Outlaws Nordic ski team reignited
Last updated 12/20/2022 at Noon
After a number of years without local coaches, the Sisters Outlaws Nordic ski team has been reignited under the leadership of Sisters Middle School teachers Jeff Husmann and Tiffany Tisdel.
With 16 skiers on the roster, virtually all of them having no Nordic racing experience, Husmann has broad goals for the team.
“Our goal for this year is to help skiers gain experience in a lifelong sport, grow the culture of Nordic skiing in our community, and have fun!” he said. “Though we won’t likely threaten podium spots this year, we look forward to growing this program.”
Husmann does see plenty of potential on the team.
“Though nearly all of these kids are quite new to Nordic skiing, they are an athletic group of kids with a positive attitude to work hard and improve,” he said. “Many of our skiers run cross-country or play soccer in the fall, so they have engines. Though we have had limited time on snow this early in the season, it’s become obvious to us that they are not only a fun group of kids but supportive of each other and hungry to improve.”
There are two disciplines in Nordic skiing, classic and skate/freestyle, so team members are learning a lot of technique early in the season, according to Husmann.
Junior Ella Bartlett is the sole returnee from last year’s team, which was operated in cooperation with the schools from Redmond.
“Ella is our only skier with any race experience and she is certainly a leader of this team,” said Husmann.
Husmann is no stranger to coaching the sport. He taught and coached in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, for 16 years before coming to Sisters.
“I started the Nordic ski program, where we went from having just four skiers the first year to as many as 35 skiers in a school with fewer than 300 students,” he explained. “We grew the program not only in number of participants but became one of the strongest programs in our division.”
Husmann and Tisdel are pleased with the team members’ willingness to be involved in Outlaws athletics.
“Many of these kids also are on the Alpine ski team so are comfortable on skis. The Alpine program, coached by Gabe Chladek and Rima Givot, have also been very supportive in our efforts and we have worked cooperatively to make doing both disciplines a workable option for athletes,” said Husmann. “In addition, there already has been so much support from families and the school and this will only continue to grow.
Six Outlaws had their first competition of the season on December 14 at Virginia Meissner Sno-Park.
“This was not only the first race of the season but the first race ever for all of our skiers,” said Husmann, “and we were so proud of their willingness to give it a go. They pushed themselves and came away with stories and smiles and plans on how to improve for next time.”
Finishers for the Outlaws on the five-kilometer classic course included Ella Eby (25:02), Kiara Martin (29:46), Nevaeh McAfee (29:56), Spencer Tisdel (20:16), John Berg (22:18), and Jack Turpen (25:11).
The team is scheduled to compete next on January 7 at the Teacup Invitational located at the Teacup Nordic Snow Park at Mount Hood.A home meet at Hoodoo is scheduled for Monday, January 16.