber, has been training and practicing throughout the summer and fall months to prepare for the season.

  “We do dryland as a team and I play other sports like many of the other athletes do to stay in shape,” Gruber said.

  As a no-cut sport, everyone who tries out can join the team. However, according to Gruber, there are only six varsity racers.

  “In practice, we do time trials, and [becoming a varsity skier] is based on that,” Gruber said.

  The season starts over Thanksgiving break, and skiing takes place once the snow hits the ground. The races begin in January and end in late February. Ski races are day-long events, and these students tend to miss school for these events.

  “We miss the entire day of school and leave pretty early to go to wherever we’re racing at,” Gruber said.

  Heading inside, bowling is starting up again this winter and devout bowlers are excited to start their season. Sophomore Taylor Phillips says the tryout process for bowling is remarkably unique and varies every year.

  “Coaches are watching you and trying to figure out who’s best for what. They try to get to know you and look at your form and technique,” Phillips said.

  Bowling is a highly competitive sport and technically utilizes angles and patterns.

  “A bowling match can be a little bit stressful, but you have to break it down and stay calm. It forces you to control your emotions,” Phillips said.

  Tryouts for both boys and girls basketball have already taken place, and girls varsity basketball is scheduled to play on Dec. 4  against the Grand Haven HS Buccaneers at 12 p.m. Boys varsity hockey has an upcoming match on Saturday Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. against the Grosse Pointe South HS Blue Devils. For more updates, scheduling, and rosters, check out the TC West Athletics page at or and search for Traverse City West.