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The Fresno State Ski and Snowboard Team at Mammoth Mountain last season. (Courtesy of Fresno State Ski & Snowboard Team)

Skiing and snowboarding: a unique sport for the Valley

“Pray for snow” is what Logan Doss said he wants fellow teammates to do the most. Doss is a plant science major and president of the Fresno State ski and snowboard team. This is Doss’ first year as team president, and he said he is  looking forward to furthering the work of presidents before him while still having fun during the team’s next season.

In November as soon as there is enough snow on the ground for the skiers and snowboarders to slide around on, the team typically travels to China Peak Mountain Resort and Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort to practice and start training.

“You can expect that the team is going to go out and be competitive and represent Fresno State to the best of our ability,” Doss said.

During the season, the team meets about two to five times a week including weekends.

Practices start with team members warming up their legs, then traveling up to the top of the mountain to do runs from top to bottom to get used to the high speeds that they generate. They repeat this about five times.

Next, the team members split up depending on which type of races they participate in and practice on courses along with freestyle on the slopes. All these routines prepare the athletes for the six regular-season competitions, a regional and a national competition.

The new season will officially begin New Year’s weekend at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. This season the team will compete in the Southern California League against schools such as UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State, USC, California State Long Beach and Northern Arizona University.

Adam Palecek, fourth-season competitor and business major, said the competitions are very relaxed. The athletes get to meet other students who share the same passion for the sport while watching each other compete until it is their turn to go out and give it all they’ve got.

“My favorite part of the team is the competition weekends,” Palecek said. “It’s fun hanging out and riding with all of the other teams in our league.”

Jarett Shinoda, captain of the slope-style snowboarders and social media representative of the team, said that even though he is still new to the team, he has already proven his position. He said he is extremely excited to travel back to Mammoth Mountain this season and possibly qualify for nationals in Oregon.

“My favorite thing about the sport of skiing and snowboarding is the overall culture that these two sports have created,” Shinoda said. “You get to meet these people from all walks of life with completely different interests…except for two, the love for the mountains and for skiing/snowboarding.”

To keep up with the ’Dogs’ skiers and snowboarders, follow them on Instagram at @fresnosnowteam and on Facebook at Fresno State Ski and Snowboard Team. On those pages, you can find the latest updates on meetings and events, along with pictures and videos of the team in action.