Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club honors best at annual awards night
April 17, 2013
2012-13 awards night winners
The Bea Kirby Trophy: Nita Englund
Snowboard Excellence Award: Savanna Rose Atkins
Cross-County Outstanding Performance: Gretcher Burkholder
Hobart Freestyle Award: George DeGrandis
Snowboard Outstanding Performance: Myles Silverman
Telemark Reipelykkje: Brendan Durrum
Freestyle Coaches Cup: Brad Hoefer
Erika Mueller Snowboard Spirit Award: Converse Fields
Ned Grant Memorial Trophy: Vreni Lupear and Evan Weinman
Ritter Memorial Courage Cup: Abby Voorhis
Stahly Award: Skyler Kauf
Wilbur Madsen Memorial Award: Decker Dean
Barrett Burch Memorial Trophy: Erik Sandvik and Shane Lambert
Freestyle Pursuit of Excellence Award: Kai Doyle
Buddy Werner Bronze: Ellie Blair and Brooks Overstake
Charles Abernathy Memorial “True Grit” Award: Lars Hannah and Torey Brooks
Mary C. Magill Memorial Ski Meister Award: Bode Flanigan
Chris McNeill Memorial Award: Lark Skov and Dori McNeill
Ashley Stamp Memorial Award: Isabelle Boniface
The Skeeter Award: Sawyer Gander
John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member: Ken Gay
Freeskier Vision Award: Penn Lukens
Tyler Gooding Award: Zak Kjos
The Henry Hall Cup: Koby Vargas
Snowboard Coach of the Year: Tori Koski
Nordic Combined Coach of the Year: Garrett Fisk
Cross-Country Coach of the Year: Marco Rabanal
Alpine Coach of the Year: Erik Gilbert
Telemark Coach of the Year: Thomas Walker
Alpine Youth Coach of the Year: Lori Keefe
Freestyle Coach of the Year: Travis Crooke
Steamboat Springs — On Tuesday night, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club handed out 31 awards memorializing noteworthy alumni and recognizing those Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes who are setting the standards for today.
"It's a great evening that allows us to look back to our roots and connect it with what's going on today" said Rick DeVos, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive director. "These awards represent what has made the Winter Sports Club what it is today. These awards show us that what made the club great still continues today."
The names listed on the bottom of the memorial trophies represent the long legacy of the Winter Sports Club. The names added Tuesday night represent athletes, coaches and community members who are following in the footsteps of leaders like Buddy Werner, John Fetcher and others.
Some of the awards like the Chris McNeill Memorial Award are new but still reflect the club's longstanding place in the community. McNeill was a longtime member, coach and supporter of the club. He died unexpectedly in February 2011.
Last year, his daughter Dori McNeill presented the award for the first time to Haley Piske.
His award, one of the many trophies he won in his Nordic skiing career, holds just three names after Tuesday night’s ceremony but is a reminder of the qualities that Chris brought to the club. This year, Dori was prepared to present the award once again when she learned that she would share the honor with Lark Skov.
"It's very special to me," Dori said. "I was surprised that my coaches and my mom could keep it a secret."
Dori's mom, Lenny McNeill, said the two skiers symbolize what Chris brought with him to the club as a skier and as a coach. Each year, Lenny sits down with the coaches at the Winter Sports Club to decide who will be honored. She said that she was happy that Dori was recognized and that Skov was an excellent choice, as well.
"Lark really stood out," Lenny said. "She was new to the ability team this year. She's a hard worker and has a great demeanor."
Dori, who has presented her father's award the past two seasons, said she had no idea that coaches had selected her.
"I went up there thinking that I was going to present," Dori said.
But she was blindsided when coach Brian Tate announced she also was a winner.
It was just one of many moments that make the annual awards night so important to the members of the club. In all, 35 athletes and coaches were honored, and community member Ken Gay was given the John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member Award.
DeVos said it's those kinds of moments that make the Winter Sports Club's awards night so special. He said those who are honored represent what is good about the club and those who attend are reminded why the club is so special in Steamboat Springs.
"Everybody who comes to award night walks away feeling really good about the club," DeVos said. "It's a really special night."
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com