Skiing: BMA, FSC claim Club of Year honors

Burke Mountain Academy (Photo by Paul Hayes)

Two area ski racing schools are among the best in the country.

Franconia Ski Club was named Development Club of the Year while Burke Mountain Academy was dubbed Alpine Club of the Year for the second straight winter.

The top honors were revealed Tuesday as part of the 2020 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Clubs of the Year awards.

Other award winners include:

Club of the Year - Stratton Mountain School

Cross Country Club of the Year - Alaska Winter Stars

Freeski Club of the Year - Stratton Mountain School

Freestyle Club of the Year - Wasatch Freestyle (Utah)

Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Club of the Year - Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Snowboard Club of the Year - Stratton Mountain School

Below are the excerpts from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard website on FSC and BMA.


New Hampshire’s Franconia Ski Club was named Development Club of the Year for its longstanding commitment to fostering a love of winter sports and raising successful athletes in its community. Recently, the significant investment in facilities and training venues has provided new opportunities for programming and partnerships and set the club up for continued success.

Over the past decade, the Franconia Ski Club has grown to become one of the most notable development programs in New England. Its membership has grown from 40 in 1998 to 192 this past year and a waiting list for 2020-21. The club impacted development across the region, as well as nationally, with the first phase of the Mittersill at Cannon Mountain Improvement Project, with a $4 million investment in trail and lift development. The next phase, including the Mittersill Performance Center, is underway. The venue was the site of the 2017 NCAA Championships and the 2019 U.S. Junior Championship Super-G.

The club has taken the NHARA U14 state title from 2016-2020, and the U12 title from 2015-2019. The club has a host of athletes ranking in the top five YOB in the east and top 15 in the nation. Franconia’s Dylan Welch is ranked number one in the country in slalom for YOB 2004.

Introduced in 2019, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Development Club of the Year Award is an award presented to a member club that has distinguished itself in providing outstanding youth development programs. Key criteria include exceptional or unique programming focused on developing athletes ages 13 and under; providing opportunities for youth to enter the sport, providing a positive, engaging experience for young snowsports athletes; commitment and encouragement of youth athletic development; implementation of best practices and innovation for long-term athlete development; use and support of U.S. Ski & Snowboard resources intended for development levels; conversion of athletes to higher levels of involvement, participation and competition; develops and encourages a lifelong passion and enthusiasm for participation in snowsports.

The Franconia Ski Club is a silver certified U.S. Ski & Snowboard Podium Club, presently working on its gold certification.

“Our mission at the Franconia Ski Club is to impart the joys of skiing and the lifelong lessons of healthy competition. All of our programs take that mission to heart, using it as a guiding principle in the development of our athletes. We focus on providing our athletes with the highest level of alpine racing instruction available and fostering within them a love of and respect for the sport. This approach, along with access to the world-class training and racing facilities at Mittersill at Cannon Mountain, has allowed us to develop some of the best athletes in not only the Eastern Region but also the U.S.”

— Eric Price, Program Director


A longstanding and highly revered program, Burke Mountain Academy was named U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Club of the Year. The program excelled this year with success at every level from U12 up to FIS, and NorAm, including five athletes making National Development Group criteria, plus qualifying athletes for Alpe Cimbra (former Topolino) and OPA Cup. Burke has created a powerful guiding framework for its program that challenges the status quo in helping athletes manage training and racing loads. As a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Development site, Burke’s impact has extended even more broadly as a strong program partner in the Eastern Region with a Speed Week and other regional training opportunities. Burke also brought on board two notable past stars to help with the athletic programs including Felix McGrath and Olympic champion Diann Roffe, a 1985 Burke graduate.

A hallmark at Burke has been its high-quality races. At the core to that has been the contribution of David Iverson for the last 13 years at Burke, and 13 before that at Green Mountain Valley School - executing upward of 40 races annually. Iverson, who will be leaving his role, was acknowledged by U.S. Ski & Snowboard for his lifelong contribution to the Eastern Region.

Burke is a gold-certified U.S. Ski & Snowboard Podium Club.

“We consider our school and all of the athletic programs a community and we really do believe that the shared sense of commitment to one another elevates the experience. Our primary charge at Burke is character development, and the athletic and academic programs are vehicles for that holistic education. The sense of community that exists among all the athletes and their families is what makes that education possible because it cultivates an environment with a high degree of trust in which the athletes are willing to take appropriate risks, learn through failure and ultimately strive to achieve their goals.”

- Willy Booker, Headmaster


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