Since December 1st, the St. Francis Mountain Bike Team has been preparing for the upcoming 2012 SoCal League High School Mountain Bike series. As one of the first members of the SoCal league, the Golden Knights will be entering their 4th season racing against other Southern California high schools.
Under the guidance of Head Coach Lee Bird and Assistant Coach Patrick Donovan, the Golden Knights are hopeful that they will be able to continue building upon a stellar 2011 season that saw many podium and top-10 overall finishes, including a 5th place finish in the 2011 State Championships.
The team includes returning Seniors Cameron Aubert, Steven Ayoob, Christian Breitschwerdt, Connor Haas, and Matt Misetich. Christian, Connor, and Matt all finished in the top-10 overall of the D1 JV class in 2011. “Our Seniors have been great role models and leaders on our team. Many have raced since they were freshman and really understand the dedication and hard work necessary in the sport”, Bird says. “I’m hopeful that we will be able to have 2 or 3 of these strong riders represent us in the Varsity class”.
Representing the JV class for the Golden Knights will be Juniors Carl Demolder, Matt Kubly, Scott Marshall, Chris Sercel, Michael Togneri, and Sophomore Sean Bird. The JV team for the Golden Knights is deep, and should be able to post some good results this season. Returning racers Matt Kubly and Scott Marshall both finished in the top-10 overall of the D1 Sophomore class and Sean Bird was 5th overall in the D1 Freshman class in 2011.
Bumping up to the sophomore class will be Daniel Balsam, Keenan Koch, Calvin Lau, Hunter Nalley, and Will Towne. Daniel, Keenan, and Hunter all raced as freshman and have improved significantly. Calvin and Will are new to the team this year and have worked hard in training to get themselves prepared for the upcoming season. “Daniel and Hunter really push each other hard in the practices and races, and Keenan has shown incredible improvement over the last year. I’m really excited to watch the three of them battle it out with the other schools this year”, says Coach Bird.
Representing the Golden Knights in the freshman class will be Nicholas Bedford, Nathaniel Blakely, Austin Hamilton, Skyler Payne, Remi Roth, and Philip Saulny. “It’s exciting to see the new talent come into the program each year. Students are excited to be able to race mountain bikes for St. Francis”, says Coach Bird. Austin and Skyler both have prior mountain bike experience and have looked very strong in practices. Nicholas, Nathaniel, Remi, and Philip are working hard on the skills necessary to compete on the mountain bike and will be strong contenders for the Golden Knights.
“I am very grateful to the administrators and staff of St. Francis for supporting our team. The school sees the value of our program and has really supported us since the beginning”, says Coach Bird. “I am also grateful to the parents and parent coaches for all of the time that they have put in to help make this program strong. Because our races are all over 2 hours away, there are lots of logistics and coordination that requires many volunteers. I’m grateful for their help”.
Follow the Golden Knights all season on their website at http://stfrancisracing.blogspot.com/.GO KNIGHTS!