Snowflex a proven training ground for Flames, Lady Flames to reach USCSA podiums
As Liberty University’s Snowflex Centre prepares to host its Next Level overnight camps over the weeks of July 10-15 and 17-22, men’s and women’s ski and snowboard Head Coach Isaac Gibson looks back at an exceptional 2021-22 season for the Flames and Lady Flames and ahead to untapped potential for all four teams.
“We had a really awesome season,” Gibson said. “We had the biggest team we’ve ever had, especially the biggest team we’ve ever brought to (USCSA) National (Championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.) … and it was definitely the overall strongest finish we’ve ever had.”
The Lady Flames brought back two women’s team titles and three individual gold medals, two by senior snowboarder Emory Orlando and one by freshman skier Lauren Harder.
“This year at nationals, the girls killed it, winning the Rail Jam and winning Slopestyle, and I’m super proud of them,” Flames men’s snowboarder Tyler Sherbine said. “On the men’s side, we did amazing, taking second in Rail Jam and Slopestyle and ending up in third in Boardercross, which was a first for us, so that was cool.”
Gibson said with the benefit of a year-round training complex at Snowflex, the Flames and Lady Flames will continue to push for more gold, silver, and bronze medals at nationals, as individuals and teams, as they bring in more and more talented skiers and riders.
“The men’s snowboard team, they’ve been our biggest team for years now and one of our strongest teams year after year,” he said. “We’ve just continuously been growing, first just growing the men’s ski side and that got to the same place where the men’s snowboard side was, and then the women’s snowboard side and now the women’s ski side to where we’re bringing full teams to the national event, which is incredible.”
He believes the level of success the team is experiencing is sustainable for the foreseeable future.
“Now that we’re at that full capacity on all bases, it’s really exciting for future years to continue building off of that,” Gibson said. “As we grow in numbers, that’s going to make our team even more competitive. We can only take five people that are competing at the national level, so … it’s really exciting to get to that point where people are really fighting for those spots. That’s only going to make the team better in future years.”
Video by Patrick Strawn and Olivia Bergen/Club Sports Director and Coordinator of Video & Media