The Manchester Essex ski team established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the North Shore Ski League last winter. And with the vast majority of its key contributors from last winter returning this winter, Manchester Essex looks to pick up right where it left off, as one of the most dangerous teams in the area.
The girls squad, which qualified for the State Championship Meet last winter, figures to be right back in the state championship mix while the boys team is looking to make a trip to the State Championship Meet as well.
“We expect to return to states with a girls team this season and hope to qualify and bring a boys team to the states for the first time in the program’s short history,” head coach Tim Wonson said. “Everyone has been working hard and they are all excited to represent the school in one of the toughest ski leagues in the state.”
The Hornets thrive in the North Shore Ski League despite the fact that they are facing schools that are far larger in enrollment. Manchester Essex competes with schools such as Andover, St. John’s Prep, North Andover, Austin Prep, Masconomet and Haverhill.
Although its record is not great, as quantity rules the team skiing circuit, the individual talent Manchester Essex has stands tall.
The Hornets enter the season with a wealth of returning skiers coming off of successful seasons last winter, none more important than senior captains Megan Jones and Brian McAuliff.
Jones has qualified for states each of the last two years, the first two years where Manchester Essex competed as a varsity ski team, and as a senior is looking like one of the top racers in the North Shore Ski League. As a junior last winter Jones won the North Shore Ski League’s Interscholastic Ski Race besting 48 of the best skiers in the league. Jones had the best combined time in the slalom and giant slalom runs finishing second in both races.