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We got close! Congrats, & Let's put on another good show- in every which way this week!
Feb 9, 2014, 6:33 pm



With distinction, the ME / VA / E-G skiers made some noise last week!  


Congrats to both of our Varsity teams for garnering 2nd place overall at the Section 7 meet on Thursday!  I saw all the pride and smiles each one of you brought to the awards ceremony- and it was doubly awesome to watch, as you received your medals and trophy.  Fast skis to our State qualifiers- Sam- 2nd,  Reed- 4th,  Emma G -4th,  Emma H- 6th,  and Anna - 1st, as you complete your high school racing season on Thursday!  Find all the results at: www.boreal.org/~durfee.com


The  JV & Jr. High will make their mark at the Championships tomorrow at Spirit Mtn, and will be sharing their success stories at Tuesday's practice.  I am still not sure where our season went, but I do know that this is one of the best teams ever!  And a huge SHOUT OUT to Ron Kutsi for snapping so many great pictures of our team through out the season!  We love all the photo's Ron!


Our Parent Booster Club & skiers are being called up to duty again this week.   This time - it will be inside, near a warm kitchen....   Since the State banquet has been moved to the Mesabi East High School, we have been asked to help in the set-up, preparation, and clean-up of this first time event. Here is the plan:


- decorating the cafeteria will get underway on Monday evening, 6:30-8:00 pm.

- set-up, and final decorating will start at around 2 pm on Wednesday, with the rest of the help to arrive around 4:30- 5pm.  The recognition & awards program starts at 6 pm in the auditorium, with the meal to follow. Bussing, filling buffet items, serving coffee, etc. will be the main role.  I am encouraging all of our skiers to come and lend a hand- it will be a fun evening!  I'll bring the "Flame" jackets so we look official! 




Here are the details for this week's calendar!


Monday, Feb. 10th - Practice for State qualifiers, CB Relay teams.  JV / JH Championships in Duluth at Spirit Mt. (see meet line-up page for all the details)


Tuesday, Feb. 11th - Practice for everyone.  ** Jr. Nordic Club meets on this day ** 


Wednesday, Feb. 12th - starts off with a Pepfest at Mesabi East, 8:30 am, for all ME / VA / E-G ski team members.  The VA & E-G skiers have always come over for this, (a bus has been provided in the past) and it is just a short (15 min) assembly, where I get to – yep- brag about this great team! We have always had the whole team there- JH, JV, Varsity & managers, as I recognize all of our team members to the M.E. student body & staff. Please wear your team jackets, andSection teams- also also bring your medals  

Charlie Banks Relays, 1 pm at Giant’s Ridge.      

 State Meet skiers- practice- come as early as you can.  Ski / Wax.

Coaches meeting at Mesabi East- 4- 5:30 pm.

   State Meet Banquet,Awards Program-  at Mesabi East HS. 6 pm  ** 2014 State Meet apparel will also be on sale, get it early before they run out. **


Thursday, Feb. 13th - State Meet, 10:00 am start.  Come on out to cheer & support your 5 teammates!


Friday, Feb. 14th - Happy Valentines Day!


Tuesday, Feb. 18th - this is our last official day for our team, and the Jr. Nordic Club.  We'll have the annual trek to Trapper's Creek Cabin for games & hot dog roast.  Also turn in your uniform, warm-ups, and ski equipment. 




LUCKY WEEK # 13 !!!
Feb 2, 2014, 4:55 pm

**  UPDATE for SECTION 7 MEET ** on Thursday, Feb. 6th at Giant's Ridge.  Due to the cold temps, the start of the first race has been moved to 12:00 (noon). 



It was so much fun - to have our whole team together - at the Cook County Invitational on Friday!  And even more fun to see how our skiers raced and the success each and every one of them found at this stage of our season!  Congrats to all our JV skiers, who opted to take the challenge of skiing their very first pursuit race- and did very well! This was a big step for all, and it will make everyone stronger & faster skiers!  The Varsity teams had super performances and we still keep inching our way to that number 1 spot on the podium.  Closing the gap for the girls were just 3 points, with the guys at 7.  We are doing it! See all the results at http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/cook_cty_pursuit_2_1_14.pdf


We are closing in on the days that we've been working all season for, with the Section 7 race on Thursday, followed by the JV & JH Championships on Monday, Feb. 10.  Practice is mandatory for everyone this week, please plan accordingly for all the extra's in your lives!   Get your REST, eat the right FOODS, and SMILE when you SKI !!!


Here is what should, would, could happen this week - if Mother Nature is on our side...


Monday, Feb. 3rd:  Practice. Ski.  4-6 pm.  Section Teams practice till  6:30. 


Tuesday, Feb. 4th:  Practice. Ski.  4-6 pm. * Jr. Nordic Club also meets, 4-5:30 pm.*


Wednesday, Feb. 5th: Practice. Ski / Wax / Pasta Dinner at sports dorm.   4-6 pm. Section T-shirts will be available for pick-up.  Bring your money.  $ 15 -short sleeve, $ 20 - long sleeve.


Thursday, Feb. 6th:  Section 7 Race, 10:00 am.  Skiers arrive at GR by 8:00 am. Camp is in the Lodge Fitness Center.  Post-section dinner at the Lodge after awards ceremony. No practice for JV or JH.


Friday, Feb. 7th: Practice. Easy ski for Varsity. Ski & Wax prep  for all JV & JH skiers,ski & wax prep for Monday's Championships.


 Monday, Feb. 10th:  JV & JH Championships at Spirit Mtn. in Duluth.  1 pm. Skate races. 


And a few other odds & ends....


Remember to sign up for a Sunday to ski with the MYSL - Giant's Ridge youth ski league, or just show up at the Timing Building at 1:45 pm.  These little skiers love to ski with the team skiers! Thanks to our Ski Booster Club & all parents,  for all the extra's- that accompany our team throughout the season.  We all appreciate the fundraising, dinners, lunches, trips & volunteering you do to make this team what it is! 


It's going to be a great week!





   Waiting for their starts at Cook County!


                  Isaac                                                                 Reid                    









WEEK # 12! - that just isn't right- seems like we're just getting started.....
Jan 27, 2014, 10:32 am



(MONDAY, Jan. 27th, 8pm update) 

I think I heard the hootin’ & hollerin’ all across the Range today, when the “closed on Tuesday” school announcement came through…   and it was that way at my house, and then- my kids realized where my thoughts were… …  GRRR to Mother Nature!   


Ok, with the schools & Giant’s Ridge closed again,  I am desperately looking for our team to SOMEHOW get some kind of workout in. 


Here is what I have in mind:


*The Aurora ski trails has 15k of old-school, classic –only trails.  These trails are secluded & cozy, pretty much (wind-free) due to the wonderful stage of pines dotting the trails.

** IF you want to get out and ski, I am setting up practice for tomorrow- Tuesday- afternoon.   Meet at my house at 1:30 pm, where we’ll apply kick wax, and then we’ll head to the trails.

***  After skiing, we’ll return to my place for hot cocoa.   This is all optional, and dependent on your parents approval.  Parents- come ski with us- if you’d like too!


*** Make sure to wear ALL your Woolies ! ***    


Stay warm.


Cheri Johnson

Coach, ME / VA / E-G Nordic Ski Team

218 229-2413, 218 750-7904




With less than 2 weeks to go till Sections, JV & JH Championships, our team will be working all the kinks out, and putting as much in to our practices and final regular season race as possible.  Stay healthy everyone- and that means lots of REST, good NUTRITION, maintaining your awesome ATTITUDES, along with SUPPORTING & ENCOURAGING your fellow teammates!  This team knows how to make it all work! 


We've been busy!  The varsity enjoyed a great show & tell at the Little Falls Flyer Pursuit last week, and it was very worthy of skiing against new teams outside of our section.  We hope to make this a permanent spot on our ski calendar in years to come.  The JV & JH teams did well at Korkki too!  Last Friday, we wrapped things up with the Duluth East Invite.  Results are a mixed bag due to many absences, but we know what we have when we have our roster fully loaded!   Get all the race results at http://www.skinnyski.com/  under high school, under results. 


Other items to think about:

TEAM HATS- if you haven't paid for yours yet, please get your money in.  $ 22.00 per hat.

TEAM SWEATSHIRTS - are due by Jan. 28th.  See Captain Emma's email last week to order online.

SECTION 7 T-shirts - sign up on the bulletin board.  Long ($ 20 ) or Short ($ 15) sleeve.  Pay at pick-up.

TEAM PAGE  FACEbook - see more pics & other items-  just 'like' our team  f   page!


With warmer weather predicted for the rest of the week- here is what we're doing:


Monday, Jan 27- no practice due to extreme cold. 

Tuesday, Jan. 28- practice

Wednesday, Jan. 29- practice

Thursday, Jan. 30-team CAPTAIN'S SPECIAL practice; along with wax, (short) ski w/ pick-ups.  Jr. Nordic Club meets.

Friday, Jan. 31 - Cook County Pursuit Race.  Bus leaves Mesabi East at 6:30 am.  ** VA / E-G skiers need to come to Mesabi East to board bus ** 

Saturday, Feb. 1 - Practice for the boys & girls Section Teams.  10 am - 2pm.  "Technique with Jack"  Bring a lunch. 


 Chris B- hope he uses his arms during the race???



     Yep- we look good, and we know how to ski (good) too! Nice job at the DE Invite!    




Jada- all funked out in her team gear & ready to go!

Jan 26, 2014, 9:32 am


Hello skiers! 

Due to the extremely cold weather that is arriving tomorrow, Giant's Ridge will be closed.  We kind of knew that this was probable, and ski practice is cancelled. 

Everyone needs to be on their skis TODAY!
Varsity/JV:  Ski at least a 10 k. Throw in some pick-ups, skiing hard for 30 seconds x 2 for each kilometer.  Speed work is needed!! We are closing in on the end of the season, and the weather hasn't been cooperating much for our practices. 
 The section teams will be determined from results at our final regular season pursuit race - this Friday, at Cook County.
JH: Ski a 5k, with a few bursts of speed. You are working towards the JH championships. 
Monday: get to your schools fitness center or YMCA.  Do strength / core etc. 
Coach CJ 



Week # 11 !
Jan 18, 2014, 10:17 pm

Our season is on the fast track, and practices and races are getting amped up! Look at the calendar, we have only two regular season races left (after Korkki)! The section meet is hitting us already on Feb. 6, with the JV / JH Champs, Charlie Banks relays & the State Meet- the following week.  We have a lot to squeeze in yet, I hope the weather will cooperate with us this week... 



    Needed: SNOWSHOES- for last Thursday's practice! Our JV skiers heading out to the woods- in search of a groomed trail....



SUPER JOB !!!  by our boys team at last weeks CEC Invite!  These guys really worked together on this day- where some guys fell down (literally), the other guys picked it up.  The varsity males took the # 1 podium spot and reigned for the day.  They were the recipient's of this week's coaches awards. A similiar pattern was conducted by our gals, with the team settling for # 2.  Only 10 little points ladies...  which means mere seconds from everyone!


Results are here:  http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/cec_invite_1_14_14.pdf


Get your 2014 Ski Team Hat!   The hats have arrived & are warm & comfy. (makes a great gift too!)   $ 22.00 each.    Available at practice.





Here is what we (should) be doing this week!


Mon. Jan. 20- Little Falls Pursuit.  Varsity only.  Leave Sunday, 2pm from ME. 2:30 from VA. Stay overnite.  Race start- 10:00 am.  Return 8 pm?


Tue. Jan 21 - Korkki Nordic, Two Harbors.  See meet line-up page.  Bring money - will stop to eat.

** Virginia & E-G SKIERS **  The VA school will transport skiers to Mesabi East on this day.  The bus will be at door # 6 at 7:15 am the VA high school.  Ski bus leaves

 Mesabi East pool parking lot at 8 am.  VA & E-G ski parents will need to pick up their skier from Mesabi East, once the bus has returned from the meet **   (7 pm?)


Wed. Jan. 22 - practice


Thursday. Jan. 23 - practice, ski /wax.  Jr. Nordic Club meets.


Friday, Jan. 24- Duluth East Invitational, at Snowflake Nordic Center.  Pursuit races, JV & JH races.  11:00 am start. more info to come.

** Virginia & E-G SKIERS **  The VA school will transport skiers to Mesabi East on this day.  The bus will be at door # 6 at 7:10 am the VA high school, with a stop at the Gilbert Jr. High at 7:20.  Ski bus leaves Mesabi East pool parking lot at 8 am.  VA & E-G ski parents will need to pick up their skier from Mesabi East, once the bus has returned from the meet **   (6-6:30 pm)?


                   Presenting... the 2014 Jr. Nordic Club! A very fun group - coached by Mr. Josh Peterson!



Week # 10 Well done, Kudo's, more THANKS, & no slowing down now...!
Jan 12, 2014, 11:49 am

WELL DONE!  To all skiers that raced in the biggest meet in the nation- the Mesabi East Invite! 


Our teams placed 5th (girls), while the boys showed up at 10th- really, really,  impressive standings for competing against 72 other teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Michigan.  Our section ( # 7)  is also showing the rest of the state, just what we have going on.  This is a tough group to hang in (section 7), but we keep putting it out there, that the ME / VA / E-G skiers are not going away!  Full results from the ME Invite are here: http://my2.raceresult.com/details/results.php?lang=en&page=7&eventid=24241&contest=0&name=Result%20Lists%7CStart%20List%20By%20Time&format=view 


A NOD - to all of our Junior High & first year skiers, for attending the meet, cheering for your teammates, and making posters!  You'll be racing in this event sooner than you think! Kudo's too all the team for hanging out to the very end!  YOUR presence was well-noted at the awards ceremony (by all the other teams), with your front-row, arms-linked, hootin & hollerin' ambience!  All of you, make it fun, for all of us coaches- and that is the real deal! 




To all parents (& grandparents & siblings) who lent a hand to our very busy weekend, your help is hugely appreciated from us coaches & Giant's Ridge.  From the spaghetti feed on Friday, to standing outside at the race for 7 hours, along with providing a couple of tables of nutritious food for everyone, this event couldn't be done the way it is, without your continuing support!  The ME Invite was successful- all around, and we are grateful to work with such a great crew of families & friends....



Our Junior Nordic Club is on board now, with 8 young skiers.  Nice job to all of you for your warm welcome last week, and remember to encourage them when you see them on the trails, lend a hand on the bus, etc.   From what I saw, these kids are pretty good skiers already... !  




Week # 10 is going like this!


Monday, Jan. 13-  practice. Skate. 

Tuesday, Jan. 14 - Cloquet Invititational at Pine Valley - 2 pm. (changed from 11 am). Skate race.  Leave ME at 10:30, VA- 10:50, E-G 11:05

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Jan. 15,16, 17 - practice, mostly skate, but not definite.  Always bring your classic gear- just in case.  Junior Nordic Club meets on Thursday.

Saturday, Jan. 18- Marshall Sprints, Duluth.  Marshall school.  11:00 am.  Leave ME at 7:00 am, VA - 7:30.  We will stop to eat. 















Week # 9 and THE Mesabi East Invite!!
Jan 6, 2014, 9:23 pm

 BRRR!!! It is a ski season of many layers!  Parents- please keep reminding your skiers to dress warm for ski practice and always, always wear a HAT! EVERYWHERE!  65 % of your body heat is lost through the scalp / head.  With this kind of weather, we should all be wearing a hat -24/7!  (and MITTENS / LOBSTER MITTS are also a must when it is this cold)...


Official ski practice is cancelled again for Tuesday, due to the closure of our schools, and Giant's Ridge.  With that in mind, please find a way to be active.  Visit a ski trail that is secluded and surrounded by lots of trees, hit up the YMCA or your school fitness center / open gym.  Mesabi East is setting aside two hours tomorrow from noon-2pm for gym time for athletes....maybe wear that cool t-shirt from the exchange game for your work-out!


A super fun time is what we had at last week's race in Ely!  Their trail system was condusive to some great performances for all of our team members.  Lots of snow to ski on- that was an evident factor - and the long climb to the finish was a burner- so I was told.  But, we finished close to the top, and that says a lot!  Results at http://www.boreal.org/~durfee/ely_fs_invite_1_4_14.pdf  Captain's Awards will be on tap at Wednesday's practice.   



  Since we are working on this, check out this You Tube video on Open Field technique-  listen to the commentary. 





Our Tuesday (Jan. 7) ski meet for Korkki NOrdic in Two Harbors- has been shuffeled around a few times, (due to the cold unskiable weather) but is now set for Tuesday, Jan. 21. 


This is our week- with the big Mesabi East Invitational on Saturday, and one of our best fundraisers- the spaghetti feed- the night before, at the Biwabik Pavilion.  1300 skiers will be racing at Giant's Ridge! Parents- make sure you sign up for your favorite volunteer spot on the course- it is truly a fun day!  Call John Filander at 865-8021 for more info. 


The rest of the week fills in like this:


Wed. Jan. 8- practice.  V & JV - ski technique / trails for Mesabi East Invite.  See meet-line up page.  JH - skate work.

Thurs.  Jan. 9 - similiar to Wed.  Also the first night of the ME / VA / E-G JR. Nordic Club - spread the word to the 5th & 6th graders that you know!

Fri.  Jan. 10 - Easy ski / wax for ME Invite, and then help out & eat as a team - at the spaghetti feed, (around 6 pm) at the Biwabik Pavilion.   

Sat. Jan. 11 - ME Invite at Giants Ridge.  Races start at 10:00 am. Classic skiers arrive at GR by 8:00 am, Freestyle by 9:00 am.  We will be holding camp in the fitness center in the Lodge.  It's a long & fun day- bring what you need to rest & fuel up for the day. All JH & first year skiers- please come and spend the day cheering and supporting your teammates!

Sun. Jan 12 - MYSL Giant's Ridge Youth SKi League begins.  I encourage all of our team members to lend a helping hand to one of the ski lessons groups.  Sign up on the board or show up at 1:45 pm at the timing building.  From 2-3 pm, you can be a shiny star for these up and coming skiers! 


  Skiers showing off their prized t-shirts from the team Christmas Party!



Week # 8, first week of the NEW YEAR!
Jan 1, 2014, 2:30 pm


Happy New Year everyone! 


Our team finished off 2013 with productive holiday break practices, a great ski meet, and a memorable visit to MAPLELAG.   Glad to see so many of you on your skis over the holiday, and working together as a team. You know what we need to do in the next month! 


Congrats to the boys & girls Varsity Teams for taking that number 1 spot on the podium at Deer River, along with all of our other JV & JH skiers- there were many top ten ribbons being passed out to our skiers.  Did everyone happen to see two of our skiers in the "honorable mention spots" in the Mesabi Daily News recently?   Emma Hafdahl made last Sunday's edition for her 3rd place finish at the Grand Rapids meet, and Sam Johnson got the same nod for his win at Deer River.  It is nice to see - the reporters giving the sport of X-C skiing some press!  Complete results can be found at Skinnyski.comhttp://www.skinnyski.com/racing/highschool/2013/dec28blueberry.pdf  If you haven't notched this site as a favorite- I hope you do soon! 




Here is a look at what we'll be doing within the first week of January... 


Thursday 1/2: Practice  4-6 pm.  Skate - Ladders.


Friday 1/3: Practice 3:30-6 pm.  Easy ski & wax, along with our CHRISTMAS PARTY.  Bring your Secret Santa gifts, and a gift bag with one of your old, favorite, or not-so-favorite, crazy, ugly, T-SHIRT, for the t-shirt  exchange game.


 Saturday 1/4:  Ski Meet - Ely.  11:00 am.  5K Skate.  Leave Mesabi East at 7:30 am, VA at 8:00 am



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