JOHNSTOWN, GLOVERSVILLE – For the first time, Johnstown and Gloversville will field a joint athletic team this winter.
The area rivals have had battles in nearly every sport, but now the schools have agreed to combine for alpine and Nordic skiing. The merged program was recently approved by the Johnstown school board.
“It’s one of those programs that it’s always a struggle to field a full team,” Gloversville athletic director Mike DeMagistris said. “I think it will be a great opportunity for student-athletes at both schools.”
Gloversville had an alpine program of its own until the 2009-10 school year. Gloversville won a Section II title in alpine skiing in 1998-99.
“It’s an opportunity for Gloversville students,” Johnstown athletic director Brian VanNostrand Jr. said. “I think it will be good for the ski program.”
Last winter, Johnstown sent Trey Naselli to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Nordic Skiing Championships and Robin Kruggel to the alpine state meet.
Naselli was 32nd in the 10K skate race. Kruggel was 22nd in the giant slalom and 13th in the slalom at states. Both will be seniors this year.
Both the alpine and Nordic teams from Johnstown are expected to have several returnees this winter.
Matt Brower has been appointed as the Nordic ski coach, while Eric Cheney is expected to be appointed as the alpine ski coach, according to VanNostrand.
“Eric is a physical education teacher in Gloversville and his son, Carter, has already been part of the Johnstown alpine program,” VanNostrand. “I think he’ll be a good fit for the program.”
If and when he is appointed, Cheney will replace Jeff Krempa, who left the program after 13 seasons.
“It’s a win-win for both schools,” DeMagistris said.