Girls team returns starter, four racers

Although the snow isn’t flying just yet, the 2004 high school ski season is just around the corner and Lake Orion’s boys and girls varsity teams are ready to go.
The boys team, coached by seventh year head coach Norm McKee, will enter its first season this year without a four-year, or even three-year, starter to anchor the team. However, McKee said that’s not for a lack of talent, of which there is plenty on the Dragon Boys team.
“It’s rather a result of our graduating four senior starters, two years in a row,” McKee explained. “Our boys will be competitive, and we are expected to be among the best in our region, as well as among the top-10 Class A teams in the state.”
Senior Teddy Tarr will anchor the team, followed by sophomore Junior Olympian James Hubbard, who is expected to be one of the area’s fastest skiers. Sophomores Marty Tarr and Kevin Bowen are also expected to be very competitive for Lake Orion.
Senior Matt Murawka has the potential to be the Dragons’ fastest Giant Slalom racer, according to McKee, while juniors Brent Sims, Rob Stakle and sophomore Scott Arsen may be able to work their way into the varsity line-up.
“The boys’ goal this season is their fifth consecutive state final appearance,” said McKee. “Teddy and Marty Tarr, as well as Murawka and Hubbard, all have state final experience.”
McKee calls this year’s girls team one of the “most talented on record.” He anticipates the Dragon girls being very competitive in the race for SEMSL and OAA League titles, as well as the regional and state titles.
Four-year starter and two-time All State skier Kristen Thulin will anchor the Lake Orion team, with the top four returning racers, in addition to her, being junior Katie Rivers, junior Jessica Hutchison, and sophomore Kristen Fleming. The remaining two starting spots on the varsity girls will be filled by sophomore Camille Seybert, and juniors Lacy Phillips and Meaghan Walters.
“The girls will be going for their third consecutive state final appearance, and their fourth in five years,” McKee said. “Each of the girls have state final experience, with Thulin leading the group, having appeared in the past three finals.”
McKee said both the boys and girls teams have been ranked among the state’s Top 10 teams, in their respective divisions, since November of 1999.
The Lake Orion girls best state final finish was fifth in 2002, and the girls finished ninth in last year’s final. The Dragon boys finished fifth at last year’s finals in Marquette, and finished second to Marquette in 2002, the best Class A finish on record for a southeastern Michigan school.
Tom Vurginac enters his third year as a varsity assistant coach this season, and Melissa Zian will be entering her third year as the junior varsity coach.