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Our View: Ski, snowboard teams deserve mountain of praise

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Placer High School skiers and snowboarders made our community proud with an outstanding showing at the state championships held at Mammoth Mountain ski resort earlier this month. Led by head coach Mark Faulkner and assistant coach Elise Ryerson, the snowboard team carved out Placer’s first-ever combined state championship. The girls team, led by Caty O’Connor and Emma Obray, took first place and the boys team, led by Pete Porata, took second, adding up to the combined team win. The Placer High girls skiing team, led by Coach Matt Conley and assistant coach Toby Covich, also took first place at States. This was the girls team’s second state championship in the last three years. The 2007 championship team was more than capably led by Cheryl Miller Day, who has since stepped down. This was Conley’s first year as head coach, and he and Covich did well. The girls team was led by individual state championship wins in giant slalom by Paige Rothe and in slalom by Karly Kenworthy, who also took the combined title. But it takes more than dedicated coaches and great athletes to win on the slopes. Parents also play a huge role. This year, snowboard team parents Ron and Denise Obray made generous contributions above and beyond what’s required. They deserve thanks and recognition. Dedicated parents make Placer High School, and Auburn, shine. And almost all of the top skiers and snowboarders have one thing in common: They have trained with Auburn Ski Club, a nonprofit organization started decades ago by some very forward-thinking Auburnites, including Wendell Robie. Auburn is blessed to be situated in the scenic Sierra Nevada foothills. Our youth have a unique opportunity to enjoy the nearby mountains and all of the recreational opportunities they offer. It’s a testament to the coaches at Placer, the Auburn Ski Club, the parents and the athletes for dedicating themselves to these popular outdoor sports. You’ve all done Auburn proud.