MAST UPDATE #1
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2021
Dear MAST Athletes, Parents and Coaches:
Thank you to all the parents, athletes, coaches, and alumni who helped clean the goat barn on Labor Day. What a wonderful team effort. Fastest goat barn clean-up in the storied history of goat barn clean-up efforts. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Our State Fair supervisor was very pleased and I understand he would like us to clean the feathered animals space next door under the same roof next year as well. Who doesn't love a promotion?!?!
MAST registration will open on October 1. As in previous years, registration is a two-step process. First, you will be asked to register with MAST directly. This will be done online. I will be sending everyone a link in a future MAST Update. Step Two is when you register with your high school athletic director. My understanding is that you can do this online this year. Details to come. If you are new to MAST, please fill out the NEW Athlete Inquiry Form. Many of you have done this already so thank you. Doing so will put your athlete on our radar and ensure that everyone in the family is receiving our MAST Updates. This form also collects the MPS email address of every athlete. Most likely any preseason meetings we have this year will be online and you will access these meetings using your athlete’s MPS email address.
MAST Fact Sheet
Attached is the 2021-22 MAST Fact Sheet. This is your first source of information about all things MAST. If you are new to MAST, this will give you a good overview of our program. I’m sure you will still have questions, so please feel free to call me. I find it is much easier to answer questions with a phone conversation that by email. 612-275-8392
Now is the time to get set up with the equipment you need. Please check out the Equipment Pages on our website for a lot of detailed information about the equipment you need. Attached is a revised MAST Buying Guide For Ski Equipment. This is also available on our website under the Equipment header. The MAST Guide will help you understand how to size and select quality used (and new) equipment. Please note: You need SLALOM race skis and RACE boots. You do NOT want to use RECREATIONAL skis or boots. Why? Because they will not perform well in a slalom race course. The skis will be slow to turn. The boots won’t flex and help you create the kind of angles you need to progress as a racer.
If you are new to MAST, you most likely want to find used equipment. There are several sources of used equipment: local ski swaps, online sites, and our own MAST ski swap which will likely be online this year as well. Check our website for links to local ski swaps. The first swap will be held at Buck Hill on Friday, September 24-Sunday, September 26. Here is a link: Buck Hill Ski Swap. Other swaps are scheduled this fall as well. Team Gilboa is holding a swap Oct 29-31 at Hyland. See our website for additional swap information: Fall Ski Swaps.
MAST Equipment Night at Pierce Skate and Ski
If you need to buy any equipment new, I recommend Pierce Skate and Ski in Bloomington.
Bart and Terri Pierce and their staff provide first class customer service. During the months of September and October, our racers can benefit from discounted pricing on new equipment. Attached is a letter from Bart and Terri explaining these discounts and announcing our MAST Equipment Night at Pierce scheduled for Wednesday, October 6. On Oct 6, Pierce will add staff and reserve all after school and evening appointments for MAST families. I will also be on site to help guide your purchase. Sometimes it helps for the old coach to be there. If the 6th doesn’t work for you, you can certainly make an appointment for boot fitting for another date. I recommend making an appointment if you are in the market for new skis as well, but my understanding is that this isn’t necessary. If you need tuning equipment, clothing, or protective gear you can just drop in anytime.
We do have a lot of equipment listed on our website. Last year we were unable to hold our MAST in person ski swap. Hopefully we will be able to do so this year. Probably in mid to late October. For now, you can browse through the equipment listed for sale on our website HERE and HERE. I will be working to combine these two pages into one page. If you have items listed on either page that have sold, please let us know so we can remove them from the listing. To remove or add items, please contact Cyrus Vahhaji at firstname.lastname@example.org
Season Pass Purchase
Everyone needs a season pass to Hyland Hills Ski Area. You can purchase your season pass through MAST or online through Three Rivers Park District/Hyland Hills. The season pass price is $455. If you purchase the pass through MAST, you will not need to pay Minnesota State Sales Tax. To purchase a season pass through MAST, please mail a check made payable to Mpls Alpine in the amount of $455 to:
Mpls Alpine Ski Team
4800 Harriet Ave S
Mpls MN 55419.
The deadline for purchasing a season pass through MAST is October 27.
Attached is a list of athletes who purchased the 2021-22 season pass through MAST back in March.
MAST holds several fundraising events during the year. Some fundraisers are Team Fundraisers in that the funds are used to cover some of our operating expenses. These fundraisers allow us to keep our team fees lower. We also offer an Individual Fundraiser in the Fall. Individual Fundraising gives each athlete the opportunity to raise money that he or she can use to cover the cost of optional/additional programming we offer during the season such as supplemental training on Saturday evenings, the Giants Ridge Camp over Winter Break, or even team apparel purchases. Due to rising expenses, we may need to ask athletes to cover the cost of a lift ticket at Away Races this season, so any money an athlete raises could be used for this purpose as well. This year, our individual fundraiser consists of selling coffee from Urban Ventures and salsa from MinneSalsa. More information about the Individual Fundraiser will be published soon. The State Fair Goat Barn event was a team fundraiser, and we will be holding our second annual MASTers Golf Tournament this year at Hiawatha Golf Course on Thursday, Oct 14 starting at 3PM. This fundraiser is for adults only. More information about the Golf Tournament will be published later this week. For now, please try to clear your schedule for a 3PM tee time (shot gun start). A post golfing reception will be held at Carbone's.
Covid, Supplemental Training, Camp, Busing
I do remain concerned about the rate of Covid spread. My hope is that everyone will be vaccinated by the time our season opens. Masking on the hill will be mandatory for anyone who is not vaccinated and might be prudent for those of us who are vaccinated given how crowded Hyland can get and how much snot and moisture is expelled on the hill while breathing in the lift line.
We are planning to resume Supplemental Training on Saturday afternoons/evenings and we are hoping to bring back our training camp at Giants Ridge over Winter Break. There are currently two dates set aside for camp: Dec 20-23 (four days, three nights) and Dec 30-Jan 1 (three days, two nights). We are keeping both options open for now. Let me know if you have a strong preference.
Finally, as you may have read, our schools are suffering from a shortage of bus drivers. I don’t know how much this will impact our ability to charter buses. The biggest effect will be on transportation to away races during the school day. My guess is that it will be easier to get a bus on Saturdays for Supplemental Training. The bottom line is that parents may be asked to help drive athletes to Away Races this season.
I’m at two and half pages. As you can see my emails are still brief and to the point. Please read, print, and save these MAST Updates. Store them in a secure location. I know that our athletes don’t always check email. Tough nuggets. They need to start doing so on a semi-weekly basis during the preseason and daily during the season. To be a successful ski racer, the athlete needs to learn how to stay organized and accept personal responsibility. Email is how I will be communicating. Each Update will contain important information and instruction. Our sport is too complex for other forms of communication (Instragram, Twitter, TeamSnap, etc.). We do our best to keep our website up to date, so check that frequently as well, but rely on the most recent MAST email communication for the most up to date information. With most Updates, the athlete or parents will be asked to take an action (sign up for something, volunteer, watch a particular video, bring something, etc.). Read and act. That will help out the coaches tremendously. I am excited for the season. Hope you are as well.
Enjoy this beautiful day.