Winter provides an opportunity for alternative out-of-school sports

While Marshall provides a wide array of traditional after-school sports, some teens find their interests leading outside of the typical activities provided by FCPS.  Beyond the constraints of school guidelines and budget, students can explore their passions for different, alternative sports, especially during winter months.

Though there are not many opportunities for winter sports like skiing or snowboarding locally, senior Sydney Stenseth, who transferred to Marshall last year from Reno, Nevada, skied on her school team as a freshman and sophomore.

“I first got involved in skiing because my dad used to ski race and he always talked about it,” Stenseth said.

Despite only beginning in 9th grade, Stenseth qualified for states during her first year.

“I had such a great team and the best coaches who transformed me from a beginner to a state participant in one season,” Stenseth said.

Unfortunately the move to Virginia put a damper on Stenseth’s skiing career only allowing time to go skiing about once a year.

“I miss the adrenaline it gave me and the mornings after a big snow when there were feet upon feet of untouched powdery snow,” Stenseth said.

Similarly, senior Kirby Jacobs started skiing for fun with her family in Colorado but then switched to snowboarding after a knee injury.

“It’s just recreational right now but I’d love to join a team if I go to Colorado for college,” Jacobs said.

While Stenseth enjoyed the team aspect of skiing, Jacobs sometimes appreciates snowboarding alone.

“I sometimes like to go alone; it gives me a change to appreciate the mountains,” Jacobs said.

In addition to appreciating nature, snowboarding provides a chance for personal satisfaction.

“Since I’m not on a team I don’t win anything; there’s no pride in it for me,” Jacobs said, “I do it because I love it and it makes me happy.”

While snowboarding does stress cardiovascular strength like running up and down the court as in basketball, muscular strength is required for the sport.

“I frequently go to the gym to stay in shape to be able to be on the slopes all day and everyday I get the chance,” Jacobs said.

Besides snowboarding Jacobs further immerses herself in the sport by attending the XGAMES every year starting in 9th grade.

“It helped to make me love and appreciate the sport more,” Jacobs said.