BY DAN STICKRADT
For the first time this past winter, a public school from Southeastern Michigan captured a state crown in boys skiing.
Clarkston ruled the roost by winning the Division 1 state title one year after finishing second in the state. Along time state powerhouse, the 2011 and 2012 seasons were the first times that the Wolves ever returned home with any type of team hardware and is set up to challenge again in 2013.
Understandably, the Wolves dominate the All-North Oakland Area squad, selected by NOS staff in conjunction with area coaches. Clarkston has nearly half of the first-team picks with five on the first team, plus its mentor, Mike Foyteck, was named Coach of the Year.
Several individuals from Clarkston, along with several standouts from other schools, posted fine seasons on the slopes. Below is a brief profile of the area’s 12 elite ski racers from the 2012 season named to the first team:
ALEX MCINTOSH, Clarkston: The Wolves’ run to the state championship and undefeated season was aided by exceptional depth and McIntosh was in the thick of that depth chart. The sophomore was 17th in the slalom and 10th in the GS at the Pine Knob League Meet, claimed 34th in the GS at the Pine Knob regional and bounced back to earn 12th in the GS and 36th in the slalom at the state finals. He earned All-State Second Team status. McIntosh also plays varsity golf.
“He was solid for us all year and I think he was a little disappointed in himself and thought he should have been better,” said coach Mike Foyteck. “I believe he is going to come back next season and have a great year. We only lose a couple of kids for next year so I think if Alex and the others step up we’ll be in contention next year as well.”
DEREK VANITALLIE, Clarkston: Few freshmen can have the type of impact as Vanitallie who was as good as advertised as a freshman prodigy. Always among the hill leaders in dual meets, Vanitallie was fifth in the slalom and ninth in the GS at the Pine Knob League Meet, placed third in the slalom and fourth in the GS at the Pine Knob regional and placed seventh in the slalom and fourth in the GS at the D-1 stat meet to earn All-State First Team honors.
“We knew he was going to be very good as a freshman and he stepped right into our varsity lineup and contributed right away,” said Foyteck. “It will be fun to watch him mature. He could be one of our all-time best skiers if he continues to improve. He has all of the right (attributes) to be a dominant ski racer.”
GRANT HUBER, Clarkston: The senior leader for the Wolves, Huber was a steady force for the Wolves in his final prep season. The champion at the Dan Costigan Invitational, Huber was third in the GS at the Pine Knob League Meet, placed second in the slalom and sixth in the GS at the Pine Knob regional and claimed 13th in the slalom and fifth in the GS at the D-1 state finals to earn All-State in both events.
“Grant was really consistent and one of our leaders for us this season,” noted Foyteck of his captain. “He was a team player, doing whatever it took to make us successful on and off the hill. He was a big part of our success the past couple of years.”
LANCE HOLSBEKE, Clarkston: One of four repeat offenders on the All-Area first team to don a Clarkston jersey, Holsbeke’s junior season featured many noteworthy performances. He was 13th in the GS and 15th in the slalom at the Pine Knob Ski League meet, raced fourth in the slalom and 18th in the GS at the Pine Knob regional and was 17th in the GS and 45th in the slalom at the D-1 state finals.
“I think Lance has all the tools to be a great skier. Did we see it all the time this year? Not always, but I think he’s one of those guys if he finds his groove next season he’ll be one of the best around,” offered Foyteck.
RYAN CALLAHAN, Clarkston: This sophomore had another fine season on the slopes with many notable finishes. He was the Pine Knob League Meet slalom champion and finished second in the GS, swept both races at the Pine Knob regional and placed sixth in the slalom and 61st in the GS at the D-1 state meet.
“He’s a rock star. He is very talented and I think is only going to get better,” said Foyteck. “He skied well all year for us and had his best day at the regional winning both races. We expect big things from him next year.”
DALTON STETSKO, Lake Orion: The Dragons had one of their better seasons in 2012 and Stetsko was a big part of it. The senior was third in both races at the Pine Knob Ski League, claimed the runner-up GS slot and placed fourth at the Pine Knob regional and was 10th at the Division 1 state finals. Stetsko also finished third in the GS at the Dan Costigan Invitational and was top-10 at multiple dual meets throughout the season.
JUSTIN KLAUS, Lake Orion: This junior was another model of consistency for the Dragons this season, claiming a variety of noteworthy finishes. Klaus claimed ninth in the slalom and 15th in the GS at the Pine Knob Ski League meet, placed seventh at both races at the Pine Knob regional and finished eighth in the GS and 32nd in the slalom at the D-1 state finals.
RICKY MACKOWSKI, Lake Orion: One of three Dragons on the first-team this season, Mackowski this senior capped the year by placing in the top-25 in both races at the D-1 state finals, finishing 19th in the GS and 21st in the slalom. Mackowski also claimed11th in the GS at the Pine Knob Ski League meet and was third in the GS and 12th in the slalom at the Pine Knob regional. He also was 10th in the GS at the Dan Costigan Invitational.
NICK BONELLO, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: The senior helped the fighting Irish finish third at the regional and eighth at the Division 2 state finals after a fine encore season. The two-time scholar athlete placed in the top 15 in both races at the Pine Knob League Meet and at the Cannonsburg regional. At the state finals, he claimed 25th in the slalom and 37th in the GS at the state finals. He will attend the Air Force Academy beginning this summer.
“Nick loves to race,” said coach Kim Stencel. “As a co-captain, he showed great leadership to his teammates.”
LARS JOERGENS-KOKATE, Holly-Oxford Unified: Only a freshman, this talent debuted on the scene and quickly established himself as a skier capable of a top-10 finish. Joergens-Kokate was routinely in the top 10 in dual meets at Mt. Holly and backed that up with numerous fine finishes at larger meets for the SEMSL champion Bronchos. He claimed the GS championship and was second in the slalom at Mt. Holly and qualified for the Division 1 state finals with a fifth-place finish in the GS at the Pine Knob regional. He was also third in the slalom and fourth in the GS at the SEMSL meet but hiked in the GS at the state finals and finished a distant 60th.
ALEX SCHULTZ, Holly-Oxford Unified: The Holly-Oxford program posted one of its best seasons to date and Schultz was a key cog in that success story as a senior. He was first in the slalom and third in the GS at the Mt. Holly Divisional and claimed 18th in the slalom and 15th in the GS at the Pine Knob regional. At the SEMSL meet, he posted the 11th-best effort in the slalom and placed sixth in the GS. He will race for Michigan Tech next season.
JOSH ELLIS, Rochester Adams: One of two state qualifiers for Adams, Ellis was his team’s most consistent performer. The senior was top 10 in all dual meets and placed seventh in the slalom and 15th in the GS at the Pine Knob League Meet. He followed that up by placing 11th in the slalom and 15th in the GS at the Pine Knob regional. At the Division 1 state finals, Ellis placed 42nd in the slalom.
COACH OF THE YEAR
MIKE FOYTECK, Clarkston: The veteran Foyteck has been involved with Clarkston skiing for more than two decades as either an assistant coach or head coach, but Clarkston never had a season quite like 2012. The Wolves, who finished second in the state last season, lived up to expectations this season and ended up winning the Division 1 state championship. The Wolves did so with one of its top skiers injured most of the season. Clarkston finished 9-0 in duals, won the regular season title at Pine Knob and captured the Pine Knob Divisional meet. The Wolves, who did not compete at the SEMSL meet, also won the Pine Knob regional and Dan Costigan Invitational to cap an unbeaten season.
“I was just the guy at the bottom of the hill organizing the paper work. It was all about the kids,” said Foyteck. “But what a great group of kids. They worked hard ever since last year when they were second at the state meet. They wanted to win it all this season and weren’t about to let that slip away. We didn’t have the best state meet, but it was good enough to win and that’s all that matters.”
2012 ALL-AREA BOYS SKI TEAM
Ryan Callahan Clarkston Sophomore
Lance Holsbeke Clarkston Junior
Grant Huber Clarkston Senior
Alex McIntosh Clarkston Sophomore
Derek Vanitallie Clarkston Freshman
Josh Ellis Rochester Adams Senior
Lars Joergens-Kokate Holly-Oxford Freshman
Alex Schultz Holly-Oxford Senior
Dalton Stetsko Lake Orion Senior
Justin Klaus Lake Orion Junior
Ricky Mackowski Lake Orion Senior
Nick Bonnello Pontiac Notre Dame Prep Senior
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Foyteck Clarkston
Clarkston: Brent Vanitallie, sr.; Ben Schuster, soph.; Nathan Rogers, sr.; Holly-Oxford Unified: Dalton Sink, sr.; Greg Schultz, soph.; Spencer McKay, sr.; Lake Orion: Logan Stetsko, soph.; Justin Paviscak, jr. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep: Kevin Ziegler, sr.; Andrew Lauer, sr.; Bob Boniface, sr.; Rochester: Scott Martin, sr.; Rochester Adams: Jamie Stanton, sr.
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