By Sam Wilson
His Ellicottville girls are the two-time alpine ski state champions and return all three contributing members, but Kelly Fredrickson doesn’t want the Eagles to feel content with their prizes.
Part of that attitude is natural to the sport. Any one mistake by the Eagles’ skiers could have derailed either of its championship runs the last two seasons.
“Ski racing is very unforgiving,” Fredrickson said. “One day, one little mistake in one run can take them out of it. So they have to have good runs and good times and no mistakes in four runs at states.”
Now-sophomore twins Logan and Hayly Fredrickson and freshman Ceceila Carls helped Ellicottville win the team state title in alpine skiing last February at Bristol Mountain. The Eagles compete in slalom and giant slalom throughout the season, and their best times from both at the state level help determine the state championship.
Last year, Logan was second individually in the state in the GS and sixth in the slalom.
“The big thing is to win the team championship again,” Kelly Fredrickson said of his team’s 2019 goals, “and then maybe hopefully they can win an individual championship in slalom or GS. It’s the next goal but really the main goal is to continue what they’ve done, which is a challenge.”
In the program’s sixth year, Ellicottville remains one of just two school districts in Section 6 to field a ski team, along with Williamsville, and competes in the regular season against private school Gow. Its schedule this season included four meets at Holiday Valley, two at Kissing Bridge and one at the Buffalo Ski Center before gearing up for states at Gore Mountain at the end of February.
Many of Ellicottville racers also compete at the club level, including the Fredrickson twins for Holiday Valley and the Carls sisters (Cece and Emmylu) for Holimont. Kelly Fredrickson said his daughters picked up the sport at age seven.
“Being that we live in Ellicottville, they’ve been racing for Holiday Valley since they were seven,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of opportunities to ski and they enjoy it a lot and work very hard. It’s a big reason why, because they ski a lot. We practice and ski probably five, six days a week every week.”
ECS started the season with seven girls skiers: junior McKenna Kaleta, sophomore Courtney Sexton and seventh grader Emmylu Carls along with its returning state competitors, while seventh-grader Layla Kerns is on modified.
The boys team includes junior Adrian deOrbe, freshman Mitchell Azcarate and seventh graders Eric Shattenberg and Emmett Jacobson, the latter on modified.
“The boys are pretty strong skiers,” Fredrickson said. “Mitchell Azcarate is back this year and so is Adrian deOrbe, they’re both strong skiers. Mitchell has had a really good year so far club racing and we have a new guy, a seventh grader that’s going to race varsity, is Eric Shattenberg, who’s been a club racer for Holiday Valley for quite a few years.
“I also have another seventh grader, Emmett Jacobson, coming this year, but he’s not racing varsity. He’s still on modified right now.”
Azcarate — who won the Eagles’ opening meet in the GS Jan. 2 at Holiday Valley — and deOrbe competed at the state level last season. Fredrickson expects strong results from all three varsity boys this year.
“I think locally Mitchell will definitely do very well,” Fredrickson said. “Eric, I expect a lot from him. For as young as he is, he’s a very strong skier and I think at states, if they all get good runs in, they should do pretty well. The three of them, Mitchell, Adrian and Eric.”
2019 Ellicottville Ski Schedule
2 — Holiday Valley (GS)
8 — Holiday Valley (GS)
16 — Kissing Bridge (GS)
23 — Holiday Valley (GS)
30 — Buffalo Ski Center (Slalom)
6 — Kissing Bridge (Slalom)
13 — Holiday Valley (Slalom)
25 — State championships, Gore Mountain (Slalom)
26 — State championships, Gore Mountain (GS)