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Maine High School ski season gets pushed back

Outdoor winter sports are off to a rough start as high school ski teams across Maine may not be getting the season they had wished for.

FALMOUTH, Maine — The season for high school ski teams ends in a month and they haven't had many opportunities to compete because of the lack of snow.

Patricia Riley, a senior at Falmouth High School, said, "I've been skiing for Falmouth for all four years but I've been skiing since I was two." 

Seniors like Riley, aren't getting the start of their last season as they would have liked.

"This would have been our starting week and everything has been canceled," said Janelle Day, the head coach of Falmouth's alpine ski team

The season ends at the end of February, typically the team practices twice a week and has races twice a week, with a total of 14 prescheduled races.

"It's quick, it's fast and furious, so when you lose even just that week it's a lot," Day said. 

Riley added that pushing back the season doesn't just affect the scheduling but the team bonding experience as well.

"Especially with racing, you wait a lot, you really only race for like 30 seconds, but when you're with your team you get to chat, get really close to each other, and talk to each other about a lot of different things. I don't really know my teammates as well as I did in the past years," she added.

In previous years, the team drove after school to a ski area 45 minutes away, practiced for several hours, then went back to the school, making this a big commitment.

Two scheduled races a week also add to the already busy season.

"I'm a little concerned about how many races we will actually have and it is exhausting having three to four races in one week," Riley said. 

This could be especially tough for the first-time skiers on the team, Day said.

"...for our newer skiers who haven't maybe raced before that they don't get that chance to practice on gates more before we actually race sometimes just get throw into it like sink or swim which is a little rough," she added.

Teams like Falmouth High School hope to finish off the season skiing on real snow, but for now, they will continue to practice at ski areas covered with man-made snow and will do dryland practices back at the school.

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