A chance to hit the slopes for the first time this season will take place Friday and Saturday for Laramie High School’s Alpine Skiing team.

They’ve been practicing since late November, but will finally have their first races of the season at Snowy Range Ski Area. It is two days of slalom competition.

Jasen Mitchell is in his fourth year as head coach at LHS. He feels there’s an anxiousness to get to race.

“All the older kids are ready to go, and they kind of know what to expect. Right now, the new kids, I don’t think, have any idea what to expect, but we’re excited.”

Laramie has 13 student-athletes on this year’s team. Both teams finished in fifth place at the 2018 Wyoming State Alpine Skiing Championships. They are led by returning second-team All-State performers in Nick Fadial and Brooklyn Pratt. They are two of only five returning letter winners from last year’s squads. Fadial took 10th place in both the slalom and giant slalom at state last year. Pratt was 14th in the slalom.

The two veterans joined KOWB’s David Settle to provide their outlook on the 2019 season.

Mitchell is very appreciative of his two leaders.

“It’s big having those two. We actually look to them a lot. There the ones that are actually skiing the races and know a lot of things, so they’ve taken the role of being the team leaders, which is great.”

As for the first competition being at Snowy Range Ski Area, Mitchell likes opening at home.

“I think all the other teams around the state like it. It’s kind of a smaller hill, easier slalom course than, I guess, around the state. It’s kind of fun for everybody to come and get their feet wet, a little bit, and see how the season’s gonna go.”

Mitchell added, there’s not really expectations at these first races.

“I just want to see everybody ski and how they finish… We just want to see where everybody else is in the state, and how we match up and work from there.”

Jackson and Cody look to be tough again this year.

The schedule takes them to Hogadon Ski Area outside Casper next week for the Kelly Walsh meet. That’s before visits to White Pines and Red Lodge, MT for the Pinedale and Cody Invites. They return to Casper in mid-February for a final tune-up before the state meet. The 2019 Wyoming State Alpine Skiing Championships will be March 1 and 2 at Snow King Resort in Jackson, WY.