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Rivals hope to shred same path to success

Seth Lightcap and Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Sun File photoNorth Tahoe senior Heather McKenney is one of many returners for the Lakers.
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When it comes to high school sports, North Tahoe and Truckee are like oil and water ” they don’t mix.

But in the frozen world of prep snowboard racing, the two schools just might find some common ground.

For the 2008 season, the newly formed Truckee High snowboard team will join the veteran North Tahoe squad in the California Nevada Interscholastic Ski and Snowboard Federation (CNISSF), which includes Nevada Union, Placerville, Colfax, Bear River and Davis.



While sharing a division is nothing new for the longtime rivals, the two teams will also share one head coach, Mort Nyberg. That shouldn’t pose a problem, the coach said.

“It’s just a high school rivalry, so the kids are just going to have to deal with it,” said Nyberg, a snowboard coach at Squaw Valley who boasts 12 years of professional racing and coaching experience.



Although the Truckee team was organized by Corine Harvey and Shamarah Lang, both district advisors at the school, it is Nyberg who is in charge of leading the instruction.

“The first things I work on with new racers is technique and body positioning,” he said. “But most of all I teach them how to have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

In limited practice time so far, Nyberg likes what he sees from the nascent group of Wolverines.

“Truckee High should be pretty strong for a new team,” he said. “They have a couple of racers that have competitive USASA snowboarding experience, which should help.”

Harvey, who had full support from Truckee Athletic Director Bob Shaffer, said it only made sense that the Wolverines start a team. In fact, with North Tahoe entering its sixth season of existence, Truckee is long overdue.

“We’re mountain people,” Harvey said. “We should have a snowboard team.

“I see the new team as a real opportunity for the kids at Truckee High,” she continued. “A lot of the kids on the team aren’t involved in other school sports, so the snowboarding team gives students solely dedicated to snowboarding the belonging experience of a high school sports team.”

While the Wolverines have filled out a roster of eight boys and four girls, the 2005 state champion Lakers dwarf those numbers with 22 boys and 14 girls.

And with experience on its side, Nyberg expects the squad to make a run at another title.

“North Tahoe will be one of the strongest teams. They should be the team to beat in the league,” said Nyberg, adding that Gavin Lura and Tyler Turpin should lead the way for the Lakers. But look out for Placerville and Colfax, Nyberg said.

Date Race Location

Jan. 14 GS Northstar

Jan. 21 SL Sugar Bowl

Jan. 28 GS Northstar

Feb. 4 SL Homewood

Feb. 11 GS Alpine Meadows

Feb. 18 SL Boreal

Feb. 25 Make-up day, if needed

March 4-6, State Championship, Northstar

March 7 State make-up day, if needed

Race times: 10 a.m.


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