Just two years after adding the sport, over 100 people crowded the sidelines as Sierra Nevada College’s Men’s Lacrosse team took the field against UC Santa Cruz. Whether spectating, yelling or chanting, all the fans showed tremendous school spirit as they cheered the team to victory.
This school spirit will be magnified as six new teams join SNC next year.
Last month, SNC was approved as an associate member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), allowing SNC to form men’s and women’s golf, cross country and soccer teams for the 2015-2016 school year.
“This is a way to recruit our demographic,” said Elizabeth Thibodeau, director of Student Affairs and Housing. “More students will come who match the athletic, outdoorsy, competitive environment we have here.”
NAIA membership will not only increase inter-collegiate competition, but will also raise the number of incoming students attending SNC. A projected 72 new students will attend SNC primarily to participate in sports.
According to Thibodeau, new athletes should not have a huge impact on the dorms.
“We are recruiting but I have a feeling that many new players will be local and it would not surprise me to see many transfer students,” said Thibodeau . “A large amount of these students will be living off campus, but we budget certain amounts of space on-campus for them.”
Spring has arrived and with it extended daylight, warm temperatures, and melting snow. But this doesn’t mean that we have to stop skiing. Since my season was a wrap after the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA) National Championships, I began to wonder what to do for the rest of the school year. Because I’ve been turning my skis around gates since I learned to walk, I thought that maybe I should test my skills on a different element.
Even though water skiing and snow skiing are relatively different, they do share a few similar skills and thrills. There is a fair amount of crossover between the two sports in momentum, forces, gravity, and how you adapt to it and use it. Personally, I didn’t experience any help from my skiing background, when I water skied for one of the first times at our latest water ski tournament in Arvin, California. Even though I water skied like a beginner, I still had one hell of a weekend. Being surrounded by people who compete not just for the sake of winning, but for the sake of having a good time, made me realize something important.
I feel like many of us have forgotten one of the most important reasons why we began to do sports in the first place, which was to have fun. It is very easy to get caught up in external awards such as medals, records and scholarships, but we must keep in mind that these are not the only reasons why we participate in sports. The accolades are just a by-product of our hard work.
No matter how hard practice is, and no matter how serious the meet is, you can always enjoy the competition and all that it brings with it. Make sure you remind yourself that you do sports for enjoyment, for improvement and to be with friends. When you remember to have fun, you are setting yourself up to enjoy the process of achieving success – not just for success itself.
Many Sierra Nevada College Ski and Snowboard team members kept on their skis but traded winter for the wake, and joined the SNC Water Ski Club for the last three tournaments.
”Almost all of us have been competitive freestyle, snowboard and alpine racers for the school, ” Club President Cory Johnson said. “That really helps us to prepare for the trick, jump and slalom event when we start competing again this spring.”
The Water Ski club attended their first spring event on March 28-29 at Newberry Springs, CA. The club drove six hours down south with a team consisting of three seniors; John Wilkins, Cory Johnson and a first-timer Spencer Fisch. Fisch joined the team two days before the tournament.
”Arizona State University did a phenomenal job hosting the spring opener tournament this past weekend,” Fisch said. ”I am new to the sport and felt really comfortable with the vibe and support given. I am more than excited for upcoming tournaments, especially the one hosted by UC Davis.”
Fisch landed all his tricks and two out of three of his long jumps on his first tournament ever.” He surprised every person on the side lines,” Johnson said. “People from other schools begin to wonder what we are having for breakfast since we are constantly landing our jumps on the hardest event.”
The club was formed last fall and has been growing since the first tournament in Chico, CA. The club currently only has two women competing, but is looking to recruit more for the last two spring tournaments.
“We have few alpine and freestyle team members joining us for the spring, but we hope that other students would be interested as well,” Johnson said. ”One of the biggest topics at the moment is that where are we going to be practicing and where do we get the funding.”
The water ski club drove to Chico on April 4-5 and practiced over the weekend with Chico Water Ski Team president who let the club train on his private lake. SNC Ski Team member Cannon O’Brien joined the club for the last two tournaments to enjoy competitive skiing not just on snow, but also on water.
”After I was done skiing on snow with our ski team and Branko, I thought it would be fun to spend some time skiing on water instead of snow,” O’Brien said. ”We went to Chico to train for our second tournament this upcoming weekend.”
The club competes in the National Collegiate Water Ski Association (NCWSA) tournaments and is skiing with athletes that have competed in a high level internationally. The next tournament will be hosted by Cal Poly at Ironwood Ranch in Arvin, CA. The club will drive to Arvin with 10 to 12 people on April 10.
By Noël Sabella
On Feb. 27-28, professional rock climbers Alex Puccio and Nina Williams held clinics for adults and children at High Altitude Fitness. A blackout occurred during the youth clinic resulting in almost a dozen climbers wearing headlamps and working together to finish the clinic in addition to a change in the members travel plans after the clinic.
This clinic has been highly anticipated by the staff, management, and climbing community at High Altitude Fitness.
“It’s an amazing opportunity. I’m always excited to learn new techniques but these girls are the best. I don’t think a lot of people understand how big of a deal it is to have them here in Incline teaching this clinic,” said Manager and climber Kyra Fitz.
The Sierra Nevada College ski and snowboard teams dominated during the week and were able to bring back home a lot of hardware. The teams won a total of eight team National Championship titles, 24 individual podiums and four overall team National Championship titles.
Prior to their Feb. 22 match up against UC Santa Cruz, the Sierra Nevada College Women’s Lacrosse Team was 1-1 with a win over Biola and a loss to UC Irvine at the Santa Barbara Shootout Tournament. However, after the tournament, the team faced some difficult changes.
“Nora (Fallon-Oben’s) last day coaching us was at the Santa Barbara Shootout. She had told us two weeks before that she got a job offer at Cornell University. Some girls took it harder than others but we made a point to realize it is a great opportunity for Nora and appreciate what she did for us by starting a women’s lacrosse program. Even with her leaving we are ready to keep the program going. Her energy still sticks with the team, but we have another great coach and a fresh start with Holly (Atkins),” said Freshman goalie Paris Toedt.
Since the Santa Barbara Shootout, Holly Atkins, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs at SNC, has assumed duties as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team.
“At first I was disappointed about the coaching change because Nora originally recruited me and did so much for me to come here. However, now I have realized that Holly is a great coach and I am so grateful that she has stepped up to the plate. I have nothing but respect for her,” said Freshman Bianka Pacheco.
On Sunday, Feb. 22, SNC faced off against UC Santa Cruz with limited practices with their new head coach and lost 16-11. Despite the loss, the team had some success to build on.
“I think we might have played our best game of the season despite the score. We played as a team by sharing the ball, helping each other on defense and being supportive when we made mistakes. If we continue to build on these, we can continue to get a lot better,” said Freshman Kaitlin McKie.
On Saturday, March 7, the team will travel to Palo Alto, California to play Stanford, who is 4-1 on the season. With their new coach at the helm, the Eagles are optimistic about their chances going forward.
“The coaching change has been hard for us to adapt to as a team. Holly has a totally different coaching style then Nora but I feel good about (Holly) as our new coach. It gives the team a chance to come closer as we adapt through adversity together. I believe the change is good and great things are going to come out of this season,” said Toedt.
Applying for membership to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will expand the number of Sierra Nevada College sports teams in the 2015 Fall semester.
“The students here are very athletic orientated, so I think this a great fit for them,” said Director of Athletics Branko Zagar. “We plan to join with six new teams.”
Men’s and Women’s cross-country, golf, and soccer teams will be the first added.
“I would play golf,” said Junior Max Irving. “I think that starting more sports teams will improve student opportunities.”
In the beginning of February, NAIA evaluation members visited the campus, concluding the last step to the application process.
“They were evaluating if we could facilitate teams,” Zagar said. “The NAIA board makes the final decision.”
In April, the NAIA will notify SNC’s athletic department on its pending acceptance to the organization.
The NAIA hosts athletic programs, called conferences, that mitigate sport competitions between member colleges. After receiving NAIA acceptance, SNC then applies for acceptance into the California Pacific (Cal Pac) conference.
SNC is unique in that it’s environment, campus and facilities can only pertain to certain sports. The Cal Pac conference also includes softball, and basketball.
“We don’t have any artificial turf baseball fields up here,” said Zagar.
“We have to pick the sports that fit us.”
The rest of the colleges playing in the Cal Pac conference are based in California, except one in Arizona.
“We’re going to be kind of late starting our new teams,” Zagar said. “We’ll be bringing in recruits along with currently interested students onto teams to be competitive.”
NAIA post this information on its about us page. (www.naia.org)
By Johanna Tikkanen
On Feb. 12, the Sierra Nevada College Woman’s Lacrosse team traveled to play their first game of the season in Santa Barbra at the Santa Barbara Shootout. The team took their first victory against Biola University with a score of 16-12. This was the Lady Eagles first game as a non-provisional team. Seven players scored goals and one of the star players, Bianka Perez scored a whopping four goals. In addition, Sophomore Miranda McFarland, Freshmen Lilly Bennett and Sophomore Macy Mannix each scored three goals.
“We were a new team last year, so it was kind of a practice year for us,” Sophomore Macy Mannix said. “It was an exciting victory, especially since it was the first game of the season.”
Despite the fact that SNC doesn’t have a field to practice on yet, it hasn’t stopped the team from preparing for the upcoming season. The team practices four times a week at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista, which is an approximately 20 minute drive away from the SNC campus.
On Feb. 13 the Lady Eagles faced UC Irvine at Storke Field. The team fought hard the whole game but were unable to take another victory for the weekend, and the game ended with a score of 9-18.
“I think that it was a great weekend even though we lost to UC Irvine,” Mannix said. “We gained self confidence from the victory against Biola and we will improve from the loss against UC Irvine.”
Even though the players were busy with the tournament, they also had some free time to visit the sites of Santa Barbara and bond as a team.
On Feb. 22 the Lady Eagles will be playing against UC Santa Cruz on their home field, and the team will be striving for another great victory for the season. Below you can find the schedule for the following months.
Sunday Feb 22 @ UC Santa Cruz
Saturday March 7 @ Stanford
Thursday- Monday March 12-16 @ Desert Tournament
Sunday April 5 @Humblodt State
Saturday April 11 @ San Jose State
Sunday April 12 @ Nevada
Five athletes from the Sierra Nevada College Snowboard team traveled to two countries and nine states in just 24 days, in order to compete in North American Cup and FIS (International Ski Federation) events. The trip brought many great results and experiences as well as an unfortunate injury for one of the athletes.