New England Ski Jumping Nordic Combined, Board Member
NCAA College Ski Jumping- Great Memories and Appreciation
I began Ski Jumping in Lake Placid when I was 9 years old and was fortunate to ski jump in college from 1971-75 at the University of Vermont and to coach at St. Lawrence University from 1975-77. NCAA college ski jumping for me provided the opportunity beyond high school to continue competing in the sport I cherished while getting a quality education. I believe this was the case for thousands of high school age ski jumpers & Nordic combined skiers dating back to 1954 through 1980 when NCAA ski jumping was eliminated.
I fondly remember and appreciate the efforts of coaches like Al Merrill and Jim Page, Dartmouth College; John Bower, Middlebury College; Chip Lacasse & Jay Rand, University of Vermont; Ralph Townsend and Bud Fisher, Williams College; Bob Axtell, St. Lawrence University; Bruce Jennings, Norwich University: Si Dunklee, New England College; Tom Upham & Rex Bell, University of New Hampshire; Bob Flynn, Bates College; Brud Folger, University of Maine. All these gentlemen not only encouraged and coached their athletes to be better each day, but they were always helpful to up-and-coming high school participants as well as team members from other colleges. These dedicated coaches were on the hill for training days, at college competitions, and at the time USSA competitions, providing hill support, coaching, and life lessons.
Ski jumps were available for training at Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, University of Vermont, Norwich University, New England College, St. Lawrence University, Williams College, Franklin Pierce College, University of New Hampshire (Gunstock). Unfortunately, none of these jumps are currently in operation.
Ski Jumping at college “winter carnival” competitions were staged in a fun, electric atmosphere with teammates from the cross-country skiing and alpine disciplines as well as students from respective student bodies enthusiastically cheering on the ski jumpers. Many lifelong friendships were made with teammates and members of other teams, from all college skiing disciplines.
Our sport misses the coaches, ski jump venues, camaraderie, spirit, and opportunities that college ski jumping provided. However, the ski jumping community in the United States is talented, generous, resourceful, dedicated, and moving in a great direction. Thank you to everyone involved in making our sport better!
In conclusion, please note that a College Ski Jumping Reunion will take place September 23-25, 2022, in the Hanover/Lebanon/ Grantham New Hampshire region presented by New England Ski Jumping Nordic Combined, “Flying Further”. For more info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-318-1970.