Bethel and the surrounding Western Mountains of Maine are a haven for Nordic skiers, and Gould Academy has a long, rich history of developing Nordic skiers by focusing on the long-term goals of the student-athlete through technique work and year-round training.
On-campus Gould boasts a 40-kilometer trail system with access to an additional 500 kilometers of some of the best skiing in the east just an hour away! Direct access to groomed terrain is quite literally on our doorsteps, and our students and coaches make the most of it with practices five days a week.
Of course year-round training is also available and is tailored to the individual. Other endurance sport opportunities in the offseason include cross-country running, road cycling, or mountain biking, which can be supplemented with other physical conditioning like roller skiing and strength training at our Farnsworth Field House weight room, with the help of a coach / athletic trainer’s expertise.
Nordic skiers compete within NEPSAC, with regional competitions against other boarding and high schools and have access to national level events.
Competition Program - Nordic Coaches
As Gould Academy’s Head Nordic Coach and Director of Trails, Mr. Nellis has coached six athletes to qualify for Junior Nationals. Gould boys have won three straight NEPSAC Championships and the girls have won two. Once a student-athlete himself, Coach Nellis was a top-level competitor at Junior and Senior Nationals. His college career started at Saint Lawrence University and he finished racing for Alaska Pacific University. As a top junior racer he competed at Junior Nationals, Biathlon Nationals, and the FIS Spring Series; he also raced for the APU Nordic/Gold 2002 USSA Olympic Development Program. Coach Nellis has a passion for coaching skiing and has coached every age level from young athletes through the national-level. Coach Nellis lives in Bethel with his wife, Allie, son, Parker, and daughter, Elize.
Dr. Clarke has been teaching at Gould for over 15 years. Prior to Gould he was a visiting instructor at Mount Holyoke College, a teaching assistant at Brandeis University and Harvard University, and a research assistant at Harvard. At Gould, Dr. Clarke’s many classes include AP Government and AP United States History. He loves trail running, Nordic skiing, playing baseball, his record collection, house painting, the Bethel Outing Club (he is the former president), and coaching youth sports. The rest of the time is spent catching his breath. Dr. Clarke and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Bethel and have four children: Jeb ’12, Aiden ’15, Caleb ’16, and Livy ‘19.