What's this white stuff that's been falling all over the place?

“Weird,” said Eden Prairie Nordic coach Doug Boonstra, “we haven't had a combination of natural and artificial snow in November since, well, for a long time. It's usually one or the other.”

On Sunday, Boonstra was at Staring Lake Park grooming trails.

“We're hoping to get on it this week,” he said.

On Monday, Eden Prairie would be using its already scheduled time slot at Hyland Park.

On Tuesday, Eden Prairie would ski its first race (Lake Conference Relays).

Wednesday? Expect members of the Eden Prairie High School girls and boys Nordic teams to be skiing at Staring.

Expectations

Eden Prairie's girls team is expected to challenge for a state-meet berth.

It returns three skiers who skied at last year's state meet — Liesl Paulsen, Ella Bakken and Kareena Bovitz — plus a healthy Rachel Boelke.

Silje Busklein, Allie Gross, Ellise Welder and Lara Welter are expected to push Eden Prairie's top four.

“Our girls will be in the mix at sections,” said Boonstra. “Edina returns a lot, Minneapolis Southwest returns a lot and so do we.”

Note: Minneapolis Southwest (382 points), Edina (373) and Eden Prairie (362) finished one, two and three at last year's Section 2 race.

When asked if Tuesday's conference race will shed any light on Edina, Boonstra answered, “No.”

“A bunch of their skiers are running at Nationals,” he said.

Rebuild

Zach Spears is the only returner from an Eden Prairie boys team that placed 10th at last year's state meet.

Individually, Spears finished 29th overall.

“We'll be young,” said Boonstra. “Other than Zach, the boys team only has three other seniors.”

They do have good freshmen and sophomore classes.

“We'll know more after Tuesday,” said the coach. “Because younger kids improve at faster rates than older kids, it will be fun to see what they can do.”

It bears mentioning that last year's team qualified for the state meet after returning just two skiers from the previous year.

So?

Anything is possible.

Minneapolis Southwest enters the season as Section 2 favorites.

“They're state favorites as well,” added Boonstra.

Minnetonka, Edina and Eden Prairie are expected to challenge for Section 2's second place, and a trip to the state meet.

And?

It's the first week in December and there's real snow to ski on.

Sports editor

Dan Huss covers Eden Prairie sports and especially loves reporting on sports features and outdoors-related adventures. He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Marnie, daughters Aili and Britt, and Wilma, a pheasant-finding Deutsch Drahthaar.

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