Apr 18, 2013 10:39 AM by Laura Wilson - KAJ Sports
KALISPELL - The Flathead Valley Community College logging team is just over a week away from trying to secure its third consecutive national championship, but this time around, they'll have to win it with less experience.
Reporter Laura Wilson caught up with our Athletes of the Week, to find out how they're trying to keep the winning tradition alive.
All eyes appear to be on the FVCC Logging Team right now, who have been undefeated for two years, and counting. But those who have taken a close look at the team have probably noticed a lot of new faces.
"We lost a lot of good people last year, so it's going to be harder to hold our own this year, but we're going to give them heck," said Captain Austin Styler, who's in his third year on the team.
The FVCC logging team will host its annual Stumpjumper Days this weekend, an event the team has lost only twice since it began in 1984. But for half of the members of this elite team, Saturday will mark their first ever competition.
"I joined probably a little more than halfway through the team. I think this is maybe my 6th week. It's a lot to take in. Coming in at the last second to join is intimidating. There are some things that are fun to do and some things that make you a little nervous about your own personal safety," explained newcomer Michael Reed.
"We lost a whole bunch of our "A team" members. We lost three of our guys and two of our best girls, so we've been trying to train people up," Casey Pearson, who's on the team for the third year, said.
"Everyone else is so good. They make it look so easy but its way harder than you think it's going to be," Emily Fleming, another newcomer told us.
Though a lot of people are new to the sport, don't mistake their skills for beginner level ones.
"Once you get it, you've just got it. It doesn't take nearly as long to get good at it as other sports do," Fleming said.
"Just somebody giving a you tip on positioning your body this way or breathing that way are huge-it makes a huge difference in what you're doing," added Reed.
"I've been really impressed by our new people this year. They've been working hard and stepping up a lot. They're putting in their time so I hope they do really well," Styler concluded.
Stumpjumper Days is free to the public, and will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Here's how to get to Saturday's event: The arena is located on the first road north of campus, and east of Hutton Ranch Plaza on U.S. Highway 93.
The team will next head to Missoula for the Conclave, which is the largest logger sports competition in the Northwest, on April 23 to April 27, followed by a trip to compete in Moscow, Idaho.