Team Details

Skiing - Varsity CoEd



November 16, 2017

STUDENTS: SAVE THE DATE: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13: 3:00 DEPARTURE FROM THAYER: Mandatory safety talk and photos for season passes at Blue Hills. There is a return bus to Thayer; we expect to be back by 5:00 p.m.

STUDENTS AND FAMILIES: SAVE THE DATE: Ski Team Banquet, Tuesday, March 6th from 6-8:30PM (Cahill Dining Hall)

Welcome/Welcome Back to the Thayer Ski Team!

Please read this newsletter carefully, especially if your student is new to ski team this year. Many of the details about how the ski team “runs” are outlined here. Please do contact us with your questions!

Skiing at Thayer is a varsity sport. Our team can consist of students in grades 6-12. It is coed in that we practice, travel and race together on the same courses. Race scoring/competition is single sex. The varsity boys and girls teams each consist of SEVEN racers, to be chosen each week. There are separate races for junior varsity girls and boys, held at the exact same time and location as the varsity races each week (Nashoba Valley Ski Area, 3:00 PM, Wednesdays). We can race as many as fourteen JV racers each week, divided among boys and girls.


Since this is a race team, the student must be at least an advanced intermediate skier. In other words, the student must be a confident all-mountain skier who can easily ski intermediate trails and ski with confidence on at least some advanced trails. We will teach the students the skills of racing but we cannot teach basic skiing. If the coaches feel that a student does not have the appropriate level of skiing, he or she will not be able to race as part of the team. Based upon the initial signup and the number of athletes attending the practices held so far, there will be no cuts in the roster size. Our roster can consist of up to twenty eight racers (7 varsity girls, 7 varsity boys and 14 JV). There will be no guarantee that JV racers will participate in a race at any point during the season if the weather interferes with race days or if the number of JV racers exceeds 14.

Everyone will get a fair shot at a varsity spot once we are on snow. It is not possible to try out for another team if the student decides or the coaches determine that the student’s level of skiing is not where it needs to be.


Please note that training space at school is limited. If necessary, we will use a variety of spaces inside school buildings, on the fields and in the immediate neighborhood for our training. As far as practice participation and attendance is concerned, this is a varsity sport for all members of the team. ALL student skiers are expected to attend all dry land and all on hill training sessions. If a student-athlete cannot attend due to illness or injury, she or he must notify BOTH Coach Morrissey via email ( and Ms. Brown ( in a timely manner.

On the days we have dry land workouts, students should be prepared for both indoor and outdoor training activities Beginning in January, if we are not able to go to Blue Hills. MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS should bring all of their belongings and homework to the Upper School when they come to practice. Parents should plan to pick up Middle School students at the UPPER SCHOOL after practice. Please be sure to communicate this to your Middle School student!


Monday, November 27: conditioning and soccer (on campus)

Tuesday, November 28: captain’s practice (on campus)

Wednesday, November 29: Blue Hills hike, leave school at 1:50 and return at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 30: yoga with Ms. Lodge, 4:30 – 5:30 may be moved to 3:30 to 4:30 (on campus)

Monday, December 4: conditioning and soccer (on campus)

Tuesday, December 5: captain’s practice (on campus)

Wednesday, December 6: Blue Hills hike, leave school at 1:50 and return at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 7: yoga with Ms. Lodge, 4:30 – 5:30 may be moved to 3:30 to 4:30 (on campus)


Once hill space becomes available, we will practice at Blue Hills on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:45 -- 5:15. (Official pickup time is between 5:30 and 5:45.) A bus will take students to Blue Hills RIGHT AFTER school. Students who are not racing with club teams over the weekend or skiing over the weekend will be expected to pursue dry land training on their own on at least one day of the weekend by going for a run, using cardio machines at the Fish Fitness Center at Thayer on Friday afternoon, lifting weights on their own, etc. Please note that the practice schedule may be modified significantly (including outright cancellation of practices and/or substituting dry land practices) if we run into a stretch of bad weather. Remember, there is no dedicated indoor space available to us at Thayer during the winter sports season so our options for training are limited.

Driving to practice/riding with a student driver to or from practice:

Students who are driving their own vehicles or riding in cars with other students instead of taking the bus to practice must have their parents approve of this arrangement and communicate this to Coach Morrissey and Ms. Brown. BOTH the driver’s parents and the passenger’s parents must communicate their permission.

Participation in clubs and scheduling extra help from teachers:

It will not be possible for Upper School students to participate in clubs or activities during the winter term unless this is cleared in advance of the ski season with Coach Morrissey and Coach Brown. Students who drive who wish to seek extra help from a teacher after school (this should be infrequent—the exception rather than the rule) must communicate with Coach Morrissey and Coach Brown prior to the afternoon extra help session.

Students must be organized! Students will not return to Thayer after practice, so each student will have to bring his or her homework to Blue Hills. There is indoor space where students can leave backpacks and equipment bags. No locked storage is available at Blue Hills, so students should leave valuables at home, carry them on their person, or leave them locked and appropriately hidden in their vehicles.

STUDENTS WILL NEED TO BE PICKED UP AT Blue Hills between 5:30 and 5:45. The Blue Hills parking lot is a very busy place. Please be on time! Unless there is a significant safety issue, we will train in the cold, rain and snow since we have to race in those same conditions.

Please note:

One of the coaches will wait in the parking lot with students until they are picked up; please text or call and leave a message if you will be later than 5:40. Mr. Morrissey’s cell phone number is 781/858-7101. Ms. Brown’s cell phone number is 617/283-4609.

If you would like to give your child permission to stay to ski or to do homework in the lodge, please tell one or both of us (via text or phone message) on the day your child is staying late at Blue Hills. We want to know that there is a definite plan for your child’s ride home.

Cancellation of practices and races:

If there are no upper school classes, there will be no practice or race. If the school suspends afternoon activities or has an early dismissal because of a poor weather forecast, ski practice or Thayer participation in that week’s race will also be cancelled.

Many of our students drive themselves to and from school and various off campus practices (hockey, swimming and skiing); we all want them to be safe on the roads!


As long as the weather permits us to travel, we will be taking a few weekend day trips to New Hampshire in January . Students who are in a race training program on the weekends are excused from these practices. Students who are already in the area that we choose to ski may meet us and may ride home with their parents or back to Braintree on Thayer’s transportation.

RACES (WEDNESDAYS, January 3rd – February 21st; plus a possible make-up date)

Wednesday is race day at Nashoba Valley. For those who are racing, the round trip coach bus leaves Thayer at 1:50. The race starts around 3:00 and we get back to Thayer between 6:15-6:45 on most race

days. Parents are welcome to take students home from Nashoba (1) after the races for all skiers are over, (2) we complete our duties pulling and sweep-skiing the race course, and (3) after alerting one of the coaches to the fact that the student is leaving. Race rosters are posted each Wednesday morning on the Middle School Athletic board and near Ms. Brown’s office door (310 Main). The coaches will make an effort to let students know of their race status at practice on Tuesdays, but may choose to wait until after practice on Tuesday to make race roster decisions V or JV, race order). There will be no guarantee that JV racers will race at any point during the season.

In general, students must attend at least two of the three practices immediately prior to a race to be considered for a roster spot for that race.

Students who are not racing on a given Wednesday are expected to sign into the Fish Fitness Center to work out.


The school will purchase a season pass at Blue Hills for the student. Students are responsible for replacing lost passes at their own expense. Of course, we want to be sure that skiers are committed to the team and understand the time commitment and effort involved before purchasing passes. Students who do not meet their obligations to practice with the team or decide not to participate on the ski team after passes have been purchased in December will be billed by Thayer Academy for their season pass.


As it is in all other sports, ski racing in the ISL is very competitive. Many of the league’s racers compete on weekend club teams, train with fitness trainers and have the latest in equipment. We race GS 80% of the time and slalom the rest. Every racer must have their own ski helmet with ear coverings – hard ear coverings are mandatory-- and their own boots, skis and poles. “Twin tips” are not race skis and are not permitted. GS skis are preferred, but a good all-mountain ski will get a new racer started. (Students on all-mountain skis tend not to develop as quickly as skiers on race skis, however.) Your performance will suffer if your equipment is not tuned and “race ready.” The newest and best equipment is neither expected nor required. Some racers will have GS and SL skis, as well as pole guards and shin guards. If a racer is going to have one pair of skis, please purchase or rent a GS race ski. Ski goggles with lenses suitable for low light conditions are highly recommended. (Try these on with your helmet to make sure they fit properly.) Varsity racers will be loaned Thayer GS suits. JV racers may be loaned GS suits or may share GS suits from week to week, depending upon the size of the team. JV skiers may wear their ski pants and a shell/jacket or their own GS suit. Ski helmets are required. If a skier does not have slalom gear, please make an effort to borrow or purchase slalom pole guards or punch covers and to rent or borrow slalom skis. We will be practicing and racing slalom the last week of January and the first week of February.


Thayer Academy will send skiers to participate in the New England Prep School Championship (Class B) races on Wednesday, February 14th at a location to be determined. Selection for New Englands is based on race times. The team will not be chosen until after our race at Nashoba on Wednesday, February 7th. The team and coaches will leave right after school on Tuesday, February 13th. Thayer pays all entry fees and for the hotel stay on Tuesday night. Students are responsible for making up any work they miss on Wednesday the 14th.

Seniors, please note that attendance at New Englands may be limited to those who are actually racing. The logistics of transportation, supervision and cost of attendance may limit the size of the group invited by the coaches to participate in this event.


We will request your assistance with gate judging at one or two Nashoba races, providing refreshments on a rotating basis at weekly races, gate judging at New Englands, providing breakfast and lunch for the skiers and coaches at New Englands, planning the food for the ski team dinner and taking as many candid and ski shots of skiers as you can for our end of season video.


Conditioning is important in this sport, like all others. I suggest each student continue with dry land training and/or skiing as often as possible outside of our scheduled practice and race times.


Students and parents are welcome to contact the coaches at any time with questions. Our contact information is:

Head Coach Bryan Morrissey 781/858-7101

Head Coach Heidi Brown 617/283-4609

Assistant Coaches Paul McCaron

Ms. Brown is on campus every day; her office is in room 310 of Main building of the Upper School, next to the U. S. History classroom.

Middle School students can also speak to Mr. Reid, Middle School Athletic Director, during the school day:

Mr. John Reid 781/664-2289 (o)


Thank you for taking the time to read this letter! Please keep it on hand for reference, and please put our phone numbers into your cell phone contacts directory.

We look forward to meeting your families and skiing with many of you!

Coaches Morrissey, Brown and McCarron


V/JV GS Races
Nashoba Valley Ski Area
Other Girls 3rd. Boys 7th
What a fantastic day the girls teams had today! The varsity girls finished in third place overall, the team's best finish in many years, The four skiers who scored for Thayer were Annabelle Graziano '22 (4th overall), Ciara Sage '20 (5th), Lilly Arends '21 (13th) and Sadie Compson '20 (19th). Sydney Langenhagen '20 and Izzy Gomes '19 finished 26th and 27th, while captain Rachel Kraan '18 finished in 40th place. The team finished six points behind the second place team--a gap that is well within the skiers' reach if they continue to ski well. The jv girls earned first place, led by Charlotte Ashley '21 in third place and Kate Rulon '19 in fourth place, along with Jessie Stutzman '20 in sixth place. Other notable finishes include Ashly Cashman's ('19) 11th place finish, as well as the placements earned by Caroline Williams '21 (20th), Cait Sullivan '19 (22nd) and Kaylee McGinn '19 (24th). Well done, girls! Expect to see some of the skiers move back and forth between varsity and JV, both as we move to slalom races and as we try to give experienced racers varsity starts.

Unfortunately, two boys were not able to ski today because their field trip did not return to school in time and a third was ill. Fortunately, all four varsity boys who did race finished both their runs. In addition to being small in number, the boys team faces very stiff competition from eight other schools. Senior Collin Chaisson earned a 15th place finish, junior Nick Bower finished in 31st place in his first race of the season, senior Rod Van Pelt had an impressive second run and sophomore Sam Garber was not far behind Rod. If you look at the results, you can see that the boys are separated by hundredths of seconds; .05 seconds might separate five place points. Small improvements made in practice will help the skiers on race day!
V/JV GS Races
Nashoba Valley Ski Area
Boys 7th. Girls 3rd
Thayer's seven boys combined to finish seventh overall this week. Collin Chaisson '18 skied to a 20th place finish, while Nick Bower '19 (27th), Sam Garber '20 (35th) and George Rowe '19 (41st) rounded out the team's scoring. Thom Brennan '19 and Finn Doherty '19, competing in just their second races, will be threats to score in the future: they finished in 42nd and 43rd places! It looks like their will be some jockeying for placement in the future: George and Thom were one tenth of a second apart. Today, Collin Drooff '18 made his first varsity start. While he completed his first run on this challenging day successfully, he was among the ten varsity boys (from all the schools) who did not make it through both runs.

We are fielding full JV and varsity girls' teams this season. Ashly Cashman '19 earned an eighth [lace finish in the JV race; Caroline Williams '20 in 10th place and Ann Wichern '20 in 14th place combined for Thayer's 4th place team finish. Other JV skiers in the top 25 included Rachel Kraan '18 (16th), Cait Sullivan '19 (19th), Caitlyn Marat '18 (20th), Olivia Noreke '21 (23rd). Kaylee McGinn '19, Erin Farmer '21, Sophie Butner '21, Maggie Fleck '21, Jamie Chevalier '21 completed their runs and are having fun!

The varsity girls finished third in the team scoring this week, led by Ciara Sage '20, who finished fourth overall. Impressive! Lilly Arends '21 posted her highest finish to date, earning 12th place, while Kate Rulon '19 made the top twenty. Charlotte Astley '21, in her varsity debut, earned 24th place overall. Well done, girls! Sydney Langenhagen '20 finished in the 27th spot, followed by Jessie Stutzman '20 earned 30th place. Sadie Compson '20 was among the skiers swallowed by the course....

Skiers, as you review the results, look at your times and others' times. How much time would you need to shave off to move up three spots? Five spots? How can you steal that time? Consistent practice, a willingness to listen to feedback and to make small adjustments, better focus at practice, a desire to compete....all of these can help you to capture the time savings you want! (Remember, you can't directly compare week to week because the courses and the conditions are different. Look at the time differentials between places, and your overall finish place compared with last week's finish place. Even though the competitors differ a bit each week, your placement is a fairly good self-measurement guide.)
GS/SL Practice
Blue Hills Skiing
Fitness Center
CHANGED: This event location has changed.
V SL/JV GS Races
Nashoba Valley Ski Area
Other Girls 2nd. Boys 7th
First, congratulations to Annabelle Graziano '22 and Rod Van Pelt '18: each finished first in their JV races. And Izzy Gomes '19, also skiing in the GS race, earned a fourth place finish. Well done! At the varsity level, three skiers placed in the top ten: Ciara Sage '20 in fourth place, Lilly Arends '21 in fifth place and Kate Rulon '19 in eighth place. Impressive! These skiers earned a second place team finish for our team!

Girls varsity competitors also included Sydney Langenhagen '20, who finished fourteenth overall, and Jessie Stutzman '20, who was seventeenth overall. Congratulations on your top 20 finishes! This is a very competitive league. Sadie Compson '20 and Charlotte Astley '21 will finish two runs the next time each is in the slalom event!

Collin Chaisson '18 continued his impressive senior campaign, earning an 18th place finish despite having almost no practice in slalom prior to the race. George Rowe '19 was the only other boy to finish two runs; he earned 29th place overall. Unfortunately, the other skiers--Nick Bower '19 and Sam Garber '20, did not have two clean runs. We have three practice days during which to improve before the next race!

Rod was our only JV boy skier, so we didn't fare well in the team finish with phantom place points filling in for the missing (nonexistent!) skiers. Because we have a wealth of talent among the girls, our JV team fared well today. In addition to Annabelle and Izzy's top four finishes, Ann Wichern '21 was lucky 13, while Rachel Kraan '18 and Kaylee McGinn '19 were evenly spaced at 15th and 17th. Caitlyn Marat '18, Olivia Noreke '21, Erin Farmer '21 and Sophie Butner '21 also competed for Thayer. Thanks to the high placement of our first three finishers, the girls JV team earned second place overall this week. Terrific skiing, girls! We'll welcome some under-the-weather skiers back to the JV girls race roster next week, and look forward to an equally strong finish.
V SL/JV GS Races
Nashoba Valley Ski Area
Other Girls 5th. Boys 9th


# Name Class Hometown
Lillian Arends 2021 Dedham, MA
Charlotte Astley 2021 Cohasset, MA
Nicholas Bower 2019 Chestnut Hill, MA
Thomas Brennan 2019 Scituate, MA
Sophie Butner 2021 Hingham, MA
Ashly Cashman 2019 Milton, MA
Collin Chaisson 2018 Scituate, MA
Jamie Chevalier 2019 Braintree, MA
Sadie Compson 2020 Hingham, MA
Finnian Doherty 2019 Cohasset, MA
Collin Drooff 2018 Milton, MA
Erin Farmer 2021 Hingham, MA
Maggie Fleck 2021 Boston, MA
Samuel Garber 2020 Wellesley, MA
Isabella Gomes 2019 Norwell, MA
Annabelle Graziano 2022 Hull, MA
Rachel Kraan (captain) 2018 Hull, MA
Sydney Langenhagen 2020 Cohasset, MA
Caitlyn Marat 2018 Cohasset, MA
Kaylee McGinn 2019 Braintree, MA
Olivia Noreke 2021 Marshfield, MA
George Rowe 2019 Chestnut Hill, MA
Kate Rulon 2019 Milton, MA
Ciara Sage 2020 Norwell, MA
Jessica Stutzman 2020 Scituate, MA
Caitlin Sullivan 2019 Dedham, MA
Roderick Van Pelt 2018 Norwell, MA
Ann Catherine Wichern 2021 Hingham, MA
Caroline Williams 2021 Cohasset, MA

Coach Info

  • Bryan Morrissey
    Co-Head Coach

    Coach Morrissey has been a life long skier. He has worked with teams on Mt Washington and Cranmore Mountain since 1998 at various levels. Coach Morrissey also has 3 adult children who have raced competitively in various competitions. He is excited to join the Thayer community and to share his knowledge with the team.

  • Heidi Brown
    Co-Head Coach
    Ms. Brown teaches ninth grade World History, standard level U.S. history and Modern European history, and a senior elective in Psychology. She has coached girls' soccer at all levels and is head coach of Alpine Skiing. Ms. Brown is an advisor with the class of 2017.
  • Paul McCarron
    Assistant Coach
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