Winter Sports Club athletes celebrate success |

Winter Sports Club athletes celebrate success

Organization closes season with annual awards ceremony

— During the winter, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club results are recorded on the slopes. On Tuesday, however, the club handed out honors that are measured by more than speed, scores and jumps.

“I really like this part,” Rick DeVos, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club executive director, said about the club’s annual awards ceremony. “This is a chance for us to celebrate different aspects of what is seen as success. Sure, we always celebrate our athletic success on this night, but we also recognize athletes who always put forth their best effort and those who are dedicated to their sport and their teammates regardless of the results.”

The 2008-09 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club awards ceremony honored 28 athletes, coaches and community members for their character, dedication and support of the sports of skiing and snowboarding. A few were even recognized for their overall performance.

Handing out awards, many named after the people who represented the ideals that the club represents, has become an end-of-season tradition. In most cases, the awards recognize winners for qualities that reach beyond the slopes and beyond results.

The club celebrated awards including “The Ritter Memorial Courage Cup,” which went to Linda and Jennie Symon and recognizes a member of the Winter Sports Club – athlete, coach or parent – whose courage is an inspiration to others. Linda lost her daughter and grandson, and Jennie her mother and brother, in an airplane crash in February 2008.

On Tuesday, DeVos praised the family and their determination to carry on in the wake of the tragedy.

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DeVos also announced the winner of the Charles Abernathy Memorial “True Grit” Award, which was given to Luke Farny and recognizes a skier who, rather than winning a lot of races, has displayed a strong work ethic, is enthusiastic, supportive to the sport and other teammates, and through hard work and perseverance is making the most of his or her talent.

While most of the honors go to skiers and snowboarders, the John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member award goes to a person who has demonstrated unselfish commitment to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Two years ago, the club officially changed the name from the Honorary Sustaining Member Award to the John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member award, to recognize Fetcher’s longtime support of the club. He died in February at 97, and this year’s winner, Rick Denney, said he was honored to win the award named after the legendary Fetcher.

“Other than not being worthy of this award, : I truly appreciate the thought,” Denney said. “John Fetcher was a community member that did so much. : To be honored under his name is something that is really near and dear to me. I’m feeling humbled at this point.”

The Winter Sports Club established the Honorary Sustaining Member in 1986 and awarded it to Pamela “Granny” MacPherson that season.

It wasn’t awarded again until 1996-97, when Steve Kotts earned the honor. It’s been given out every year since then, to supporters including Larry Stevenson in 1997-98, Roger Perricone in 1998-99, Kathy Crawford in 1999-00, Larry Johnson in 2000-01, Becky Lamb in 2001-02, Ed and June MacArthur in 2002-03, Kathi Meyer and Jim Peterson in 2003-04, Melvin Hitchens in 2005-06, John and Tammy Adams in 2006-07, and Lon and Eileen Allen last year.

“The Winter Sports Club is the greatest sports club in the country and probably the world. I’ve got two children in the club and what this club has done for my kids and our family, and really this town and our heritage, is unbelievable. We are so fortunate to live here. I live the good life, and I really appreciate it, so any opportunity I have to give back, I try to,” Denney said.

-To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail

2008-09 Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club awards

The Bea Kirby Trophy – Natalie Bohlmann

Snowboarding Excellence Award – Nikolas Baden

Cross-Country Outstanding Performance – Michaela Frias

Hobart Freestyle Award – Michael DeGrandis

Snowboarding Outstanding Performance – Mick Dierdorff

Freesytle Coaches Cup – Nick Sear

Snowboard Spirit Award – Harrison Weinberg

Ned Grant Memorial Trophy – Katherine Ingalls/Max Marno

Ritter Memorial Courage Cup – Jennie and Linda Symons

Stahly Award – Rob Burden

Wilbur Madsen Memorial Award – Jasper Good

Barrett Burch Memorial Trophy – Olivia Satkiewicz/ Reilly Mewborn

Buddy Werner Bronze – Addison Sandvik/Taylor Olson

Charles Abernathy Memorial “True Grit” Award – Luke Farny

Mary C. Magill Memorial Ski Meister Award – Robi Powers

Ashley Stamp Memorial Award – Katie Arnis

The Skeeter Award – Megan Rosa

John Fetcher Honorary Sustaining Member – Rick Denney

Tyler Gooding Award – Hig Roberts

The Henry Hall Cup – Cooper Dodds

SSWSC Snowboard Coach of the Year – Mark Harris

SSWSC Nordic Coach of the Year – Josh Smullin

SSWSC Alpine Coach of the Year – Marnie Smith

SSWSC Freestyle Coach of the Year – Rob Day