SVSEF provides ski and snowboard programming to nearly 700 athletes in the Wood River Valley. Athlete of the Week is an opportunity to highlight individuals who embody the values championed by this organization; sportsmanship, citizenship, character, teamwork, creativity, passion and perseverance. 

Lowie Watkins, 12, Alpine IMD

Lowie is, bar none, everyone’s favorite teammate. She is also an exemplary hard worker. The best part is, that that’s just who she is – there is no hidden agenda, no vanity there. We love having Lowie on the team; she sets a good example and is such a great kid to have around.

James Tautkus

Alpine IMD Head Coach

Jack Verhaeghe, 13, Snowboard Travel

Jack has been a mainstay on the Snowboard Team for several years now and could be named Athlete of the Week for his previous results alone. His recognition this week reflects some things he has been doing away from official team activities.

There have been several examples of this over the holiday break. Jack could be seen on a regular basis riding with friends or solo before and after training sessions and on off days. One example that sticks in my mind was on New Year’s Day at Dollar. Jack and one of the other team riders were the only team kids out there, and Jack was really encouraging to the other rider, so much so that he encouraged them to hit one of the jumps in the park that had been intimidating for them. That is a good teammate!

Jack has also been posting edits of himself and his friends shredding all terrain and having fun! His comments are positive and show his love of snowboarding. One that stuck out in my mind said, “I take a lot of pride in my snowboarding!” You should, Jack – you are progressing and taking advantage of what snowboarding has to offer, both with the team and in every bit of free time you have.

Keep up the great work! Keep being a supportive teammate and keep killing it! Your coaches are paying attention and like what we are seeing!

Andy Gilbert

Snowboard Head Coach

Tillie Babcock, 12, Freestyle Progression

Tillie has been really stepping up her game this year. Her hard work and dedication in the off-season has really started to pay off. This past weekend at Snowbird, she placed 2nd both days for the F13 age group. She continues to have a positive mindset and is working hard on achieving her goals.
She was also a volunteer at the Game Dinner and came to two Mt Hood Summer Camps with us; she’s committed on and off the slopes. Tillie was the first younger girl to hit the ramp in the Air Barn this year – she stepped right up and went for it. We’re glad to have her on the team – just smiles all around.
John Grigsby

Freestyle Head Coach

Will Buchanan, 10, Mini Xtreme

Will Buchanan is our Athlete of the Week because of the positivity he brings to everything. Will greets everyone he knows. I think we all could take a lesson from this. At practice he tries new tricks and drills with an open mind, and if he at first he doesn’t succeed he tries again until he gets it. This makes him very coachable and he’s learning at an impressive pace from those on the team who lift everyone else to the next level. Aside from bringing the positivity, which he really brings to the next level, he’s really funny and this is great for keeping everyone around him stoked to be there.

Ben Schumacher

Mini Xtreme Head Coach