2023 Ski Coach Of The Year & Team Sportsmanship

2023 Ski Coach of Year Calafati & Team Sportsmanship Sparta

2023 Ski Coach Of The Year
Coach Calafati

The Sparta Ski Booster Club is proud to announce that our high school ski coach, Rodney Calafati, has been named "Coach of the Year" for 2023.  The Coach of the Year is voted on annually by all the head ski coaches, at the New Jersey Interscholastic Ski Racing Association (NJISRA) year-end coaches dinner which was held at the end of March. This is the second year in a row that Coach Calafati has been honored as "Ski Coach of The Year". This prestigious recognition is a testament to Coach Calafati's exceptional coaching abilities, unwavering dedication, and outstanding contributions to high school ski racing. Through his expertise, passion, and commitment, our alpine racers have developed their skills, achieved personal bests, and represented Sparta High School with pride and sportsmanship. 

“Receiving this award from my peers is an honor that I truly embrace. Being named Coach of the Year last season was most special and inspiring, and to receive this recognition again is simply mind-blowing. I am deeply grateful. Coaching alpine ski racing is my passion, and I'm incredibly fortunate to work with talented athletes year after year. This recognition motivates me to continue pushing the boundaries and striving for excellence in my coaching." Calafati said in a release. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the coaches for this honor. We have an incredible group of ski coaches in the NJISRA, all of whom deserve to be recognized for their leadership as well. I share this award with all the coaches, that wow me every day, inspire me, and energize me, you are all awesome and I am grateful to coach alongside you. Thank you for your support and this cherished recognition!"

Over the past 6 seasons, Coach Calafati has demonstrated exemplary leadership in guiding the Sparta ski team to numerous achievements and podium victories. Just this past season, the Sparta Boys Ski Team reached a milestone and stepped up to the podium 2nd at the NJ State Championships, winning the title of "2023 NJ Public School State Champions".  

Coach Calafati will be entering his 7th season coaching the Sparta High School Alpine Racing Ski Teams and continues as League Representative on the Executive Council of the NJISRA. Coach Calafati is a USSA Certified Race Coach committed to the sport of alpine racing. When he is not coaching the Sparta High School Alpine Race Team, he is coaching at Stratton Mountain in Vermont where he works as a VARA alpine race coach for the Stratton Winter Sports Club and as a Professional Ski Instructor for Stratton Mountain Sports School. Coach Calafati is the founder of the Don't Just Ski. RACE alpine summer and fall training camp programs. This past season, he had the privilege of coaching the NJ State Ski Team at Eastern Regionals in New Hampshire.

Big Congratulations Coach!! Couldn’t think of another person more deserving of the award. Winning the award two years in a row is a reflection of your dedication, hard work, and passion for coaching. I am so grateful to have had you as a coach for the past four years, you've been amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better mentor. Wishing you continued success in the years to come!

- Captain - Kanna Pasunuri

Congratulations Coach! So grateful I got to train with the best. Your dedication to the team and developing every racer made the difference. I know I speak for the entire team when I say we are lucky to have you. More podiums to come! 

- Assistant Captain - Elizabeth Flint

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Coach Calafati for this remarkable achievement. It is an honor for Sparta to have such an exceptional coach as part of our ski team, and we look forward to many more successful seasons under your guidance. Thank you for your hard work, passion, and commitment to our racers and the sport of skiing. And congratulations to the boys' and girls' Sparta Ski Teams on being awarded the Team Sportsmanship titles!

- Sparta Ski Booster Club -  President, Buffie Dobbs

2023 Team Sportsmanship

Sparta Boys & Girls Ski Teams

The Sparta High School Ski Team swept all three award votes at the 2023 NJISRA year-end Coaches' dinner. In addition to Coach Calafati being named NJ Ski Coach of the Year, both the Sparta Boys and Girls Ski Teams were awarded the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award title. From day one, Coach Calafati has always emphasized sportsmanship first. Over the years, good sportsmanship has become our ski team's hallmark, being able to win without gloating, respecting our opponents, and being able to lose gracefully. This is the third year in a row the Sparta Ski Teams have won the NJISRA Outstanding Sportsmanship Award titles. This award recognizes our ski team's positive attitude, ethical behavior, and respectful demeanor, both on and off the mountain.

Spartans, I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate you on receiving the 2023 Sportsmanship Award title at the recent year-end ski coaches' dinner. It is truly a fantastic achievement and one of which I am very proud.

As athletes, it can be easy to get caught up in the desire to win at all costs. However, it is important to remember that sportsmanship is also a crucial component of athletic achievement. It takes a great team to come together not only for their own success but to ensure that their opponents are also respected and honored. Your behavior on and off the mountain was impeccable, and I received many compliments from other racers, parents, coaches, and officials about your excellent sportsmanship throughout the year. It is not only a reflection of your abilities as athletes but also of your character and values as individuals. 

Sportsmanship is not just about winning a title, but rather it is about giving your best, respecting your opponents, and representing our ski team with pride and integrity. You should always be proud of this achievement and know that you have set a great example for other athletes to follow.  This is the third year in a row that our ski team has been honored with this dignified title. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication, hard work, and commitment to our ski team. You have demonstrated positive values of sportsmanship, and I look forward to seeing continued success in the future.

Congratulations again on this great achievement!

Best regards,
Coach Rod Calafati

2023 Sparta Ski Team