By Louisa Benatovich, Student Reporter

Continued from last week, we learn more about what makes Ellicottville Central School students different from the rest through their love of winter sports and living near some of the northeastern United States’ top ski resorts.

Elissa Cole, a senior at Ellicottville, said she began skiing when she was 3 years old. Her father was a passionate about skiing and taught her himself, she said.

“My favorite part of the sport is being able to ski technically and enjoy the scenery on nice days,” she said.

After a day on the slopes, Cole said she loves to eat greasy foods, such as burgers and subs.

Currently, she competes in freestyle, specifically moguls, but when Cole was younger, she also competed in aerials.

“To get the best training, I had to modify my school schedule in 10-12 grade, so I could move to a larger ski area and train six days a week as well as exercise daily,” she said.

Even though competing is going to take a backseat while she attends college, Cole said she is always going to be a skier.

“Starting next year, I will be attending Montana State which is near two large ski areas,” she said. “I will also teach my children to ski when I am older and hope that they will also enjoy it.”

Another senior at Ellicottville, Mikey McGuire said he began skiing when he was 2 and after 10 years preparation started the freestyle team at 12.

“My favorite part about skiing is probably all the friends I meet from different places and just being out on the slopes is an amazing feeling,” he said.

McGuire currently competes in freestyle skiing where competitions contains a 200-yard course with mogul kickers and moguls in between each mogul.

“I have had great success where I have placed around top 15 in each competition I’ve been in,” he added.

McGuire said he plans on going to college where I can still ski — or at least one that’s close to a hill.

ALTHOUGH ONLY in seventh grade, and coming to the sport later than McGuire and Cole, Mason Perks has just as big a passion for snowboarding as when he began at 7 years old.

“My main reason for starting was that family all does it, but I don’t continue just because of that,” he said.

After numerous lessons and practices, Perks said snowboarding felt enjoyable, like going down a hill or slope was happiness.

“I love snowboarding because going quickly, but in control,” he explained. “It is intense, but fun altogether.”

When the day is done, Perks said he like to go home, sit on the couch and have a warm mug of hot cocoa in his hand and a plate of crackers in front of him.

“The craziest thing that has ever happened to me at Holiday Valley was when, one day, it was so packed, I could barely make turns,” he said.

Meganne Chapman, also a senior at Ellicottville, said she began skiing in the first grade with the Ellicottville Ski Program.

“I wanted to experience a new outdoor activity,” she said.

After a day out on the slopes, Chapman said she loves to eat a grilled cheese sandwhich and French fries made right at Holiday Valley, her favorite place to ski.

But what about skiing does she love so much?

“I love the feeling of snow running under my skis and the sound that skis make against the snow,” she said.