Junior starts off third season as a captain

Danny Shope prepares to lead the Nordic team


Used with permission from Danny Shope

Andrea Melear

As a junior, Danny Shope has earned the position of captain for the upcoming Nordic season. When looking into the season, Shope said he is very enthusiastic about this year.

“I’m really excited, but obviously it’s going to be challenging with COVID,” Shope said. “It’s going to be a lot different than past years, but I’m excited to find new creative ways to keep the feeling of a community on the team.” 

According to coach Pat Hartman, Shope is the right choice to be a captain due to his leadership skills on and off skis. 

“Danny Shope is a very good skier. He is a good leader for the kids; he’s patient with the young kids. He’s just a really nice kid, and a lot of kids like him,” Hartman said. “I anticipate he’s going to do really well. He already had a leadership role with some of the younger kids, but he is a good skier, and he’s going to do great.”

Although he is younger, senior Maya Lee believes Shope is a good fit for the captain position.

“I’m excited. He’s very qualified. Even though he is a year younger, he’s a really good skier, he’s a good teammate and he’ll be a good captain,” Lee said.

According to Shope, he and his fellow captains have prepared for this season by trying to make the best out of what they can achieve during the pandemic.

“We’ve been doing captain’s practices all fall, and we’ve had a really really good turnout to those. We’ve just done this mostly to get everyone excited for the season, get the whole team together and just recruiting new people for the team,” Shope said.

According to Hartman, one of the struggles Shope will face this season is going to be keeping the team together.

“One of the biggest challenges with our team is… keeping the larger group engaged since we have seventh through 12th graders so that’s always a challenge,” Hartman said. “We’ve done well with it in the past, and our captains have set a good example.” 

Lee said Shope listens to the team, which is needed during this season since it will be harder to keep the sense of community that is so important to nordic. 

“He does a really good job of listening to how people are doing and taking input from the team,” Lee said. “Even though this season is going to be different (and) it is going to be harder for the captains, (they) are doing a good job of keeping the social feeling.”

According to Shope, this season he hopes to improve overall and bond as much as possible with his team.

“Individually, I want to just improve from last season and ski faster than I did last year. But as a team, this year we’re going to have a really competitive and strong team,” Shope said. “I’m just really excited to get to know all the new people. My favorite part of Nordic isn’t actually the skiing part, it’s being around the whole team because it’s just an awesome team and just getting to know a lot of people that I wouldn’t otherwise meet.”