Sometimes there's just no duplicating what it takes to be successful in a sport. Maintaining form and technique becomes even more difficult when you're away from the sport for nearly a year.
That's exactly what Mount Greylock Nordic skier Will Nolan battled through before establishing himself as the league's top skier and securing the All-Eagle MVP award.
"Talking before [the season], people thought there was a chance I would be number one, but there's a lot of us that were competing for that spot as well," Nolan said, noting teammates Matt Wiseman, Ian Culnane and Jake Foehl. "Nobody's going to give it up without a fight."
Nolan and his family relocated -- temporarily -- to Indiana because of work after the first two races of the 2012-13 season. He had placed in the top five in both, but his talent wouldn't be fully realized until the Nolans came back to Berkshire County a few months later.
Nolan spent the summer training with the Berkshire Nordic Ski Club, working to regain his form on roller skis after not seeing much snow while in the Midwest.
"They got a little bit of snow out there, so I was able to ski a little bit, but not nearly to the extent, just at a local park," the junior said. "[Roller skiing] took some of the edge off, but I think there was an adjustment period coming back in at the beginning of the season."
Roller skis are about as good as it gets when it comes to dry-land training, but there's always something missing. Nolan found that out in the first race back.
"I think just comfort on skis because I hadn't fallen for a while, and I fell in my first race back going down a hill which took me by surprise almost," he said. "I think just comfort on skis and tiny little technique things that take a while to cement."
He apparently regained all of it before the first race was over because he won that one, finished second nine days later, won the third and fourth league races before finishing the regular season with a sixth-place result. He was the lone skier in the league to win more than one race.
He said his best performance came in the state championships, though. He took fourth.
"That was kind of best-case scenario," he said. "I knew that the people from Eastern Mass., those top three were very good. I knew that coming in fourth was probably the best I could do, and so I was very, very happy with that finish."
The result was the team's best place at states and led the way to its second straight state title. The best part from Greylock's view point is he's back next year.
"He's very athletic-orientated," Grey lock boys coach Hiram Greene said. "He's very talented, and he's very determined. He's an all-around athlete."
To reach Josh Colligan:
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On Twitter: @EAG_DigitalJosh.