In the snow

Fergus Falls Nordic ski team members Annie Mayer (left) and Anna Erickson (right) work their way up a hill during the Otters’ home meet at Spidahl Ski Gaard last season. The Otters return several experienced skiers for the 2021 season.

With snow on the ground, the Fergus Falls Nordic ski teams are ready to get on the course and compete against skiers in Section 8 and the Central Lakes Conference.

Second-year head coach Joshua Scharnberg will return a young, but experienced squad for the 2021 campaign.

On the boys’ side, senior Kolsen Papon, juniors Anders Anthonisen Brown, Benjamin Schierer, Luke Schroeder, sophomores Nicholas Flugstad, Oliver Thorson, and freshmen David Ronnevik and Jackson Lysne. For the girls, they will be led by junior Anna Erickson. Freshmen Namoi Dummer, Sarah Grotberg, Ahleah Mouser and eighth-grader Annie Mayer will also be returning.

Scharnberg is also optimistic that several seventh- and eighth-graders could be in the mix for varsity ski time this season.

Key newcomers to the fold will be junior Kacey Fredrickson, sophomore Leila Nasri, and eighth-graders Camden Skejeret and Abby Johnson. “We’re happy to welcome them to the family. More than competing, we aim to teach cross country as a lifetime sport and we hope to instill a love for skiing in these newbies,” Scharnberg said.

The Otters will be a very young squad this season, but most of the roster has varsity experience and Scharnberg hopes that will translate to better positioning in meets. “Many of our skiers have been in the MYSL program and have been skiing for several years before joining the high school team. I think with some hardwork, determination and sisu this year’s team has some high potential when it comes to sections and possibly a state meet, if that happens,” Scharnberg said.

Scharnberg sees Bemidji, Brainerd and Little Falls as the top competitors again this year. “Those cats seem to eat snow for breakfast, but that is changing in Fergus. We’re building a ski culture here and I think Fergus will be right up there in years to come,” the Otters coach added.

Scharnberg will be assisted by Paige Horgeshimer this season.

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