In the News: Fryeburg Mountain Bikers Ready to Hit the Trails

Bachman, Bart, "Fryeburg Mountain Bikers Ready to Hit the Trails," The Conway Daily Sun 
September 14, 2017

FRYEBURG — In mountain biking, you’re not just competing against other teams. You’re competing against rocks.
Fryeburg Academy mountain biking coach Tyler Wilson describes Fryeburg’s home course as “classic New England” with “hand-built trails with rocks, roots and natural features.

“Our course is based at Stark's Hill, where we have cross-country trails during the winter,” Wilson said. “We use some of the cross-country trails for the start to allow for riders to be broken up before they head into the single track. Starks has very little warmup time; you go right up and quickly down. The single-track portions are a mix of switchback, steep climbs, quick descent riding over rock features and through tight trees.”

Fryeburg has had a mountain biking team for about 10 years, and Wilson has coached the team for two years.

“I have been riding trails ever since I can remember, and I enjoy riding all disciplines,” he said. “Biking is not only an excellent way of traveling through your surroundings, but a great way of transportation and fitness.

“Mountain biking, in general, has progressed with technology and gear,” Wilson added. “All my experience has been riding growing up with bikes getting better and being able to ride more difficult terrain with more ease. It’s a test of endurance, skill and confidence, which you grow by getting comfortable riding all different terrain.”

Fryeburg currently has seven prospective riders.

“In the past, we haven’t had a pre-season,” Wilson said, “and this year I have made an optional one with hopes to get the riders thinking about riding. The team is different than other organized sports. We allow walk-ons throughout the season. Our focus is on growing a lifelong activity, riding and then racing, in that order.”

Wilson said most of the students who join the mountain biking team have ridden bikes, but not trails.

“Riding on pavement or dirt roads is a lot different than riding over roots, rocks, different surfaces — and all that in different weather conditions,” he said. “We hope to at least have athletes who have been on a bike, but we take any level of rider. This is a team, but we are special in the fact that we don’t follow standard principles of organized sports. A lot of it is based on the individuals’ needs and goals, and promoting an activity they can do outside of school.”
The Raiders have a total of eight races, the first one being on Sept. 20. Most races have about 150 participants, and league-wide events have over 300.

“Races are a good indicator of how the riders are ‘racing,’” Wilson said. “Riding versus racing improvement is much different. I base how well they did by if they improved their riding skills, are able to confidently ride more terrain and are enjoying mountain biking. Based on that, we had a successful season last year. The team was able to take advantage of being able to ride all over the valley and explore new trails. Racing, they improved throughout the season by fitness, endurance and strength.”

Wilson said his overall coaching philosophy is to “improve your riding skills to be able to ride confidently and enjoy riding.

“I hope that all riders gain an appreciation for biking, where they live and ride,” he said. “Fryeburg is located in proximity to a lot of local riding opportunities. Hopefully, they take their experience riding locally and grow as a rider to appreciate other places to ride, too.”

List of 5 news stories.

  • FA Attends the National High School Model United Nations in NYC

    This year, 22 students traveled to New York City to attend the four-day National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) Conference on March 1-4.  Now in its 45th year, the NHSMUN is the largest and most prestigious conference, hosting over 5000 participants from more than 75 countries and 300 schools. The New York-based conference-- surrounded by offices of Permanent Missions to the United Nations as well as the United Nations Headquarters itself--provides the perfect backdrop for a robust international affairs experience and a broadening of global issues awareness. Students are provided with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the theory and practice of international relations firsthand and have the opportunity to attend the opening or closing ceremonies in the UN General Assembly chamber, where actual diplomats convene every year.
  • FA Wins Silver and Bronze at the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival

    On March 15 and 16, FA's Jazz bands traveled to South Portland High School to attend the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival. The New Standard Combo and FA Big Band both performed very well, earning silver while the Yukon King Combo and Fryeburg Academy Jazz Orchestra won bronze. It is noteworthy that FA's New Standard Combo earned 74 out of 75 points for their performances--one point shy of claiming the gold standard and was one of the highest scoring combo performances of the event.

    At the festival, Georgia Stafford '19 won the Dale Huff Outstanding Musicianship Award--awarded to the top-rated musician in the combo division. Other outstanding performances recognized at the jazz festival were as follows:

  • FA's Math Team Captures the Regional Title

    The Fryeburg Academy Math Team finished the season by defending their Pi-Cone League Championship title at Leavitt High School on March 6th. The Pi-Cone League consists of 14 teams from 11 regional high schools throughout Central Maine. Five meets were held this year from October through March.  50 Fryeburg Academy students competed on the math team, the highest number of participants on record. Senior team captains Antonina Zackorchemna '19 and Celine Lyu '19 did an outstanding job of leading the team this year.  Weekly practices were held at the LaCasse Dining Hall.
  • Winter Sports Awards 2019

    Congratulations to the following student-athletes who were recognized at this year's Winter Sports Awards:

    View photos from the awards ceremony:

  • Seniors Casey and Reece Kneissler Represent FA at the WMC Citizenship Awards Banquet

    Each year, the Western Maine Conference (WMC) sponsors an awards banquet to honor students from each school in the conference. Every WMC school is asked to select two graduating seniors for their overall contributions to their school in the areas of academics, athletics, leadership, and extracurricular activities, as well as for their attitude and consideration of others.

    This year senior twins, Casey and Reece Kneissler, were selected to represent Fryeburg Academy at the banquet held on February 27 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, ME.

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