BY DOMINICK MONTELARO
On Saturday, Oct. 11, the Sierra Nevada College men’s lacrosse team faced Santa Rosa Junior College(SRJC) in their first home game of the new season. There was no shortage of familiarity between the two sides, as six players transferred from SRJC to SNC in the past year. One of the new players, Junior Jack Witt, plays defense.
“It felt like a throwback seeing them all out there but it was fun getting some hits in on them,” said Witt.
Despite early possessions and good shots on goal, SRJC was not able to capitalize. SNC took an 8-1 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“It felt good to get an early lead on them so we could work on some new things as a team,” said Witt.
The pace of the game slowed down drastically in the second quarter making the score 10-4 by the half.
The second half of the game showcased many of the team’s younger players. Freshman Goalie Stephen Jenab and Sophomore Goalie Austin Farina each saw a quarter in cage and held the SRJC team to just 3 goals in the second half.
“We had some ups and downs in the game but it felt great to get out there and overall my first college home game went great,” said Jenab.
With great goalkeeping and persistent offense, the Eagles cruised to a 19-7 victory.
“We could have played better in many aspects of the game but we still showed everyone watching what we can do,” said Junior Faceoff Specialist Todd Grimm.”The home crowd helps us all. I was all about the excitement and number of people.”
Grimm was not the only one excited about the turn out. SNC Senior and lacrosse fan, Marissa Crump said, “The game was so conveniently close to the school that it brought a much bigger fan base which is something the school’s lacrosse team needs. It brought people to watch the game that aren’t always a part of that scene.”
While the Eagles don’t have another home lacrosse game until the spring, they seized this opportunity to showcase what they are capable of.
Big Bear Lakes, California: an unassuming, countrified nook tucked in the underskirt of the San Bernardino mountains. These mountains are a homey getaway from the swarming ruckus of Southern California; a sip of mother nature; the oasis in the desert. Big Bear is also the breeding ground for a certain caliber of snowboarding, synonymous with the terms “legend”, “OG” and “timeless.”
Big Bear’s 11th annual “Hotdawgs and Handrails” attracted thousands of spectators to the resort on Sept. 20. It’s the premier pre-season snowboarding event that, in the past, has elevated relatively unknown riders (including Keegan Valaika, Zak Hale, Ryan Paul and former Sierra Nevada College student Tommy Gesme) to the limelight of the snowboard industry. Although this year’s podium held some more familiar names, this will still stand as a breakthrough for folks who had to compete on two courses rather than just one. To start things off Luke Haddock, a Vermont native, hustled for the entirety of the session, aiming for idyllic execution. It was Haddock’s clean full cabs on the down bar that landed him in third place.
“I was shocked to find out I made the podium, the level of riding was extremely progressive,” Haddock said.
Second place fell upon Denis “Bonus” Leontyev, the Russian rail wizard.
“I thought the course was really fun. I really enjoyed the fact that there were two different courses,” Leontyev said.
His resounding consistency and eye-catching trick selection, regardless of the feature at hand, was what paid off for him in the end. However, it would take more than technical precision and unmitigated riding to walk with the $10,000 prize.
Local surfers had the ride of their lives Sept. 25, thanks to high winds that churned up a giant swell on Lake Tahoe’s northern shores. Sierra Nevada College senior Conner Wagner is an avid surfer and tries to make it out on the lake whenever there are waves.
“Some of these waves are overhead,” said Wagner. Wagner spends his winter breaks surfing the north shores of Oahu, Hawaii, and he snowboards in Tahoe when he returns.
“These are the biggest waves I have ever seen on the lake,” said Wagner.
Surfing on Tahoe has become sort of a novelty. According to locals, there is nothing else like it.
“When you duck-dive a wave, the water is crystal clear, and it’s warm. It’s like surfing in Hawaii,” said Incline resident Russell Conway.
In the summer Tahoe water temps can reach 70 degrees. But wintertime temperatures cause the water to dip into the low 40s. The surfers congregate at one of the best breaks, which is at Hidden Beach just outside of Incline Village. The large boulders off the shore of the beach generate breaking points for the waves rolling in.
“You can get clean rights and lefts all day,” said Conway.
It has to be pretty windy to surf Tahoe, usually the wind has to be a consistent 25 plus mph.
“Most storms come in during the fall and winter, but you can get some great surfing in the summer too,” said J.P. Donovan, a lifeguard at Sand Harbor. “The wind normally blows from the southwest, west or northwest.”
On Saturday, Sept. 27, the Sierra Nevada College men’s lacrosse team participated in the annual High Sierra Lacrosse Fundraiser, also known as the LAXtoberfest Lacrosse Tournament, at North Tahoe High School in Tahoe City. It was a victory for the team, placing 3-0 in the tournament.
“It was great to have all the guys back together again on the field after a long summer break and to see us all click right back into action after our success last season. I’m really excited to see what next season has in store for us,” said Jake McIntyre, starting attackman for SNC.
Last season the team achieved an undefeated season for their very first year playing, according to the Sierra Nevada College website. Saturday, the day began with a successful start as the Eagles took 11-3 against Santa Barbara Community College and then continued to dominate throughout the tournament.
“It was a good way to start the fall season off,” coach Bruce Meierdiercks said. “We own the lake.”
They played the Tahoe Dawgs, a local men’s club team, in which they earned another large margin victory.
“We were a bit worried coming into the tournament because practice had been cancelled for the previous two weeks due to poor air quality from the King fire. To see our squad come out and take care of business after not practicing was a really good confidence boost to send us into the new season,” said Sergio Orduna, starting defensive player for SNC.
During the tournament the weather was rainy and cold, which was significant in subsiding the King Fire smoke. Lacrosse players were unfazed by the weather conditions, however participants in the stands were a little more sensitive.
“Rain or smoke, I’ll be supporting these guys, but, yea, I still can’t feel my fingers,” SNC fan Sierra Parada said.
Over 70 competitors all over the West Coast traveled to Sky Lake Ranch in Durham, California, to compete in a three-event water ski tournament on Sept. 27-28.
For the Sierra Nevada College water ski team, this was the first tournament since the team was formed this fall. The western regional opener was a chance for the water ski team to earn valuable points from three different events in hopes of competing at National Championships at the beginning of October.
“After this first tournament, we are 100 percent sure we want to be here. We are the first ones up in the morning and the last ones going to sleep,” said Cory Johnson, president of the water ski club. “We party hard, but we ski harder.”
Along with SNC, major universities such as UC Davis, Arizona State University, Chico State University, Cal Poly and UCLA gathered at 7 a.m. Sept. 27 around Sky Lake Ranch, near Chico, California. The weather was perfect, with a sunny sky and no wind. The course was set up on the lake and people were getting boats ready for the skiers. The first event was slalom and all the SNC skiers got around the first turn.
The best SNC performance on the slalom course was by Marco Gooding, who made it to the fourth turn and earned the team 115 points.
“I tried really hard out there, missed a few turns but I still had a great time,” Gooding said. “It’s the first tournament of the season for the team, but we are still killing it.”
Teammates Johnson and Ian Van Metre both scored 65 points and Sophomore Grant Furlan earned 45 valuable team points for SNC.
With the change in seasons, warm weather and afternoons on the beach are numbered. On Saturday Sept. 20 Cory Johnson, resident assistant and president of the Water Ski Club, organized a volleyball tournament and barbecue at Ski Beach for one of the last days of summer in Tahoe.
“I have always been an avid volley player, and once I moved up here I played pretty much everyday over the summer,” Johnson said.
As the first tournament that Johnson hosted, he was responsible for organizing and running the event.
“From the tournament necessities, to the barbecue essentials, I got all of that together. Haley Gray was really helpful in getting me some of the other essentials, like tongs, extra coals and lighter fluid,” Johnson said.
The event was funded by the Sierra Nevada College. As an RA, Johnson is asked to organize one or two events a month. He said the volleyball tournament became his major event for the semester.
“We will probably do it again,” Johnson said.
In 2013, Sierra Nevada College surprised the community with an addition to the athletics department: a lacrosse team. According to the head of the women’s team, Honora Fallon-Oben, last year the SNC lacrosse teams were considered provisional teams within the Western Collegiate Lacrosse League, or WCLL.
“For the first year, the SNC team’s stats and records did not count. They played solemnly because they enjoyed the sport, and to prove to WCLL that they could field and manage a team to the league,” said Oben.
Oben, along with her team, is proud of the results from last season.
“WCLL was very impressed that in a location such as Tahoe, where lacrosse is not as widespread, we were able to make history as the first ever women’s lacrosse team at Sierra Nevada College and successfully complete the season,” said Oben. “We have done an excellent job proving to the league that we should be accepted as a full member.”
After the league meeting in October, the SNC lacrosse team will be voted in as a full member of the WCLL. It is the first season that the teams will be officially competing so this season will be important for both the men and the women’s teams.
The water ski club at Sierra Nevada College might sound like a laid-back opportunity to mess around on a boat on Lake Tahoe, but the club has a goal that stretches far beyond simple recreation.
As the first water ski club at SNC, this marks the introduction of an entirely new competitive team to the college. The club is one of 17 registered teams that make up the Western Collegiate Water Ski Association. SNC team members will attend their first competition on Sept. 27-28 in Chico, California.
“My main focus starting the water ski team was to give the students another competitive sport to do that is relatable to our location and provide another asset for the college,” said Cory Johnson, president of the water ski club.
The club’s mission statement, according to the Student Government Association’s website, is to unite students through an active and skillful sport while striving to build a healthy competitive spirit for all. “We will grow as individuals and as team members to expand our knowledge and abilities,” it states.
Johnson presented the idea to start the team to SNC faculty, and with the help of a few club members, it is close to succeeding establishment as an official part of the school. The club has been granted $4,900 courtesy of the SGA; $4,000 thanks to club proposals, and $900 thanks to a second place finish at club field day on Sep. 6. These funds however, are tentative and cannot be granted until President Lynn Gillette approves the club and the school’s insurance provider accepts the team through its underwriters.
Johnson is optimistic about the insurance decision and Gillette’s approval.
“I’m very hopeful on that. We’ve got the support of Shannon Beets, executive vice president and provost, as well as SNC Controller Linda Odell.”
“Both Beets and Odell are excited to see this happen and look forward to seeing things progress for the team,” said Johnson.
So far the team has had six practices, two on Lake Tahoe and four on a private lake.
“We water ski a few mornings during the week, starting at 7 a.m.,” said Sophomore Nelly Steinhoff, a new member of the team. “On the weekends we have different groups of five people who will go down to Gardnerville to a man-made lake where we are taught the proper technique to shred a slalom course, trick skis, and jump skis.”
Another obstacle for the team has been determining the commitment level of the club members. According to Johnson about 50 percent of the team seems truly committed to the competitive level.
“It’s hard because we all have our own college interests, as well as work and jobs and school. Being part of a competitive team is difficult, but I was fortunate enough to be on the freestyle snowboard team on both my freshman and sophomore year and if you want to do something then I believe it would be pretty easy to wake up at 6 a.m. and work out and go skiing, if you’re really into it,” said Johnson.
At the moment the club is comprised of twelve members, seven men and five women. Johnson encourages anyone interested in participating to consider enrolling in the club for the spring and fall semesters of 2015.
Sierra Nevada College sits at the epicenter of the outdoor sports Mecca of Lake Tahoe, and has a student body that routinely takes full advantage of all of the opportunities in the basin. Now steps are being made by administrators at SNC to seize a ripe opportunity sitting near the top of Donner Pass. A partnership is being established between SNC and Boreal Ridge Corporation, which includes the properties Boreal Mountain Resort, Woodward Tahoe and Soda Springs Mountain Resort, and students will start seeing the benefits of this partnership as early as June 2014.
“It’s a natural fit for our like-minded demographics,” stated Matt Peterson, director of Marketing at Boreal Ridge Corporation. “Sierra Nevada College challenges its students to learn both inside and outside the classroom walls. This is terrific opportunity to expand those walls further and only the start of things come. We’re stoked for the future of this partnership!”
The most immediate benefit of the partnership is a $300 discount that Woodward Tahoe is offering specifically to SNC students for its snowboard, skiing, and adult action sports camps, which take place on June 22-28. This discount would knock the price of the week long camp down to roughly $1499.
According to Nicole Ferguson, vice president of Admissions, Financial Aid, and Information Technology at SNC, the week of camp covered by the discount is specific to adults 18 and over, and mainly college students, from around the country.
This is only a small part of what Ferguson, who is the main force behind the partnership on the college side, hopes to accomplish. She believes that the partnership might lead to some great internship opportunities as well.
“Since it’s a new partnership we’re still exploring all the possible opportunities that will go along with this but it’s clear that our students are interested in internships at Boreal/Woodward,” said Ferguson. “Especially emphasizing our majors in Business and Sustainability to create a seamless internship process with them that benefits both the students and Boreal/Woodward.”
Ferguson also has some creative ideas involving direct student interaction with Woodward/Boreal’s weekly Expression Sessions. The Expression Sessions consist of weekly rail jams that take place at Boreal Mountain Resort under the Friday night lights.
“A possibility would be for us to collaborate on an event on one of those nights so if SGA (Student Government Association) is hosting a rail jam or something similar they are definitely looking for a partnership to do that sort of thing with our student body,” Said Ferguson. “It’s a perfect demographic for us because SGA or clubs on campus are always looking for ways to raise money; they’re looking for ways to get students out and doing things in an environment that everybody loves.”
The last object of discussion involves a possible discounted all-access pass to Boreal and Woodward for all SNC students. This is a goal that Ferguson is very hopeful about but says that no final decisions have been made and they are still exploring the many possibilities of the partnership.
“A lot of these discussions have just been started and nothing has been closed on but we are clearly on the same page with Boreal/Woodward on a lot of the initiatives,” said Ferguson.
By Sage Sauerbrey