By PATRICK SLACK
After winning its seventh consecutive section title last winter, the Little Falls girls Nordic ski team will bring its entire starting lineup back in search of its eighth in a row this season, led by Granite Ridge Conference medalist, junior Maria Hauer.
Seniors Chelsea Rutz, Mattia Hendrickson, Josie Lange and Chloe Houle and junior Kaitlin Geisenhof return as starters, with senior Kristen Gotfredson, sophomore Carlie Sobiech, freshmen Amelia Kresha and Claire Gammon-Deering and eighth-grader Kendal Hendrickson expected to vie for varsity spots.
Graduating from last year’s girls team were Alishia Olson, Hannah Harkin, Ingrid Floersheim and Sarah Andringa.
On the boys side, the Flyers will have to replace its top two skiers, Preston Zimny and Nathan Almen.
Looking to step into the leading roles will be an experienced group of returning starters, including seniors Brian McNamara and Isaiah Korver, juniors Mathew Massmann and Jon Gottwalt, sophomore Michael Carll and freshman Gunnar Kleinschmidt.
“Once again, we have a large squad with tremendous depth on the girls side, with many talented younger skiers,” Little Falls head coach Terry Wasland said. “The boys also have some talented younger skiers and it will be interesting to see where a season of good training may take them.”
The Flyers girls should be a top contender for the conference and section titles once again, Wasland said, with the boys squad also having a chance to compete for the top spots in both.
Little Falls is scheduled to open the season at St. Cloud, Dec. 6.