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3:01 pm, Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Strong seasons for Hillers ski teams 

by | Feb 20, 2024 | Sports

Both the boys and girls ski teams at Hopkinton High School put together strong seasons this winter, with each team earning a second-place finish in the Central Mass. league, and five total skiers securing spots at the state meet.

“We knew we had three or four strong girls and a couple of strong boys, but it’s difficult to make it to states,” said coach Shawn Mato. “It’s a fairly competitive league.”

Senior captain JB Flynn and sophomore Barry O’Brien qualified for states from the boys team. It is Flynn’s second time going to states.

“He was really good last year and really good this year,” Mato said of Flynn. “Barry was on the verge of getting into states last year, and he was able to get over the hump this winter. That was great to see.”

A pair of junior girls captains, Annaleigh Crantz and Lila Mato, will join freshman Lucie Mato in the state competition at the end of the month at Wachusett.

The team success on both sides was a product of more than just the top few skiers and required depth. Hopkinton added a number of strong freshmen boys to the program this year, giving that team a larger roster than the girls team for the first time in recent years, Mato said.

Freshmen Patrick Meehan and Ethan Boghosian, sophomore Blake Murphy, and senior captain Sam Holly all pitched in at various points during the league season.

“It wasn’t always the same people, we had freshmen who improved a lot throughout the year and gained a bunch of experience,” Mato said. “They all helped us score points at various times.”

Mato said he was confident that his top three girls would be reliable point scorers, given their racing experience. The Hillers also saw significant contributions from junior Elsa Woodbury and sophomore Emmy Foster during the league schedule.

“I would say that for either team, there were different people stepping up and filling in those top five spots,” Mato said.

Most of the Hillers on both rosters are slated to return next season. Mato is hopeful that his top skiers will continue to improve and that his younger athletes will be able to build on the racing experience they were able to gain this winter. While most new skiers who enter the program have experience in the sport, learning how to race is a different challenge, the coach said.

“You never know who is going to come in as a freshman with experience in racing,” Mato said. “I think we will be all right next year.”

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