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Season ending News!
Mar 10, 2014, 9:27 pm

Who would of expected the warmest day of the season to hit us on our last day of "trail-togetherness?" 

  Sunny & 35 degree weather made our hot dog / smore roast very enjoyable and without the extreme-cold gear apparel, it was hard to recognize our team!  

 WinkIt was a lot of fun, and the snow made for a great outing of snowball throwing, hiking to the creek, and even some "snowmui" wrestling... It was really neat to share our last day with the Jr. Nordic Club too.  Our team captain's awarded these young skiers with the ME / VA / E-G ski hats- we hope they wear them proudly and know that they are all welcome back next year- with the club or better yet- transitioning to the team!   THANK YOU - Kim Norman and Jack Greenlee for being our fire-starters and roasting stick widdlers for this annual day!!


I have noticed that some of our skiers have still been using their skinny skis and you should- this is the best time of the year to ski!  Giant's Ridge will remain open until April 13th, and I am betting many other trails will be groomed till then also...


A Snoball Homecoming event was held Friday after the State meet.  The Nordic team had to design a wedding dress for skier Sam J.  Stick to skiing guys & gals!  There was a bevy of team spandex suits also gracing the Mesabi East school; I think I saw roller skis too!  It was double fun to hear about our skiers and their ski partners for the dance the next evening.  Friends till the end....  Sam & Josh cleaned up nice for their royalty duties- and the Nordic crowd was loud!


Speedy job to the skiers who completed the Book Across the Bay last month.  This has been a (Babich) tradition as of late, and glad that our skiers still are experiencing this unique ski race.


Congrats abound to our Pepsi Challenge ski racers and volunteers.  Thanks for supporting our local race!   Results are posted at http://www.skinnyski.com/.


Also receiving post-season ski kudo's is Anna J.  From the Junior National's in Stowe Vermont, Anna brought home 2 medals and earned "All American" status for placing in the top ten.

Anna placed 11th- 5k classic, 10th- sprints, 12th - 5k skate, & anchored her 3x3 skate relay to 5th place.   It was a very memorable time, and the Trapp Family Ski Lodge & Trails were a fantastic ski venue for this beautiful New England state. 


With the end of the season Banquet ahead of us- Sunday, March 16th, 6pm at the Biwabik Pavilion, there are a few items hanging out there...

- uniforms, equipment, warm-ups:  return these if you still have them.

- lost & found:  nice pair of lobster mitts, 1 salomon combi ski boot, black mittens, ski hats, etc.  Josh J. is missing his team jacket- anyone seen it?

- Potluck:   Please bring the following according to the first letter of your last name;

A-H--- Main dish

J-K--- Vegis or vegi dish

L-M--- Fruit or fruit dish




I hope you are all on your way to a great spring sports season- you know where I'll be- watching! 


See you Sunday at the banquet.  It will be a fun evening of memories, gifts, awards, video, raffles & more! 



  Senior skiers:  Emma & Sam                            Wedding dress??                         



                                                                      Closing up a great season!




It was a week to remember!
Feb 16, 2014, 12:07 pm

 Our team had a super week- all around- it felt like one big party!  From the JH / JV Championships- (nice job to all our young skiers), to the Pep Fest, Charlie Banks Relays, the State Nordic Banquet & Program at Mesabi East, to wrapping everything up with the State Meet on Thursday!  We've got it "going on"! 


The Pep-Fest was a super great show of our team members, thank you skiers- for making the effort to attend this recognition / send-off at Mesabi East.  Following that we had the State CB relays, where the guys team placed in the top 10, (8th) and garnered some neat hardware!  And, check out your favorite JV / JH skier's results from the Championships  at http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/jv_jh_champs_2_10_14.pdf .  It'll be fun to see all these first year & young skiers move on - next season!


The State banquet & program was well attended- 400 people- is an estimate, with comments of high satisfaction all-around!  Thanks to the parents & skiers who helped in every which way in preparing for this event.  It was really nice to see so many of our skiers participating as escorts, servers, etc.  for the night.  


Congrats to our 5 State skiers- WOW- what an ending!  Sam- 13th, Reed - 18th, Anna-15th, Emma H. - 17th, Emma G. - 31st.  This was the BEST representation I have seen at the State Meet for our team!  You put it all together, and finished near the top for all the skiers in Minnesota-  (and rocked that Section 7 list too)! For more pics & video of the pursuit, hit up http://www.skinnyski.com/racing/highschool/?season=2013#results



Just as the sun gets warmer, the days are longer, we will have to wrap things up for the season.... 


Our last hurrah is set for this Tuesday, Feb. 18th. 

                  We will have the anuual hot dog / smore' roast & games on the trail. 

                   Turn in uniforms / warm-ups also.   **The Junior Nordic Club  also meet, and this is their last session. **

                   ** There isn't any bus transportation from VA or E-G schools, so please carpool to Giant's Ridge. **

Stay tuned for a date for the end of the season Team Banquet....


It's been a successful season - in every which way!  Keep skiing till the snow melts!  


See everyone on Tuesday!

















We got close! Congrats, & Let's put on another good show- in every which way this week!
Feb 9, 2014, 6:33 pm



With distinction, the ME / VA / E-G skiers made some noise last week!  


Congrats to both of our Varsity teams for garnering 2nd place overall at the Section 7 meet on Thursday!  I saw all the pride and smiles each one of you brought to the awards ceremony- and it was doubly awesome to watch, as you received your medals and trophy.  Fast skis to our State qualifiers- Sam- 2nd,  Reed- 4th,  Emma G -4th,  Emma H- 6th,  and Anna - 1st, as you complete your high school racing season on Thursday!  Find all the results at: www.boreal.org/~durfee.com


The  JV & Jr. High will make their mark at the Championships tomorrow at Spirit Mtn, and will be sharing their success stories at Tuesday's practice.  I am still not sure where our season went, but I do know that this is one of the best teams ever!  And a huge SHOUT OUT to Ron Kutsi for snapping so many great pictures of our team through out the season!  We love all the photo's Ron!


Our Parent Booster Club & skiers are being called up to duty again this week.   This time - it will be inside, near a warm kitchen....   Since the State banquet has been moved to the Mesabi East High School, we have been asked to help in the set-up, preparation, and clean-up of this first time event. Here is the plan:


- decorating the cafeteria will get underway on Monday evening, 6:30-8:00 pm.

- set-up, and final decorating will start at around 2 pm on Wednesday, with the rest of the help to arrive around 4:30- 5pm.  The recognition & awards program starts at 6 pm in the auditorium, with the meal to follow. Bussing, filling buffet items, serving coffee, etc. will be the main role.  I am encouraging all of our skiers to come and lend a hand- it will be a fun evening!  I'll bring the "Flame" jackets so we look official! 




Here are the details for this week's calendar!


Monday, Feb. 10th - Practice for State qualifiers, CB Relay teams.  JV / JH Championships in Duluth at Spirit Mt. (see meet line-up page for all the details)


Tuesday, Feb. 11th - Practice for everyone.  ** Jr. Nordic Club meets on this day ** 


Wednesday, Feb. 12th - starts off with a Pepfest at Mesabi East, 8:30 am, for all ME / VA / E-G ski team members.  The VA & E-G skiers have always come over for this, (a bus has been provided in the past) and it is just a short (15 min) assembly, where I get to – yep- brag about this great team! We have always had the whole team there- JH, JV, Varsity & managers, as I recognize all of our team members to the M.E. student body & staff. Please wear your team jackets, andSection teams- also also bring your medals  

Charlie Banks Relays, 1 pm at Giant’s Ridge.      

 State Meet skiers- practice- come as early as you can.  Ski / Wax.

Coaches meeting at Mesabi East- 4- 5:30 pm.

   State Meet Banquet,Awards Program-  at Mesabi East HS. 6 pm  ** 2014 State Meet apparel will also be on sale, get it early before they run out. **


Thursday, Feb. 13th - State Meet, 10:00 am start.  Come on out to cheer & support your 5 teammates!


Friday, Feb. 14th - Happy Valentines Day!


Tuesday, Feb. 18th - this is our last official day for our team, and the Jr. Nordic Club.  We'll have the annual trek to Trapper's Creek Cabin for games & hot dog roast.  Also turn in your uniform, warm-ups, and ski equipment. 




LUCKY WEEK # 13 !!!
Feb 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

**  UPDATE for SECTION 7 MEET ** on Thursday, Feb. 6th at Giant's Ridge.  Due to the cold temps, the start of the first race has been moved to 12:00 (noon). 



It was so much fun - to have our whole team together - at the Cook County Invitational on Friday!  And even more fun to see how our skiers raced and the success each and every one of them found at this stage of our season!  Congrats to all our JV skiers, who opted to take the challenge of skiing their very first pursuit race- and did very well! This was a big step for all, and it will make everyone stronger & faster skiers!  The Varsity teams had super performances and we still keep inching our way to that number 1 spot on the podium.  Closing the gap for the girls were just 3 points, with the guys at 7.  We are doing it! See all the results at http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/cook_cty_pursuit_2_1_14.pdf


We are closing in on the days that we've been working all season for, with the Section 7 race on Thursday, followed by the JV & JH Championships on Monday, Feb. 10.  Practice is mandatory for everyone this week, please plan accordingly for all the extra's in your lives!   Get your REST, eat the right FOODS, and SMILE when you SKI !!!


Here is what should, would, could happen this week - if Mother Nature is on our side...


Monday, Feb. 3rd:  Practice. Ski.  4-6 pm.  Section Teams practice till  6:30. 


Tuesday, Feb. 4th:  Practice. Ski.  4-6 pm. * Jr. Nordic Club also meets, 4-5:30 pm.*


Wednesday, Feb. 5th: Practice. Ski / Wax / Pasta Dinner at sports dorm.   4-6 pm. Section T-shirts will be available for pick-up.  Bring your money.  $ 15 -short sleeve, $ 20 - long sleeve.


Thursday, Feb. 6th:  Section 7 Race, 10:00 am.  Skiers arrive at GR by 8:00 am. Camp is in the Lodge Fitness Center.  Post-section dinner at the Lodge after awards ceremony. No practice for JV or JH.


Friday, Feb. 7th: Practice. Easy ski for Varsity. Ski & Wax prep  for all JV & JH skiers,ski & wax prep for Monday's Championships.


 Monday, Feb. 10th:  JV & JH Championships at Spirit Mtn. in Duluth.  1 pm. Skate races. 


And a few other odds & ends....


Remember to sign up for a Sunday to ski with the MYSL - Giant's Ridge youth ski league, or just show up at the Timing Building at 1:45 pm.  These little skiers love to ski with the team skiers! Thanks to our Ski Booster Club & all parents,  for all the extra's- that accompany our team throughout the season.  We all appreciate the fundraising, dinners, lunches, trips & volunteering you do to make this team what it is! 


It's going to be a great week!





   Waiting for their starts at Cook County!


                  Isaac                                                                 Reid                    









WEEK # 12! - that just isn't right- seems like we're just getting started.....
Jan 27, 2014, 10:32 am



(MONDAY, Jan. 27th, 8pm update) 

I think I heard the hootin’ & hollerin’ all across the Range today, when the “closed on Tuesday” school announcement came through…   and it was that way at my house, and then- my kids realized where my thoughts were… …  GRRR to Mother Nature!   


Ok, with the schools & Giant’s Ridge closed again,  I am desperately looking for our team to SOMEHOW get some kind of workout in. 


Here is what I have in mind:


*The Aurora ski trails has 15k of old-school, classic –only trails.  These trails are secluded & cozy, pretty much (wind-free) due to the wonderful stage of pines dotting the trails.

** IF you want to get out and ski, I am setting up practice for tomorrow- Tuesday- afternoon.   Meet at my house at 1:30 pm, where we’ll apply kick wax, and then we’ll head to the trails.

***  After skiing, we’ll return to my place for hot cocoa.   This is all optional, and dependent on your parents approval.  Parents- come ski with us- if you’d like too!


*** Make sure to wear ALL your Woolies ! ***    


Stay warm.


Cheri Johnson

Coach, ME / VA / E-G Nordic Ski Team

218 229-2413, 218 750-7904




With less than 2 weeks to go till Sections, JV & JH Championships, our team will be working all the kinks out, and putting as much in to our practices and final regular season race as possible.  Stay healthy everyone- and that means lots of REST, good NUTRITION, maintaining your awesome ATTITUDES, along with SUPPORTING & ENCOURAGING your fellow teammates!  This team knows how to make it all work! 


We've been busy!  The varsity enjoyed a great show & tell at the Little Falls Flyer Pursuit last week, and it was very worthy of skiing against new teams outside of our section.  We hope to make this a permanent spot on our ski calendar in years to come.  The JV & JH teams did well at Korkki too!  Last Friday, we wrapped things up with the Duluth East Invite.  Results are a mixed bag due to many absences, but we know what we have when we have our roster fully loaded!   Get all the race results at http://www.skinnyski.com/  under high school, under results. 


Other items to think about:

TEAM HATS- if you haven't paid for yours yet, please get your money in.  $ 22.00 per hat.

TEAM SWEATSHIRTS - are due by Jan. 28th.  See Captain Emma's email last week to order online.

SECTION 7 T-shirts - sign up on the bulletin board.  Long ($ 20 ) or Short ($ 15) sleeve.  Pay at pick-up.

TEAM PAGE  FACEbook - see more pics & other items-  just 'like' our team  f   page!


With warmer weather predicted for the rest of the week- here is what we're doing:


Monday, Jan 27- no practice due to extreme cold. 

Tuesday, Jan. 28- practice

Wednesday, Jan. 29- practice

Thursday, Jan. 30-team CAPTAIN'S SPECIAL practice; along with wax, (short) ski w/ pick-ups.  Jr. Nordic Club meets.

Friday, Jan. 31 - Cook County Pursuit Race.  Bus leaves Mesabi East at 6:30 am.  ** VA / E-G skiers need to come to Mesabi East to board bus ** 

Saturday, Feb. 1 - Practice for the boys & girls Section Teams.  10 am - 2pm.  "Technique with Jack"  Bring a lunch. 


 Chris B- hope he uses his arms during the race???



     Yep- we look good, and we know how to ski (good) too! Nice job at the DE Invite!    




Jada- all funked out in her team gear & ready to go!

Jan 26, 2014, 9:32 am


Hello skiers! 

Due to the extremely cold weather that is arriving tomorrow, Giant's Ridge will be closed.  We kind of knew that this was probable, and ski practice is cancelled. 

Everyone needs to be on their skis TODAY!
Varsity/JV:  Ski at least a 10 k. Throw in some pick-ups, skiing hard for 30 seconds x 2 for each kilometer.  Speed work is needed!! We are closing in on the end of the season, and the weather hasn't been cooperating much for our practices. 
 The section teams will be determined from results at our final regular season pursuit race - this Friday, at Cook County.
JH: Ski a 5k, with a few bursts of speed. You are working towards the JH championships. 
Monday: get to your schools fitness center or YMCA.  Do strength / core etc. 
Coach CJ 



Week # 11 !
Jan 18, 2014, 10:17 pm

Our season is on the fast track, and practices and races are getting amped up! Look at the calendar, we have only two regular season races left (after Korkki)! The section meet is hitting us already on Feb. 6, with the JV / JH Champs, Charlie Banks relays & the State Meet- the following week.  We have a lot to squeeze in yet, I hope the weather will cooperate with us this week... 



    Needed: SNOWSHOES- for last Thursday's practice! Our JV skiers heading out to the woods- in search of a groomed trail....



SUPER JOB !!!  by our boys team at last weeks CEC Invite!  These guys really worked together on this day- where some guys fell down (literally), the other guys picked it up.  The varsity males took the # 1 podium spot and reigned for the day.  They were the recipient's of this week's coaches awards. A similiar pattern was conducted by our gals, with the team settling for # 2.  Only 10 little points ladies...  which means mere seconds from everyone!


Results are here:  http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/cec_invite_1_14_14.pdf


Get your 2014 Ski Team Hat!   The hats have arrived & are warm & comfy. (makes a great gift too!)   $ 22.00 each.    Available at practice.





Here is what we (should) be doing this week!


Mon. Jan. 20- Little Falls Pursuit.  Varsity only.  Leave Sunday, 2pm from ME. 2:30 from VA. Stay overnite.  Race start- 10:00 am.  Return 8 pm?


Tue. Jan 21 - Korkki Nordic, Two Harbors.  See meet line-up page.  Bring money - will stop to eat.

** Virginia & E-G SKIERS **  The VA school will transport skiers to Mesabi East on this day.  The bus will be at door # 6 at 7:15 am the VA high school.  Ski bus leaves

 Mesabi East pool parking lot at 8 am.  VA & E-G ski parents will need to pick up their skier from Mesabi East, once the bus has returned from the meet **   (7 pm?)


Wed. Jan. 22 - practice


Thursday. Jan. 23 - practice, ski /wax.  Jr. Nordic Club meets.


Friday, Jan. 24- Duluth East Invitational, at Snowflake Nordic Center.  Pursuit races, JV & JH races.  11:00 am start. more info to come.

** Virginia & E-G SKIERS **  The VA school will transport skiers to Mesabi East on this day.  The bus will be at door # 6 at 7:10 am the VA high school, with a stop at the Gilbert Jr. High at 7:20.  Ski bus leaves Mesabi East pool parking lot at 8 am.  VA & E-G ski parents will need to pick up their skier from Mesabi East, once the bus has returned from the meet **   (6-6:30 pm)?


                   Presenting... the 2014 Jr. Nordic Club! A very fun group - coached by Mr. Josh Peterson!



Week # 10 Well done, Kudo's, more THANKS, & no slowing down now...!
Jan 12, 2014, 11:49 am

WELL DONE!  To all skiers that raced in the biggest meet in the nation- the Mesabi East Invite! 


Our teams placed 5th (girls), while the boys showed up at 10th- really, really,  impressive standings for competing against 72 other teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Michigan.  Our section ( # 7)  is also showing the rest of the state, just what we have going on.  This is a tough group to hang in (section 7), but we keep putting it out there, that the ME / VA / E-G skiers are not going away!  Full results from the ME Invite are here: http://my2.raceresult.com/details/results.php?lang=en&page=7&eventid=24241&contest=0&name=Result%20Lists%7CStart%20List%20By%20Time&format=view 


A NOD - to all of our Junior High & first year skiers, for attending the meet, cheering for your teammates, and making posters!  You'll be racing in this event sooner than you think! Kudo's too all the team for hanging out to the very end!  YOUR presence was well-noted at the awards ceremony (by all the other teams), with your front-row, arms-linked, hootin & hollerin' ambience!  All of you, make it fun, for all of us coaches- and that is the real deal! 




To all parents (& grandparents & siblings) who lent a hand to our very busy weekend, your help is hugely appreciated from us coaches & Giant's Ridge.  From the spaghetti feed on Friday, to standing outside at the race for 7 hours, along with providing a couple of tables of nutritious food for everyone, this event couldn't be done the way it is, without your continuing support!  The ME Invite was successful- all around, and we are grateful to work with such a great crew of families & friends....



Our Junior Nordic Club is on board now, with 8 young skiers.  Nice job to all of you for your warm welcome last week, and remember to encourage them when you see them on the trails, lend a hand on the bus, etc.   From what I saw, these kids are pretty good skiers already... !  




Week # 10 is going like this!


Monday, Jan. 13-  practice. Skate. 

Tuesday, Jan. 14 - Cloquet Invititational at Pine Valley - 2 pm. (changed from 11 am). Skate race.  Leave ME at 10:30, VA- 10:50, E-G 11:05

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Jan. 15,16, 17 - practice, mostly skate, but not definite.  Always bring your classic gear- just in case.  Junior Nordic Club meets on Thursday.

Saturday, Jan. 18- Marshall Sprints, Duluth.  Marshall school.  11:00 am.  Leave ME at 7:00 am, VA - 7:30.  We will stop to eat. 















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