Hanover High School, UNH
High School Ski Jumping in NH.
The 1973 NH high school championship was held on the jump on the Kancamagus Highway in Conway, NH. The takeoff had rotted out, so they built a bump on the knoll. Peter Guest from Hanover won the championship.
The 1974 event was at the small 25m Abenaki jump in Wolfeboro, NH. The Hanover High School team showed up on Friday to practice. There had been a weather warm-up and there were four inch deep in-run tracks and a huge bubble of ice in the transition. Hardly any snow on the outrun. We (the Hanover team) spent six hours putting their hill in shape. When we got back to the motel I told our head coach George Merrill that I was skiing in Brattleboro (big hill) on Sunday and I was not going to jump that poorly prepared little hill on Saturday. And I added “We should host next year.”
Saturday arrived, and I saw a kid from Berlin, NH jumping straight up and going to the bottom of the hill. I said to myself, I can’t let that guy win. I strapped on my old leather helmet and went up and kicked butt. After the meet, Cynthia Kling (FIS Judge), came up to me. She said “There was only one real ski jumper here today.”
The next year (1975) we did indeed host the State meet… on the 45m Dartmouth hill! Billy Mclaughry had a great day, but I edged him out for a Hanover High one and two finish.
Ski jumping changed my life! After high school, I jumped for UNH and after graduating coached them in the last year that ski jumping was a college sport. BOO! to those who killed college ski jumping!
A few years later, I was sitting in my new dentist’s office when we figured out that we jumped against each other. Dave Frost jumped for Bates College, I jumped with UNH.
He was the Concord (NH) High School coach and was looking to find a replacement coach. I ended up coaching the Concord High team for the next 25 years. Ten years ago I found a replacement coach and became a ski jumping judge.
My two highlights from judging:
When I was testing to become a judge at Brattleboro, one of the Slovenians went four meters past K perfectly! I gave him a 19.5. If I’d had my certification, I would have given him his full 20 points.
Three years ago I had the opportunity to judge at the Nationals in Park City. That was a wonderful experience.